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March 29, 2007

Running barefoot is risky

While it is not uncommon to read articles in The Star that have missing elements to the story, as a health-care professional I felt compelled to write regarding the “barefoot runner” in Star Magazine (3/25, “Barefoot in the park”).
Nowhere in the lengthy profile of this individual who runs marathons barefoot is the risk of potential infection addressed.
Hospitals see individuals every day who present with life-altering blood infections. Some are due to accidents involving falls off ladders and with mowers and, yes, incidents involving barefoot people stepping on glass, nails, etc.
Two questions:
First, why was there not expanded reporting or an interview with an internal medicine physician regarding the dangers of this activity? (A small blurb with an orthopedic doctor discussing arches doesn’t really count.)
Second, I would be interested if the runner’s insurance company provides full coverage to someone who displays high-risk behavior.
It is interesting that this individual who cares so much about his cardiovascular system that he runs and works out has so little regard for his feet. I pray no kids read this article and think it is a “cool” idea to try.
Lisa Brock


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