Benefits to the Body from Barefoot Running

Today’s post is a guest post from Sport Chalet!  I like Sport Chalet a lot… they didn’t ask me to say that, I just threw it in. I usually find the store is full of stuff that I want!

barefoot running
barefoot running (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all of the advancements we’ve made, sometimes the best piece of technology is the human body. Running barefoot is quite common in less developed countries, and it may actually be better for you. In recent years, the subculture of running has unlaced their running shoes in favor of barefoot running. The theory behind barefoot running is that the movement is more natural than running with shoes and it makes efficient use of the biomechanics of your body. There is also evidence that it can decrease your risk of injury. The use of barefoot running shoes is a wonderful way to make use of the cutting edge technology while enjoying the benefits. Experts can agree that wearing regular running shoes will cause the smaller muscle groups and tendons in the feet to weaken because it impairs the arch from doing its job. Barefoot running shoes are able to correct your biomechanical problems.

Granted, running barefoot won’t cure all of your problems, however these shoes offer a great deal of advantages. Barefoot runners are able to develop a more natural stride and gait. Because of the minimal material, these shoes are able to strengthen the ligaments, tendons and muscles in your feet and legs. Barefoot running shoes do not include a heel lift. Without the heel lift, the Achilles tendon and calf muscles will strengthen and lengthen. This can protect from injuries like calf pulls, tendinitis.

The re-correction of barefoot running shoes will take a little getting used to. This is because the runner must re-learn how to run. As opposed to regular running shoes, the runner will learn to land on the forefoot instead of the heel. Heel strikes during running only started because of the over-padding of regular running shoes. New research shows that this way of running is not effective. Landing on the heel is similar to stopping in between each step. An efficient runner keeps the strides light and flowing as if they are gliding smoothly.

In addition to these other advantages, barefoot running shoes can also help to improve your balance because when you run, you are using all of the muscles in your feet. This can give you a stronger stance. Barefoot running shoes will allow you to feel more grounded and steady. This is because you can spread your toes out and expand the feet.

The human foot has evolved over hundreds of years because of overly padded shoes. However the structure of the foot and lower leg is built to be efficient in absorbing the shock of a landing. Barefoot running shoes use the natural rhythm of gravity in order to be more efficient in using the energy of your forward motion. Barefoot running is a fun, easy and refreshing way to exercise.

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9 comments

  1. The best barefoot running shoes out there are made by VIVOBAREFOOT. They’re have an ultra-thin, puncture resistant sole and a wide, anatomical toe box, which lets your feet splay and contract naturally. And they don’t look stupid, like a certain other “minimalist” shoe brand.

    Check ’em out on vivobarefoot.com

    • Do you work for VIVOBAREFOOT? Just curious if you have a marketing agenda on this or you honestly feel this way? I haven’t tried those shoes, but I am intrigued by them. They definitely have aesthetic appeal.

  2. Great post. Shoes kill your sole; barefooting restores it. When I wear anything on my feet, I prefer to run in sandals, either Ted’s or Invisible shoes. I’ve tried Vibram Five Fingers. I HATED them. They’re such a gimmick. I have a pair of Merrel Trail Gloves that I use for work. I haven’t run in them. I stopped running in “shoes” because I hate how hot my feet get and I hate getting heel blisters. Whether I’m straight bare or in sandals, I don’t get nasty blisters and my feet don’t get to hot.

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