Should you run barefoot?

Like every fitness activity, running has its own areas. Some people want to fight for first place, others go long distances in ultrarunning and cross-country.

For the hardcore minimalist, there’s running barefoot.

while you Can Hitting the streets and logging shoe-free miles like our ancestors, in common parlance, “running barefoot” refers to a less extreme approach: using a pair of sneakers designed for Imitate sound and movement The sensation of running barefoot gives off the plush cushion, but still protects your feet in the process.

But before you start imagining yourself as this modern caveman, tackling training with a little bit of your mark separated from the pavement below, it helps to understand the discipline you’re in.

Closeup of barefoot running shoes

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What is barefoot running?

While you can only define discipline as running without shoes, similar to the way our ancestors ran, today’s technological advances have allowed us to maintain essence Run barefoot without completely dropping your shoes. After all, our ancestors didn’t log their miles on paved roads, concrete sidewalks, and hot asphalt.

For today’s barefoot runners, the best definition is running while wearing shoes that feature a heel-to-toe drop. This is a best of both worlds approach that allows athletes to take advantage of this natural footpath while maintaining a sense of underfoot protection for their modern surfaces and environments.

What are the potential benefits of running barefoot?

Running barefoot can help strengthen your feet and ankles.

Running shoes can add a lot to your stride, including a well-cushioned base to land every step. However, this comfort can quickly turn into a crutch, which can lead to weakness in the ankle and foot over time.

Swapping your shoes for running barefoot can put extra stress on your feet, ankles, and calves as you become more active in the discipline. With each foot strike, you rely more on your body structure to support your movement, rather than the technology built into the midsole of a traditional running shoe. While this may be a little painful or annoying on your first few runs, over time, your body will strengthen and adapt to the conditions, resulting in a more stable, stronger, and healthier running stride.

Running barefoot can force you to change your footsteps.

As mentioned above, the running shoe’s midsole acts as underfoot cushioning to keep your take-off and landing comfortable and protected. For this reason, we, as athletes, have adapted our running steps to take advantage of technology, with many individuals landing on their heels rather than the natural forefoot or midfoot.

However, in running barefoot, it takes one step to realize how painful that landing can be without the proper foam. So what does the body do in these circumstances? It adapts, or rather, returns to its natural gait, forcing you to land with the forefoot or midfoot. This arrangement can help maintain a more natural run and provide a balanced frame, since your body weight is more centered in order to achieve the desired stroke.

Woman running in running shoes barefoot


Running barefoot can help burn more calories.

In running barefoot, there are no supporting reps. You feel the ground beneath you, albeit with a thinner outsole, and there’s no technology inside the shoe to help propel you forward or keep you running longer. As a result, you need to put more effort into your body in training to achieve the required distances, and more work means more calories burned. That is if it does not shrink under pressure.

So why isn’t everyone running barefoot?

While advocates argue for all of the above benefits, there isn’t yet a lot of concrete evidence to show that running barefoot is a panacea for foot problems. Consider a typical visit to your podiatrist – if you have a problem or pain in your foot, do they prescribe orthotics, or do they prescribe walking barefoot?

Plus, running barefoot isn’t something people pick up overnight. Our feet have become accustomed to the shoes, and as a result, they have become less stiff and determined to face exposure to the ground. There is also the idea of ​​changing the gait and footsteps, which can also generate some aches and pains if you start your journey barefoot without some precautions.

Finally, running barefoot is not suitable for athletes with compromised footpaths, such as prone or lying down. If your natural stride is rolling inward or outward, respectively, running barefoot does little to correct it to keep your feet aligned at a natural, neutral level.

How do you start running barefoot?

If you’re interested in running barefoot and want to give it a shot, here are some tips I’ve learned from my own journey into discipline to help you facilitate this challenging and fun-filled activity.

slow and steady.

Don’t expect to run a 5km or marathon on your first day while running barefoot. This is a whole new sensation for your feet, and as such, there will be growing pains.

To get used to the forehand or midfoot strike, as well as the new stressors it puts on your ankles and leg, I recommend starting out by simply walking around the house barefoot. Once you get used to the foot pattern, you can take your steps toward training, but I’d still consider maintaining that walking pace for the first or second workouts. Running barefoot is not a race (yet), and rushing into that discipline can lead to potential injuries and pain, thus nullifying some of the pluses that come with the subcategory.

Get the right equipment.

As confusing as running without shoes can be, I don’t recommend it. There are plenty of custom barefoot shoe options available to keep your numbers protected from the harsh asphalt, gravel and concrete. If you already have that itch to start kicking for a few miles, try jogging in a grassy field or on sand, if your surroundings allow it.

Switch and wean yourself off your traditional running shoes.

Adjusting to a barefoot stride takes time, and you can’t expect to get up every day and press your feet into submission. Try switching training days between barefoot shoes and traditional shoes. This can keep your feet and ankles more comfortable as they grow and strengthen them to adhere to the barefoot standard.

Alternating between shoes shouldn’t be a difficult jump. If you’re going from a 10mm drop to a zeromm drop, this might be too much to beat at once. I’ve found that having a pair of barefoot running shoes and running shoes with anywhere from 4 to 6mm from heel to toe works best, but it does meet your needs.

A man standing on the sidewalk in barefoot running shoes


A man climbs on the sidewalk


As a final note, I will say that running barefoot is not for everyone. No weight lifting, cycling, or running in general, for that matter. If you’re interested in a major, give it a try, just be smart about it and take advantage of every mile ahead.

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