Most bits and pieces of glass just lay flat on the ground, unless disturbed. Which is why our steps should be gentle, and not disturbing to the earth and bits of glass laying on the ground. In case of large sharp objects pointing up, simply try to avoid stepping on them.
Beginning barefoot runners will usually have softer skin on the soles of their feet, sort of “doughy”, so debris is more likely to “stick” to the skin (even when it doesn’t stick IN the skin). This is a good time to practice “removing” glass as soon as it “sticks” in your foot, before it does [more] damage. Most barefoot runners have discovered that about once per year (in the early years) a small splinter of glass gets stuck in the foot. For myself, after several years of barefoot running, I’ve found I often go several years without anything sticking in my foot – and none of those caused any serious injury.
The important thing is not to worry about making barefoot running look bad by stopping to pull out the glass – just do it – otherwise you’ll push the glass deeper into your foot with every other step. When you feel embarrassed, just remember how often shod runners stop to tie their shoes, readjust their socks, or bandage a blister…
One important technique, you should already be doing, is to run gently – do not pound your foot into the ground and you won’t be pounding broken glass into your foot. This actually takes care of most of the glass on the ground, especially the small hidden bits.
Of course, the first technique for dealing with broken glass is simply to go around it, especially the large pieces that are sticking up.
Besides washing your feet frequently, especially if you do have a wound, why not pick up the big hazards from the path you’re running on, so you (and others) won’t need to deal with it next time?
Posted in: Hazards