Benefits Of Barefoot Running
Not having to buy new running shoes is just one of the many benefits of barefoot running. Many civilizations ran barefoot before Michael Jordan ever stamped his name on a Nike tennis shoe. So why should today be any different? Although there are injuries associated with both barefoot and athletic shoe running, there are many benefits of barefoot running as well.
It's All in the Strike
According to Harvard University, safe barefoot running is all about the strike. You can experience the benefits of barefoot running if you run by landing almost flat-footed or on the balls of the feet. Most people now will hit their heels when they run, which is okay if you've got a high platform running shoe, but not if you're running on bare tootsies.
Reduce the Impact for Fast Barefoot Running
Forefoot striking can help you reduce the impact of barefoot running. Basically, your heel barely even touches the ground in this position. The ball of the foot hits the ground first, letting the heel graze it gently when it lands. This allows runners to sprint and run much faster than usual because less of the foot hits and releases from the ground.
African Barefoot Running
Did you ever wonder why the Kenyans usually win running races in the States? It's not just because they're used to the heat and humidity - they're used to running with bare feet. Many times, they use a forefoot or midfoot strike to give them speed as well as low impact. If you want to experience the benefits of barefoot running, try a midfoot or forefoot strike, instead of a heel to toe strike. This type of strike is better with shoes, not so great for the foot without.
Get Tougher Feet
There's no doubt about it. Your feet will start to get coarse and tough when you get used to barefoot running. This can be considered a benefit of barefoot running, but it might also be a drawback in some instances. Try to run in areas that aren't riddled of litter, sharp stones and other potentially hazardous materials. You want to keep barefoot running to get good at it, not get set back because of an infection.