Are your feet ready? Take your running to the next level. Reduce injuries, or are you simply tired of spending €120+ for shoes? Then it’s time to consider barefoot running.
To start barefoot running, take it slow. Running indoors on a treadmill is best, as the surface is flat and free from debris. If you want to run outside, consider investing in “barefoot” shoes that allow your foot and toes free movement, while protecting your feet from harm. Check out Vibram Five Fingers, and Christopher McDougall’s TED talk for more inspiration. Begin with 20 to 30 minute light runs a few times per week, and gradually increase the length, duration and intensity of your barefoot run until you reach your pre-barefoot equivalents. By easing into
Your body is a result of millions of years of evolution – so why do we cram our feet in shoes that restrict motion and force our body away from our natural movements? Who knows, but now you can take a step in the right direction and rid yourself of restrictive running shoes and go “naked.” It all boils down to the fact that humans run much differently in bare feet, and it has an effect on our bodies. Because of the cushioning offered by running shoes, most runners land on their heels – which sends a shock up the heel and into the leg. When you run barefoot you tent to land on the ball of your foot or flat-footed, which results in a much lower shock to the body (0.5 times body weight vs. 1.5 times in shoes). As a result, barefoot running has been linked to a lower risk of injury to the ankle and lower leg. Additionally, tests have shown that you use about 4% less energy when running barefoot.
Barefoot running you can give your body (specifically your calf muscles and feet) time to build up endurance so you avoid injury. Many barefoot converts notice faster recoveries and even an improvement in timing when they leave their shoes in the dust. At the very least, you can try something new and see what it’s like to run the way your body was intended to.