Is It Healthy To Go Running On Barefoot Shoes?

Barefoot running in grass[6]

In the past few years some runners have started running either barefoot or wearing minimalist footwear. Minimalist shoes protect the feet of barefoot runners from things like broken glass or rusty nails when they are running on pavements without proper running shoes.

Whether running without proper running shoes causes more injuries is still under review. Some athletes who are devoted to barefoot running say it is safe while others who run shod disagree.

There is a difference in the way you run whether you are wearing proper shoes or running barefoot. When you wear proper shoes for running you normally will land on your heels. When you are running barefoot you land on the center of your foot and so your lower leg and foot are absorbing the shocks.

If you have been running in shoes and have been injured and can no longer comfortably run you might want to try barefoot running to see if it helps.

You may want to start the transition to barefoot running by first using the minimalist shoe before going completely barefoot. You may also want to consult with a coach who can get you started with the barefoot running.

If you are going to try barefoot running be sure to start out very slowly. Limit your initial barefoot running to 15 minutes or a quarter of a mile. Do this for several months. You need to build up to using different muscles.

Running barefoot too much too soon can lead to very painful calf muscles. You may want to start running on grass before you progress to running on pavements.

Those runners who enjoy barefoot running claim their stride has improved and since they are using shorter strides and land more gently they have less stress fractures then when they were running in shoes.

Some runners use barefoot running as warm-up before they start their running with shoes.

You are able to run faster when you are wearing shoes.

There is no research at this time to determine if barefoot running has any immediate or long term health benefits or disadvantages.

If barefoot running appeals to you try it slowly and see if it is something you enjoy.