Running barefoot

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Tiiimmmaaayyy

First 100 ish
Jan 19, 2015
7,123
9,126
Does anyone run with no shoes on? I heard or read somewhere years ago that it was better for you. Since I'm stuck at home now and not going to the gym I decided I would run on the treadmill with no shoes today. I have a feeling the soles of my shoes absorb the shock and I will probably have sore knees, hips, etc tomorrow. If that's the case, should I push through and keep doing it? Is is worth it?
 

DER HÖRNCHENMEISTER

Posting Machine
Dec 16, 2015
1,163
1,853
I like barefoot walking. been doing it on a regular basis for 2+ years, even in autum/winter.
After running (which I haven't done a lot of lately), I would instinctively take off the shoes at the end and just jog a bit barefooted. even way before the barefoot walking. it's nice, like some warm up jogging for martial arts where you are barefoot as well.

I also tried full barefoot running. From that experience, I can tell you: build it up very slowly. because the soreness in the calves will be otherworldly when you overdo it. example: if you can run 5 miles with shoes, just do 0.5 - 1 mile without shoes at first.
you would naturally land more on the front part of the foot (more than with running shoes at least), and the shock absorption gets handled by the calf muscles, and for me at least, it produced crazy muscle soreness.
 

Tuc Ouiner

Posting Machine
May 19, 2016
1,325
1,146
Probably good to listen to your body if it's telling you it hurts. Walking on the treadmill should be ok though.
 

MMAPlaywright

First 100
First 100
Jan 18, 2015
5,113
9,367
Does anyone run with no shoes on? I heard or read somewhere years ago that it was better for you. Since I'm stuck at home now and not going to the gym I decided I would run on the treadmill with no shoes today. I have a feeling the soles of my shoes absorb the shock and I will probably have sore knees, hips, etc tomorrow. If that's the case, should I push through and keep doing it? Is is worth it?
There is a really good interview on The Drive podcast that I highly recommend. It’s from 4 months ago or so, and it features a scientist whose career centers on this topic. I think you’d get some good recommendations for how to incorporate barefoot into your day and your training and also some great info. This person is in favor of barefoot. I can’t remember her name but she’s a Harvard professor and has done lots of studies on this.
 

Wintermute

Ass | Whiskey | Geopolitics
Apr 24, 2015
5,538
8,740
I used to be REALLY into barefoot running. The book BORN TO RUN came out a few years after the millennium shift and I had never really run before. Vibram Five-Finger shoes came out then to capitalize on the hype and I thought I'd try them. The aforementioned soreness is a thing because you will likely have to alter your stride- a lot of people heal-toe it when they run, barefoot running necessitates a forefoot landing, so your calf take the shock. Mistake I made was starting this on roads and not fields or grass and repeated accidental heal-strikes on concrete lead to me getting a tibial stress fracture.

It's still my favorite shoe and way to run, though, so build up slowly. I definitely suggest trying it.
 

Enock-O-Lypse Now!

Underneath Denver International Airport
Jun 19, 2016
9,382
16,578
I used to be REALLY into barefoot running. The book BORN TO RUN came out a few years after the millennium shift and I had never really run before. Vibram Five-Finger shoes came out then to capitalize on the hype and I thought I'd try them. The aforementioned soreness is a thing because you will likely have to alter your stride- a lot of people heal-toe it when they run, barefoot running necessitates a forefoot landing, so your calf take the shock. Mistake I made was starting this on roads and not fields or grass and repeated accidental heal-strikes on concrete lead to me getting a tibial stress fracture.

It's still my favorite shoe and way to run, though, so build up slowly. I definitely suggest trying it.
Long Live Caballo Blanco!!
 

DarthBader

Strikeforce lives baby!
Feb 6, 2021
987
992
Hmm excellent question, I usely walk barefoot allday, also in winter months, but your feet does get tough skin on them, that you need to get cut off, or else it will feel like having cement under your foot, but it's great for your reactionary movement and to densify the bones in your foot.

Running though, it can be done with no shoes, definitely, but you gotta progress the fact that if your outside and doing this, your chances of getting cut on a large rock or stepping sideways towards your own injury is increased. I would do it once a week on a treadmill if I were you, try it for 3-4 weeks then give it up if the shock is too much for the feet and legs.
 

Leigh

Engineer
Moderator
Pro Fighter
Jan 26, 2015
10,648
20,610
If you run in fields and weigh 130lbs, sure. Modern pavements, modern diets and modern lifestyles mean modern running technology.

I do like my vibrams but running is too tough on my body. It is the easiest way to raise HR though.
 

Sound System

Proud Cat of Fedor
First 100
Jan 17, 2015
58,965
61,398
If you run in fields and weigh 130lbs, sure. Modern pavements, modern diets and modern lifestyles mean modern running technology.

I do like my vibrams but running is too tough on my body. It is the easiest way to raise HR though.
Concrete and barefoot running don't jive

Concrete goes right up your chain of joints

Minimalist footwear is for off road and uneven terrain IMO
 
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Sound System

Proud Cat of Fedor
First 100
Jan 17, 2015
58,965
61,398
that is probably the compromise I guess just barely wearing protection on the feets.
Yep

They are using their natural barefoot stride, just putting a lil strip of rubber to prevent the sharper rocks from cutting their soles.
 
Dec 1, 2019
9
8
I used to jog with Vibrams. The pain in one of my feet that I used to get went away. I think this was due to my lower leg/ankle/feet strengthening due to the difference in technique. With barefoot, you learn to land flat. Typical cushioned running shoes encourage the heel strike. I have known no downsides of running with Vibrams. Yes, you must change your technique, but this is somewhat self correcting, as heel striking with minimalist shoes causes pain.