Have you heard about barefoot running? Pros and cons about shoeless running

running bare foot women

Have you heard about barefoot running? Pros and cons about shoeless running

People who run marathon have realised that the number of barefoot runners out there has increased in recent times. It has much merit running a marathon, but it is even better do it without running shoes… One friend of mine told me about the barefoot running trend, so I thought to give it a go, and perhaps convince you to practice this technique. The idea is run without any kind of shoes or does it with minimalist footwear to get freedom feeling while you exercising. The rationale behind barefoot running is to move in a more natural way, with the front of the foot hitting the ground first. Merge with the nature or the ground and use all the intricate structures from our feet as they were designed and develop tough skin and strong ligaments, with no need of being cover with shoes. Our feet are soft and weak, and have been locked up between layers of fabric and rubber for ages. If you are thinking about trying the barefoot running, you must know that you need a period of adaptation. It is recommended starting slowly by walking for grassy fields or sandy beaches, then progress to jogging. You can start with thirty minutes of daily barefoot exercising and go gradually increasing the intensity and duration. After three or four weeks, the plantar skin eventually becomes robust and allows longer periods of barefoot running at higher speed. There are near barefoot options for those looking for a bit of protection.

Pros of shoeless running:

  • The elevated, softened heel support found in most shoes impedes our natural stride and can result in a shortened Achilles tendon and calf muscle.
  • Running without shoes takes upwards of 4% less energy than running with shoes.
  • Runners will learn to land on the forefoot rather than the heel. Running shoes are designed to make you land on your heel as you step forward. Landing on your heel results in undue shock and potential injury to your knees and back. The natural and better way to run is to land on the ball of your foot, keeping your steps light and smooth.
  • Barefoot running helps to improve your running technique make it smooth and fluid which can result in increased speed.
  •  Going shoeless helps develop strength in muscles found in your feet, hips and legs that are not used when wearing shoes.
  • Running in shoes appears to increase the risk of ankle sprains, either by decreasing awareness of foot position or by increasing the twisting torque on the ankle during a stumble.

Cons of shoeless running:

  • If you have no existing issues and no pain, do you really need to change anything?
  • During the adaptation period are possibilities of puncture wounds, bruising, thermal injury, and overuse injury.
  • Running shoes offer more protection from ground debris such as glass, nails, rocks, and thorns. Shoes also offer insulation in extreme weather conditions such as ice and snow.
  • Most runners are not used to going barefoot or a minimalist shoe and that will be a shock to the feet and thus muscles will initially feel overworked.
  • The bottom of the feet is normally soft and tender in most people. Avoiding a rigid soled shoe may initially cause plantar pain.
  • Almost everyone who switches to barefoot or a minimal shoe or starts going shoeless will find themselves dealing with blisters for the first few weeks until calluses are formed.

I hope this list of pros and cons help you to make a decision about barefoot running. And do not forget to give us some feedback if you are thinking about trying this technique, or if you are already a barefoot runner addict, tell us your experience. And do not forget to be careful with the barefoot running.

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