For some athletes, barefoot running is ultra comforting. This means that they feel better when they are running on their barefoot than when they wear shoes.
Some runners have claimed that running without shoes helps to get rid of sharp pains.
Such pains usually occur in their knee during and after running. Also, there is the claim that alignment is way better when running barefoot, and running is more from the core.
Several studies prove the validity of some of the experiences of athletes and runners as regards barefoot running.
In a new survey by Hanson et al., it is reported that wearing shoes while running requires more oxygen than when you are running barefoot.
The study states that there is a 2.0% increase in VO2 when running barefoot on a treadmill. This is in addition to a 5.7% increase when running over-ground.
Another study which compares barefoot running with shod running by using 35 test subject found that running barefoot can help to reduce contact and flight time.
Besides, Barefoot running also helps to increase braking and pushing impulses, including the preactivation of calf muscles. Lastly, it finds that running barefoot lowers passive peak force while running.
The study concludes that barefoot running, if performed repeatedly, can reduce the impact peak. This is to cause a reduction in the mechanical stress that occurs during repetitive steps.
Barefoot running helps neural-mechanical adaptation, which boosts the storage and restitution of elastic energy in the ankle extensors.
Barefoot Running Vs. Running In Shoes
What differentiates running barefoot from running in shoes is mostly how the foot strikes the ground. Runners who wear shoes hit the ground first with their heel. This is called the heel strike.
In this case, a force up to three times the body weight is generated. This can cause injuries like stress fractures to happen.
While for people who run barefoot, landing is done on the balls of the feet. It is less impactful when the feet strike the ground this way.
A professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard medical school opines that in a bid to support the feet in running shoes, we bring it to the point where it can no longer function the way it is supposed to.
And when it does not have to walk as hard as it should, the muscles get weak.
3 Benefits Of Barefoot Running
Barefoot running has become increasingly popular. This is not only because it is a trendy move, but it is because it comes with many health benefits.
Here are three benefits of barefoot running that you should know.
1. It is Inexpensive
Since the 1970s, running shoes have become widely accepted as a booming industry. Often, it is advertised that a good runner must have specialized shoes for running. However, such claims are unfounded and lack evidence.
It has been proven that runners experience better and more impact on landing with shoes than they do on landing barefoot.
Inventions in technology still have not stopped us from realizing that running shoes do not improve our runnings. Instead, they gulp our money.
This is why you should engage in barefoot running. It saves you money that could have been splurged on buying expensive running shoes that are of little or no particular benefit.
2. Better Technique, Endurance, and Speed
Most endurance runners depend less on running shoes. The best of beat endurance runners and athletes on earth prefer to do barefoot running.
This is because it guarantees less injury, especially since most training is done barefoot.
The barefoot athlete learns to be gentler on his legs and landing gait because he is relying on the elastic recoils in his tendons.
Also, having a better technique of running guarantees an improvement in speed and endurance. Most barefoot runners are record breakers because of this.
Apart from this, running barefoot helps you to be careful not to hurt your feet because you learn to run step by step.
This is better than jumping all in the technique.
3. Causes Less Injury
Human feet contains divers sensory nerve endings, and barefoot running helps you to experience the ground naturally.
Leo Babauta, a natural life blogger, affirms that increasing awareness of your surroundings in anything you do is an excellent way to live.
Therefore, barefoot running helps the runner to focus on their step per time. This affords a more pleasurable running experience.
Being conscious of your environment helps you to prevent injuries, which are a big part of a runner’s life. Several studies have claimed that about 30 to 70 percent of runners experience constant stress injury.
This injury is usually as a result of landing on heels while running with shoes. Running with shoes is stressful because this system is not in tune with the biomechanics of the body.
A 2012 study proves that landing on the heels causes about 2.6 times more repeated injury than foot landing.
Best Barefoot Shoes
Now that you know the benefits of running barefoot, you are probably wondering the best shoes for it. Here is our top selection of the best barefoot shoes that are specially designed to give you comfort on your run.
1. Vivobarefoot Primus Road
Vivobarefoot is an excellent brand when it comes to many different types of minimalist shoes. The Primus Road barefoot shoe is an excellent choice. It feels like it’s hardly there because it comes with a thin sole.
The sole lets your feet sense the ground and connect with the run while allowing needed protection too.
These are also vegan-favorable and allow loads of breathabilities. This brand has a gorgeous design – the red looks amazingly vibrant when you’re whizzing by.
2. Vibram FiveFingers
For barefoot running, there is a wide variety of views as to which unshod shoes are preferable. In the end, it is indeed a decision that’s hugely individual.
The excellent options, notwithstanding, are the shoes that fit like a glove and may get some unusual looks when people see you in public wearing them. The Vibram FiveFingers is that kind of shoe.
They have a unique form, but they feel just like having an extra cover on your foot instead of the only clunky shoe.
While also protecting your feet from whatever dirt you might step on. Since switching to these shoes five years ago, I’ve yet to experience a running injury.
The Vibram FiveFingers shoes come in diverse types. These include designs specifically for men, women, track runners, and much more. However, my favorites to date are the Komodo Sports LS.
3. Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 2 Barefoot Trail Running Shoe
The Vapor Glove 2 is a preferred choice for many tracks runners. Shoes from this brand are lightweight and are 100% vegan-friendly. Besides, they look cool.
And, with the footbed integrated as one unit with the outsole, this running shoe certainly offers a barefoot running experience.
The shoe’s flexibility makes it feel as if you are in tune with it. A friend pointed out that the shoes do not smell. This is because they prevent sweat and moisture from affecting your boots.
The company remarks that “antimicrobial agents penetrate and disrupt the reproduction of the odor-causing microbes in your shoes.”
For many athletes, running barefoot is the most comfortable way to do what they love. For nature lovers, it is also a perfect way to get your necessary dose of workout while feeling connected to nature.
In this post, we have shown you the benefits of doing that. Hopefully, you love it.
If you are not sure about your sole having direct contact with the floor, then you should buy the above listed best shoes for barefoot running. These shoes offer you added protection while doing what you enjoy.
Have you tried barefoot running? Did you love it? Do you still do it? Any added advice? Drop an opinion in the comment section; we’d love to hear from you!