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 Is Barefoot Better?
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:31 am
While most runners opt for sturdy, well-cushioned running shoes, a growing number of athletes are going without shoes at all. Is barefoot running better? Health Journal examines the barefoot phenomenon. Interest has picked up with Nike's recent introduction of the Nike Free shoe, which it claims mimics the sensation of running barefoot. Research has shown that barefoot runners use about 4 percent less oxygen than shod runners. Other studies suggest barefoot athletes naturally compensate for the lack of cushioning and land more softly than runners in shoes, putting less shock and strain on the rest of the body. Barefoot runners also tend to land in the middle of their foot, which can improve running form and reduce injury. Minimalist footwear can also protect the feet without impeding the barefoot experience. Two options are a foot-glove called the Vibram FiveFingers developed to keep sailors from slipping on their boats, and a toeless nylon band used by dancers.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Is Barefoot Better? Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:21 am 

After reading this, I did a couple of barefoot miles around a soccer field. I don't know if it made any big difference, but it was kind of fun. Especially when doing some quick strides, I think my form was a little different when running barefoot. I'll probably try to work in a few miles of barefoot running per week for a month or so, and see what difference it makes.


Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 6

Re: Is Barefoot Better? Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:17 am 

I've used FiveFingers, and I've done a lot of run coaching with kids and adults on the track where most of a given session is barefoot. Once they've got over getting their feet out of the safety of their shoes, the adults usually love the barefoot sessions, and the kids have no inhibitions anyway. So track running is great. I've run with fivefingers offraod, and after a while it's also great, but if you step on a sharp stone it'll hurt like hell! I think barefoot has to be better, that's how we we evolved, it's how we are born. Making it work in today's society is another matter altogether!

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