If you’re a North Andover runner, the odds are pretty good you are familiar with the beautiful running trails our home has to offer. From the mesmerizing Skyline Trail to the peaceful, thought-provoking Walden Pond Reservation, we really have it all. Knowing where to run is almost as important as knowing which kind of running shoes you’re going to wear. Minimalist running shoes are a highly controversial subject, and we are here to help guide you through it.

Shoes do a lot for your feet. They protect them from harm, add extra support where it might be needed, and they even change the way your foot moves. Some people prefer to have sturdier shoes when they run because it helps them avoid injury. Others choose to wear shoes that are really closer to being gloves for the feet because it helps THEM avoid injury. These are known as “minimalist running shoes”. Runners who prefer this type of footwear believe that our feet should be able to move as they were meant to from birth without the hindrance of bulky footwear. They believe we are less likely to sustain a foot injury when our feet are natural.

If you are considering wearing minimalist running shoes you can’t simply go from regular ones to the minimalist type. This is a surefire way to end up injured because your feet will not be moving the same way. It’s important to gradually transition over time to a different way of running. You will want to make sure that you build up your foot strength. One way to do this is by walking around barefoot whenever possible. You must also make sure your running form is impeccable. We recommend a gait analysis so you know exactly how your foot strikes the ground. From here you will be able to make tweaks to your form as necessary. Remember to take your time and don’t push yourself too hard. The whole point is to avoid injury as much as possible.

If you have questions about minimalist running don’t hesitate to call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 and schedule an appointment with us in our North Andover, MA office. We also offer services at two other locations in the area