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Growing concern over minimalist footwear

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

There's a growing concern about minimalist footwear. Runners like the shoes because they say it gives them that natural feel, as if they are running in their bare feet.

But a local podiatrist says they should be worn only by the well trained athlete. Those who wear them as simply the latest fad, are finding themselves with injuries.

Dr. Alap Shah of Foot & Ankle of West Georgia, says the shoes, with no cushion for the feet, increase the flexibility in the foot more than a regular shoe, and for the untrained athlete, that can spell problems.

07:04:39 "That causes all types of stresses in the middle of the foot, in the rear foot, in the front of the foot, and the biggest things we do see from this because of lack of support is stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, neuromas."

Neuromas are the pinched nerves between the bones. Kena Yutz who manages Big Dog Running Company in North Columbus says even the well trained athlete should take some time to get used to the running shoes. Even the company that makes a line of the shoes says runners should ease the shoes into your running routine, a bit at a time.

"If they jump right into it and don't take their time with it, I think anybody can get injured, I think you have to increase your mileage. Don't jump right in and do 100 percent of your weekly mileage in these shoes or you're definitely going to hurt yourself," said Yutz.

Dr. Shah does not recommend the shoes for people with flat feet, diabetics, those with circulation problems or those with any type of foot injury.

 

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