This Article is About
shock absorption
center of gravity
running shoes
sports medicine
transitioning
adulthood
grass
concrete
popularity
Is Barefoot Running The Way To Go?
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Is Barefoot Running the Way to Go?

Minimalist or barefoot running has surged in popularity over the past few years. This is in part because of all the new minimalist/barefoot style shoes out there. There has also been a lot more research done on running injuries and ways to prevent them. A lot of doctors and sports medicine people have stated time and again that humans are the best endurance runners on the planet, above all other animals. So why do 8 out of 10 runners get injured every year?

Barefoot running is basically what you used to do as a kid. You would go outside and run around in the grass with your bare feet. You never thought about how your feet were supposed to land or how you were supposed to land under your center of gravity, you just ran. When we grow to adulthood most of us lose that natural, free form that we had when we were kids. That is where barefoot running comes into play. There are a number of books and documentaries out there that help you regain that barefoot form. But, barefoot running is not something that you can just go out and do, you will likely hurt yourself if you do.

Is barefoot running safe? Yes and no. As stated before, if you just take off your shoes and start running you can incur some serious injuries. Conventional running shoes that most of us use have built in shock absorption. Our bodies have become accustomed to that extra help and if we just take that away it could be disastrous. So what do we do? Minimalist shoes or transition shoes are what we need. These are shoes that give a barefoot feel but provide some cushion to help your body transition.

Also what we need to take into consideration is that thousands of years ago when humans were running down their food they weren’t running on asphalt and concrete. So while transitioning to barefoot running it is best to do it on a softer surface than the roads. If you can find a grassy area to run on that is the best place to start your transition. Be ready for some soreness even with the softer surface. This is because you are using different muscle than what you are used to.

Barefoot running provides you better feedback on your running form as well. Traditional running shoes protect you from the impact of the ground, which is what they are designed for. This can cause problems because you can’t feel the way you are running. Barefoot running gets you more in tune with your running form. You are able to feel if you are landing too hard or too far in front of your center of gravity. As an added bonus many people feel more in tune with their surroundings and feel better about their runs while barefoot running.

In the end barefoot running does seem to be something that can help a lot of people out. Is it right for you? That is up to you to decide. But if you are continually injuring yourself with your high dollar cushioned running shoes then it might be something for you to try. Try to run a few hundred meters barefoot and see if you like it. Increase the distance slowly and introduce new surfaces to your barefoot runs. Many people start like that and never look at running shoes again.


Street Talk

Steve37  

I've never tried it but it's definitely something to think about....

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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