A 2015 study compared barefoot running and running in shoes and found injury rates to be simular, but overall fewer musculoskeletal injuries. I know, sounds confusing. This is very difficult to study. My philosophy is that running without shoes on forces a more natural gait which inherently reduces the likelihood of an overuse injury. I’m not saying we should all be running without shoes, but it’s a great tool to help improve your form. Finally, don’t look to shoes to fix your injuries. I have many pictures of patients bringing bags of shoes and are still having foot related issues.
CONCLUSIONS: Barefoot running is associated with fewer overall musculoskeletal injuries/runner, but similar injury rates. A larger scale cohort is needed to more accurately assess differences in individual injuries between these two groups.
Br J Sports Med. 2015 Jun 30. pii: bjsports-2014-094482. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-094482. [Epub ahead of print]
Source: Prospective comparison of running injuries between shod and barefoot runners. – PubMed – NCBI