Learning how to run barefoot can be a great experience and even help you to feel more freedom when you are running. However, it can be dangerous if you are not careful. You could easily injure yourself with something like a sprain or even step on something dangerous, like glass or a nail. If you're interested in running barefoot to improve your stride or for any other reason, check out the tips below.
- Running barefoot requires you to be very aware of your surroundings. It does not matter if you are running on pavement, grass, dirt or rocks, you need to be careful. Twisting an ankle or slipping is much easier when you are barefoot because shoes provide you with support, stability and grip that your bare feet cannot.
- To run barefoot, you should start on easier surfaces and slowly strengthen your foot and change form. Practicing on grass is a great way to start out. Once you have gotten used to running on grass or another similar soft surface, you can change to pavement, and then eventually to dirt.
- You will need to change your form when running barefoot. Most barefoot runners will tell you that they do not run the same way as most Americans run. Landing on your heel first while barefoot can be painful. You will learn to land in a more cushioning way instead of bluntly hitting your heel on the ground. Most barefoot runners do this by landing in a more fluid motion, starting with the toes or the outside of their feet.
- Practice running barefoot as often as you can and you will feel your feet strengthening and developing. With more practice, you will see quicker results with the improvement of your running form and your foot strength. However, if you overtrain then you will likely injure yourself in another way. Be smart about it and eventually your feet will be strong enough to run on any regular surface that you would encounter on your runs.