Barefoot Running Tips
Pros and Cons of Running on Bare Feet
Barefoot running is the latest hot issue in the world of running and of running shoes, but what are the best barefoot running tips? Some recently concluded studies have shown that running barefoot has several advantages pertaining to comfort and performance. These studies are also the same reasons why some running shoe manufacturers are trying to capture the feeling of running barefoot by making their shoes lightweight and more flexible for runners to run in. Some avid fans of barefoot running even think wearing running shoes is what causes the injuries they get into. This could also be true if the runner does not choose the right shoes. But is it really better to run without shoes?
Although this recent fad has gotten some runners into running without shoes, the better option is to add with shoes that are designed to provide the least constriction to the natural movement of the feet while the runner runs.
Here are some benefits you can get from running barefoot or buying shoes that mimic the feeling of running on bare feet.
Why Barefoot Running is Creating A Phenomenon
- Barefoot running can prevent injuries
- Barefoot running can make your strides more efficient
- Barefoot running can strengthen foot muscles
1. Barefoot running can prevent injuries
One of the top and most common reasons why people prefer to run on bare feet is to prevent running injuries. The human foot is really created for walking and running, so there’s no reason why it can’t do the necessary work.
By nature, the structure of the foot is designed to allow a person to run without getting hurt. The shoe tends to change the way a person strikes the ground. When running on bare feet, a runner will strike the ground with the balls of his or her feet. But wearing shoes changes this so that the runner strikes the ground with his or her heel. Running shoes support this movement by packing a lot of padding into the said area. Based on this alone, it is clear that running shoes can impede the natural movement and transition of a foot during a run.
Furthermore, striking the ground with your heel can then lead to injuries, while barefoot running cancels out any impact felt by the foot upon ground contact. The generally known fact is that running on bare feet will hurt, but the truth is that you can run barefoot on any hard surface and not experience any pain at all.
2. Barefoot running can make your strides more efficient
Barefoot running gives you freedom and flexibility. This means you do not have to fight through the material and construction of your shoe as you run. The effect is that your feet get to save a lot of energy and will not feel strained. This also means you get to run faster and more flexibly because nothing gets in your way.
3. Barefoot running can strengthen foot muscles
Third, and most importantly, running on bare feet helps to strengthen the muscles in the feet. Running on bare feet uses different muscles, and these are the muscles that really need to be strengthened, if nature had its way. The strength of the muscles also increase as the foot strides the way it’s supposed to without having to fight any hindrances to its natural movement. Due to the extra strength in the muscles, runners’ performance may improve because the runners will get springier steps.
The Disadvantages of Barefoot Running
Running without shoes, however, does come with some disadvantages. A lot of runners are curious enough to want to make the switch, but not everyone is able to do so because running without shoes does take some getting used to. You would need to ease into it, not just suddenly stop wearing shoes one day.
Aside from that, feet can easily still get hurt; the risk is always still there. So before you can run barefoot, you first need to rough up your skin in your feet to make it sturdier and less sensitive when used for barefoot running.
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