Barefoot

I’m a big fan of good running form. However if someone is running for years as a heel-striker and hasn’t had any issues… more power to them!  Keep on doing what you’re doing.  But if someone has constant injuries/aches/pains… just taking a break and coming back to do the same old thing isn’t a solution.  You need to look at changing something and most often a form issue is the root of the problem.

I’ve been wearing really minimal shoes a good majority of the time lately. I wear my Kigos around almost all the time for casual wear.  I’ve been doing my walks and short runs outside in my Altra Intuition.  And I’ve even been back on the barefoot treadmill bandwagon.  I’m also thinking a lot about shoes and kids learning to walk… I don’t want to put my baby into shoes too soon and when I do I want them to be minimal. I don’t want to mess up their gait right off the bat.  Do they make minimal shoes for toddlers?  I guess that’s something to investigate down the road!

Anywho… I thought this infographic was interesting.  I don’t necessarily like the idea of running completely barefoot outside.  Every time I even mention the word “barefoot” on here people are commenting about how they don’t want to run in this world without shoes.  And I agree… running barefoot is akin to the phrase “running naturally” and as Danny Abshire points out in the latest issue of Runner’s World, we live in an unnatural world.  Concrete and asphalt are not naturally occurring; debris that is littered about our world is also unnatural.  So outdoor running for me, I will always choose to protect my feet with something.  But personally, I just don’t want to wear something really built-up. If I can keep my form as close to the way it naturally falls while running barefoot on grass (or second best, on the unnatural environment of the treadmill) while keeping my feet protected, that’s the goal I’m shooting for.

The infographic is linked to the full version:

The Barefoot Running Revolution

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4 comments

  1. A great post… and a nice infographic. I would love to go completely barefoot, but I just cannot seem to make the final leap out of my Vibrams. You may want to check out Tim’s article on the subject on his blog at MidPackRunner; he has made the switch to bare feet.

    As for ‘minimal’ shoes for toddlers, I think moccasins are hard to beat (though they are expensive). My daughter wore moccasins quite often when she was a baby / toddler. Now, at seven, she still likes them.

    You have a great blog; I enjoy your site! I just started following it recently.

  2. I really like the “idea” of barefoot running much more than the reality of it. I too have the Altra’s and love them! I use them as casual wear and have also run in them. I am more of a midfoot striker. I’m definitely not a tippy-toe runner but envy those who are – they look so light on their feet!
    Anyhow – the point is appreciated that this is an UNNATURAL world. You will eventually hurt yourself if you consistently run on pavement barefoot. I’m not saying any one specific injury just that you are bound to do some damage. Blacktop and concrete are not what people were running on when there were no shoes for running – you know, back in the day! We’re trying to tap into our roots in a very unrooted world.

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