Have you ever heard of barefoot running? Its a growing trend. In fact, thousands of people are turning in their running shoes and enjoying running free. If you like to run or have ever considered running, check out barefoot running. And be sure to read our tips for safer running.
What Is Barefoot Running?
Barefoot running at its most basic is running without shoes. However, many people have taken the term a bit more liberally. They wear minimal shoes like thong-type sandals or shoes that fit a foot like a glove. The most popular of these glove-type shoes are the Vibram Five Finger running shoes pictured above – such cool colors! They look like yoga socks and each foot is individually wrapped, like a glove. However, they have a patented rubber on the bottom. We think that this is much, MUCH more sensible than running barefoot – especially since we’ve cataloged the dangers of barefoot running.
The overall idea of barefoot running is to place your body into the running position nature designed. Supporters argue that a running shoe places your foot into an improper position and foot strike. This position causes ramifications throughout the body. Barefoot runners swear that they run faster, experience fewer injuries and have a better running experience.
The Benefits of Barefoot Running
If youre truly running barefoot, then theres no shoe expense. However, the strongest reason to consider barefoot running may be injury prevention. Many people struggle with running. They find that their knees, hips, shins and even their back can hurt after a run. Barefoot running experts claim that they dont experience these types of injuries.
Getting Started with Barefoot Running
Getting started with barefoot running is often a series of experiments. Youll likely want to try running au natural sans shoes. You may also want to try running with thong sandals or the Vibram Five Fingers mentioned earlier. Whatever footwear decision you choose, youll probably want to start slowly. If youre accustomed to running a few miles with shoes, youre not going to run the same distance without shoes. Not at first, anyway. Youll need to ease into the distance.
In addition to a learning curve where your body learns to run shoeless, youll also want to pay attention to your foot strike. Your foot strike is how your foot hits the ground. It hits differently without shoes.
Finally, the soles of your feet will need time to adjust. They wont necessarily get hard and calloused. However, they will become more durable. Try running on grass or softer surfaces at first. Hitting a gravel trail or even the paved sidewalk and you may experience abrasions and injuries.
Barefoot running is catching on because it works for many people. Theyve found an injury-free way to run and gain the benefits running provides. If you enjoy running or would like to try running, consider trying it barefoot. You may be surprised at how much easier it is.