The Benefits of Running Without Shoes

running without shoes

You might be wondering what the benefits of running without shoes are. For starters, it’s a great way to get closer to nature and relieve stress, especially if you live in an urban environment. If you don’t have any injuries, you might even experience a feeling of connectedness and freedom. Plus, it’s fun, too! Read on to learn about the safety and performance benefits of running barefoot. We’ll also discuss the safety and health risks of running barefoot.

Runners with bare feet

Runners with bare feet may have improved running form. They may have avoided the risk of shin splints, knee injuries, and other conditions caused by traditional footwear. This may be because they have less cushioning in their feet, which reduces stress to the patellofemoral joint. Runners with bare feet might also develop better running form because they do not have to worry about arch support and cushioning on their feet.

Although there are pros and cons to running barefoot, some skeptics do not agree with the technique. Some anthropologists argue that humans evolved as a diurnal endurance predator, rather than a purely terrestrial animal. A popular book titled Born to Run documents the story of a group of indigenous runners in Chile who cover hundreds of miles in their native land. They do not use next-level recovery tools or saccharine running gels to enhance their performance.

Plantar fasciitis

If you’re a runner, you might have heard of plantar fasciitis when you run without shoes. This common foot ailment affects one in every ten people in the U.S., though it may be more common among certain populations. However, it’s also treatable, and there are many ways to go about it. Here’s a look at some of your options.

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The best thing to do is to change positions often. It’s important to change your position frequently, so the plantar fascia doesn’t get stiff. Also, try to avoid standing still for long periods of time. If you’re already feeling pain, don’t try to force through it, because that will only make your condition worse. Keeping your foot in one position will only make your plantar fasciitis worse by causing you to stand in unnatural positions, resulting in pain and inflammation.

You may notice improvement with stretching and a change in your lifestyle, but your plantar fasciitis may reoccur. While wearing arch supports, orthotics, and taping may help temporarily, they can weaken the muscles in your foot, resulting in further problems. Furthermore, long-term use of support devices can weaken your foot’s stability, so avoid overly supportive shoes. The best treatment for plantar fasciitis is proper footwear, which should fit correctly and give you continued support.

Safety

While there are plenty of benefits to running barefoot, running without shoes is not for everyone. People with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or other health issues should not try it, as the risk of foot wounds may be high. For beginners, running barefoot can be painful, as your stride will need to change and you’ll need to make sure you land evenly on your foot. Here are some tips for avoiding foot wounds while running barefoot.

Dr. Gladson Johnson, a sports scientist and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in Bengaluru, India, suggests that beginning slow is important. Then, once you have the habit down pat, you’ll be running with a much lighter load. A second benefit of running barefoot is foot feedback. This means you’ll have a faster reaction time if you encounter uneven surfaces. Plus, running barefoot may even improve your speed as you’ll be able to feel any uneven surfaces with your feet.

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Performance

A Harvard study comparing the efficiency of runners wearing shoes to those who ran barefoot has found that the former improves performance. Researchers compared the forces experienced by runners at a fixed speed by running barefoot and in shoes. They found that barefoot runners’ contact time with the ground was 0.206sec, which was more than twice as long as the runner’s bodyweight multiplied by 2.45. The results of the study suggest that barefoot runners could record faster race times.

There are other benefits of running without shoes as well. The weight of shoes increases the oxygen cost of running and can lead to a reduction in performance. The researchers also found that running without shoes improved balance and proprioception. They also found that barefoot running increased the runner’s Dynamic Postural Stability Index (DPSI) during a single-leg landing. They also found that barefoot runners performed better than shod runners during a single-leg landing. The difference was significant.