Recently, barefoot running has become a huge trend in the running world. Running barefoot is actually a natural solution to some major problems runners commonly experience. Whether you choose to run with no shoes at all or very thin-soled barefoot running shoes, barefoot running reduces foot pain and other injuries associated with running.
Many people are skeptical about barefoot running. Although you may have been conditioned to think you need specialized running shoes, people have been barefoot running for thousands of years. As more people started wearing shoes, the practice declined, but in the past few years, runners have once again popularized barefoot running. These days, everyone from housewives to Olympic athletes advocate barefoot running training.
One reason to choose barefoot running is that it is actually better for your feet. Even when you buy shoes that are meant for running you could end up with a wide variety of negative effects. In fact, some “specialty” running footwear actually impedes natural movement. When you repeatedly run with unnatural movement, injury is inevitable. Running barefoot can also help you avoid “heel striking” which is not the ideal way to run.
The barefoot movement has inspired a new type of footwear with very thin soles that mimic barefoot running. You may have seen this strange-looking shoe which looks a bit like wearing a pair of gloves on your feet. Wearing this type of shoe can help protect your feet while still giving you the benefits of barefoot running training.
Starting Out: Barefoot Running Guide
It will take your feet some time to develop a tough sole on the bottom of your feet. Even if you are an experienced runner, you should ease yourself into barefoot running so you can give your feet time to develop a thicker skin.
Before you go run five miles with no protection at all, consider purchasing barefoot running shoes. If you run without any footwear at all, you could risk cutting your foot or stepping in something unpleasant. Most large sports stores now carry barefoot running shoes; check with the store to see which shoe will work best for you.
Just because barefoot running training is trendy, doesn’t mean it’s the right exercise for you. Especially if you have experienced foot injuries in the past, barefoot running is probably not a good fit for you. Barefoot running is also not ideal for older runners.
In the beginning, barefoot running can be quite painful. Is the pain worth it? There are many runners who swear by barefoot running, so if you experience some pain, perhaps you should make an effort to “play through the pain”. The satisfaction you feel from barefoot running could be worth a little initial pain.
This barefoot running guide can give you an overview of this topic, but only you and your doctor can decide whether barefoot running training is the right choice. This type of running is well-suited for individuals who are adventurous, patient, and athletic. Does this sound like you? If so, you might want to try barefoot running and get started on this adventure today.
Do you have questions or comments about barefoot running? Please post a comment below, your input helps me fine-tune the content of this site to your needs, as well as give other readers extra input before they make important running decisions.