Barefoot running is a return to the roots and a reunion with nature. It’s a comeback to running with no shoes or in minimalist footwear (with no amortization). Each day the natural running technique is getting more and more practitioners all over the world. And that’s for a reason. Barefoot running benefits runners in many ways. In this article you can read about positive impact of natural running on a human body. You can also find out how to run naturally and how to choose the right barefoot running shoes.
What is barefoot running?
The barefoot running technique aims to effectively use biomechanics of feet and the whole body. If you start running with no shoes on, or if you exchange traditional, amortized running shoes for thin-soled minimalist footwear, natural foot amortization will work undisturbed and all 33 joints in each of your feet will get involved in a movement. Barefoot running enables efficient moves of a medial arch, situated in your midfoot. When running barefoot, you need to land your feet on this middle part of the foot. In other words, you need to train the correct foot strike. Why? Because landing on your heels without an additional amortization, can end with an injury. So… always land on the midfoot or forefoot. After landing, roll your foot towards the front and let your toes spread freely on the ground. From this point, you can rebound effectively.
Do you train natural running correctly?
The 10 questions below can help you easily evaluate your barefoot running technique and avoid mistakes.
1. Are you landing on your midfoot or forefoot?
2. Is your spine straight during the run?
3. Is your body slightly leaning forward?
4. Are your legs and hips relaxed?
5. Are your arms and palms relaxed?
6. Do your elbows bend at max. of 90 degrees?
7. Are you looking straight ahead?
8. Are your steps dynamic, light and flexible?
9. Are you keeping a step cadence at approx. 160-180 steps per minute?
10. Are you avoiding unnecessary moves of arms and hips?
What are the benefits of barefoot running?
Barefoot running enables undisturbed body movements and free functioning of foot biomechanics. It reduces the load on joints during the run. Running in a traditional way, you usually land on heels and hit the ground with a great force. This kind of foot strike generates huge load for your ankles, knees and hip joints, increasing the risk of injuries. Barefoot running, on the other hand, reduces that risk. It has a positive impact on the runner’s body.
- strengthens the natural foot amortization,
- strengthens foot ligaments,
- strengthens tendons (especially Achilles tendon),
- strengthens leg muscles,
- improves training economy and effectiveness,
- increases movement awareness.
Key features of barefoot running shoes
If you want to run barefoot and keep your feet safe at the same time, you need to wear lightweight barefoot running shoes. This kind of footwear should always be completely flat, thin-soled, flexible, and free of amortization systems. It should have no elevated heal. You want to use zero drop shoes for barefoot running. Such a construction protects your feet from injuries and deformations and it enables free movement of your toes. In barefoot running shoes you will be able to run efficiently, with proper dynamics and effectiveness. If you are looking for a pair of high-quality natural running footwear, check handmade barefoot products from our online store.