There has been a lot of talk in the literature recently on barefoot running. In fact there was even a book written on the topic (Born to Run). Its going to be something that many people will begin to try or continue to do. For me, I will not be recommending it. Some of the reasons for this is the risk of stepping on something, contusions, sprains, strains, and possible fractures. Depending on your foot type, the foot should be constantly supported through all phases of gait. If not, it can cause other muscles to compensate for other muscles and lead to tendon problems or other stresses in the feet. The feet need good support to support the rest of the body. Think about this as well; could you imagine running on a track, concrete, or gravel barefoot? Imagine this even on a hot sunny day. Your feet would burn and increase your chance of developing blisters. And of course this would never be good in a diabetic or someone who has developed neuropathy of their feet(loss of sensation). We will continue to update you on more information that will come out with the topic, but for the time being it is something that I will not recommend.
Happy Running/Walking, but of course with sneakers on :)
Chad J Friedman, DPM