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Barefoot Running


Barefoot Running

Barefoot running has been gaining popularity over the last few years because followers of the sport believe that it is healthier for feet and reduces the risk of injuries. While there is no research to support these conclusions, the research that is available highlights that it is not any more harmful than running with shoes. It has been proven, though, that barefoot running can strengthen your feet, and that you actually run with less impact on your feet when you are barefoot.

What is It?

Barefoot running is just like it sounds – running without shoes. However, with the rise in popularity of this trend, there are actually barefoot running shoes that are popular among barefoot runners. The reason? These shoes (sometimes known as Fivefingers) only provide feet protection, but have no cushioning or motion control like regular running shoes. That way they just provide protection from stepping on a piece of gravel.


It is also important to be mindful of safety when barefoot running, which is why people choose to wear barefoot running shoes. But beyond that, make sure that you remember that it will take time for your body to adapt and strengthen itself for barefoot running.  Your leg and feet muscles will be used in ways they haven’t been before because you’ve always worn shoes. As such, you need to start slowly and work your way up.

Getting Started

Once you’re ready to start, just try walking or jogging at a mild pace on a smooth surface. You will want to run lightly with no shoes on, which is correct. Focus on landing softly on the ball of your feet almost like you’re afraid to make noise. This will help you get the right form.

As you get used to barefoot running, slowly lengthen your time. You can also try moving to different surfaces, like a large park, where you could run on both concrete paths and grass. Another popular place to run barefoot is the beach, but running on sand can be a challenge for beginners.

Have you ever tried Barefoot running? Would you?

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3 Comments on “Barefoot Running”

  1. Stephanie (@heystephanie)

    At the Wipro San Francisco Marathon last month, I saw a lot of barefoot runners. I was taken aback because I had never seen anyone do that before. I eventually googled “barefoot running” online and it seems to be a growing trend.

    I haven’t tried barefoot running just yet but I did score on a pair of Merrell Vibrams at my local REI’s used gear sale this past weekend. I can feel the difference when I run in my pace gloves.

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