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Barefoot shoes for running, walking, working and exploring

Dr. Nick Campitelli

Dr. Nick Campitelli is a board certified podiatrist, specializing in foot and ankle surgery. Originally certified as an athletic trainer, Dr. Campitelli continues to research and lecture on sports and running-related podiatric ailments. Today, Dr. Campitelli practices with Northeast Ohio Medical Associates and is an adjunct professor at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. He is also an avid runner, having completed several marathons, half marathons, and 10k’s. Dr. Campitelli has taken a devoted interest in barefoot movement and running as a preventative measure for many foot maladies and currently lectures for Vibram FiveFingers regarding minimalist running. He also has a website called We Run Barefoot.


Dr. Nick Campitelli is a Medical and Health Advisor to the Natural Running Center


What does it mean to run “barefoot”? Many people hear the word and automatically think that the individual is removing their shoes and running outside on the road barefoot.  While this may be true, I’d like to think of the term “barefoot running” as a particular gait pattern in which one strikes first on the forefoot (specifically the 4th and 5th Metatarsals) and gradually have the rest of the foot contact the ground. This style of running may be performed with or without shoes on, but the important concept to remember is that the shoe should not interfere with the way the foot strikes the ground.  It is important to stress that I am not advising people to take off their shoes and start running. What I and many others are advising is that the proper way to run and cause the least amount of possibility for injury to the body is by “mimicking’ the way one lands on the feet when one is barefoot.This may or may not be performed with shoes on. The sole purpose of the shoe is to protect the foot from environmental factors that may cause injury to the foot or skin, and not provide cushion.


From left to right.
The Campitelli Clan: Joey (age 5), Dr. Nick, Julie (Mommy) Jane (age 3)

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