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Kick off your shoes and run barefoot


The time has come to hang up those expensive joggers and run barefoot.

When introduced to the idea, the news might come across as insane, foolish, or even extreme.

Are people actually doing this? What if you step on something? What about your feet getting too hot or too cold?

Many cringe at the thought of barefoot running, because of the fear of glass, rocks, or any other instruments that could cause lacerations. 

People receive a first impression of barefoot running as dangerous and it hurts, when actually a human being can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort or pain.

By pointing the toe and landing on the mid-foot, it will increase the work of the foot’s soft tissue support, prevent injuries, and increase running strength.

Athletes and heel-strikers receive several back and leg injuries, but it’s the way America has been taught.

In the United States military, the soldiers are taught to march from heel to toe.  The traditional way of running has been evolved into the same method, from heel to toe. Using the ball or the middle portion of the foot, the heel rarely ever even touches the running surface.

Research has found that if the ball of the foot strikes the ground on each stride, humans can run faster and longer.  Each time a stride is taken by heel-striking the pressure and form is slowing the actual running time.  

What if the shoe was not only not needed, but non-beneficial to performance or health?

It’s only been about 40 years ago since running shoes were invented. Materials used for cushioning shoes absorb energy. Shoes today are being manufactured like cell phones, in the thinnest and lightest form. 

Runners who heel strike in these shoes or barefoot find it to be very uncomfortable and painful. Heel-strikers tend to be selective on the type of shoes they purchase and run in. 

There is a big trend approaching in the shoe business.  Shoes resembling “toe socks” are catching on with the barefoot runners. The toe-socked shoes seem to be merely a pull-on glove that covers the foot, without a cushion or a big rubber sole. 

Why wear shoes if the goal is to run barefoot? The shoe companies are in the business of selling shoes, make what sells.

Most people have adapted to shoes, so running barefoot is something to be eased into. The plantar skin will need time to toughen and strengthen before each progression.

Once barefoot adaptation takes place over the shoe adaptation, the realization of how much shoes weigh really takes effect.

Check out the running field before taking off the no longer needed shoes. Beginners should avoid pavement or concrete. The beach or grassy area is preferred by newbies.  

With two separate views about the sport, the decision is really up to the runner. Some suggest consulting a podiatrist or an expert before attempting any change.

Many podiatrists, physical therapists, and coaches believe too much time is spent in shoes and this negatively affects the foot and leg.

As barefoot running progresses the rewards become more and more evident. The running posture improves with higher strides and touching down on the toe with each step.

Continue making growths and developments and gradually watch the mileage build up. Just put one foot in front of the other, nothing is more natural.

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