How many foot fractures will this Houston Groupon cause?

Everyone loves a bargain, which is why Groupon has become successful. The company work with local business to offer a significant discount on products and services in the hopes that it gains new regular clients from it. I fact, I have used Groupon and continue to patronize some of the businesses that I've tried.

This week I opened my email to find the following image: Houston Vibram Five Fingers can cause stress fractures

The Vibram Five Fingers is one of the most popular minimalist running shoes, striving to simulate barefoot running as much as possible. They are certainly the most recognizable, looking like hi-tech gorilla feet. They have surged in popularity in the past two years as more people are trying to run unshod.

I'm not a Houston podiatrist who swears against barefoot running and minimalist shoes for everyone. I think that there are those who can do well in them and understand the proper way to run using those shoes. The problem is that they are in the minority.

Most people who decide to remove their shoes when they run, or wear a minimalist shoe like the Vibram Five Fingers, make the switch without understanding the changes that must be made to run safely. For instance, it is crucial to shorten your stride, strike on your midfoot, and bend your knees. Unfortunately many continue to runs they always have...with a firm heel strike.

It is not uncommon to see runners and triathletes come through our Houston Podiatry office with stress fractures of their heel and forefoot due to running barefoot or in minimalist shoes improperly. Some require surgery, since they decided to run through the pain and caused the fracture to become worse.

Don't let this be you! If you have been running barefoot or in minimalist shoes and are feeling pain, contact the Houston foot specialists at Foot & Ankle Institute of Texas who can ensure that you are not injuring yourself when you run. The sooner you come in the quicker we can get you checked out and back to running.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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