Summer is my favourite season, not only for the warm weather but because I can go barefoot! Next time you want to shed your shoes and start running carefree, you might just do it after reading today’s guest post by Alexis Bonari.
Barefoot running has become very popular in the last year or so — coinciding with the popularity of the Paleo Diet and the publication of the book “Born to Run.” Few people actually run with no shoes on their feet. Most run with so-called minimalist shoes that mimic the feeling of running barefoot, such as the Vibram five fingers.
Barefoot running has its skeptics — even the shoes look funny — but there are actually many benefits to running barefoot. Here are just a few reasons why you should try barefoot running:
It Improves Your Gait and Posture
Barefoot running forces you to change the way you run. Instead of landing on the heel of your foot and then transitioning to the ball, it encourages you to land on the ball of your foot. The result is an improved, springy gait.
Barefoot running also corrects “overstriding,” which is when the feet land far in front of the body. Instead, this style of running encourages you to take shorter strides so that your feet land under your body.
It Reduces the Risk of Injury
The improved gait produced by barefoot running reduces the risk of injury. By shortening your stride and shifting the force of your landing to the ball of your feet, you can reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries, fractures and muscle strains.
Barefoot running allows the foot and ankle to play a bigger role in shock absorption, which reduces your overall risk of injury, even when you run longer distances.
It Strengthens More Muscles
When you run barefoot (or using “barefoot shoes”), you use more muscles. Barefoot running engages more of the muscles in your feet, your ankles and your lower legs, helping you to strengthen your foundation when you run.
By strengthening more muscles (many of which were likely to be underused previously), you can help to reduce your risk of injury even more and to have a more effective workout.
It Improves Your Performance
When you are stronger and have a better gait and posture, you can run faster and you can run longer — and still have a lower risk of injury. Many who switch to barefoot running find that they can run great distances without feeling fatigued. Many find that they are able to beat personal records or to overcome fitness plateaus when they switch to barefoot running.
Though the minimalist shoes might look strange, there are a number of benefits to barefoot running. If you want to improve your health and your fitness, you should consider giving barefoot running a try. Just be careful not to overdo it at first, as your feet and ankles may be unused to the workout they are getting.
About the Author
Alexis Bonari writes for one of the largest open databases of college funding opportunities. Specific topics like scholarships for women are described in detail to provide multiple resources for students.
I can attest to the barefoot technology shoes, which I have 2 pair: Skechers’ GOrun runners and a prettier black pair of Merrell’s with straps which I wear to work as a server at a restaurant. Have you tried any barefoot technology shoes?