Barefoot, minimalist, “born to run” running has become a new trend in the running world… but it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. With Vibram 5 Fingers and New Balance Minimus shoes bombarding the market place, it is easy to think that this footwear is a lighter and more viable option to help you run faster and get stronger. While many runners rave that this is the way our ancestors ran, others rebute, finding running barefoot or in minimalist shoes can lead to serious injuries.
The Greatist (an amazing, science-y health and fitness blog) took a look at what these shoes (or no shoes) can do for your feet, referring to doctors who have studied them over the past few years. I loved the post written by Jordan Shakeshaft on the topic of these minimalist running techniques. Shakesaft not only talked with experts, but also went and tried out barefoot running for herself.
Here are a few takeaways from the post:
- For some runners, going barefoot can be beneficial, encouraging a “biomechanically-efficient forefoot strike” which builds leg muscle.
- For other runners who have had injuries in the past, more problems can be caused from taking away the support shoes provide.
- Start slow and build muscle to train in running sans-shoes. Runners need to practice on different terrains for short increments of time and strengthen the muscles around your feet and calves. This will help prevent injury.