Running Barefoot

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
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by seanpeckham » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:15 am

Another barefoot runner here. Barefoot running (or in Vibram KSOs) along with strength training, plyometrics, the Pose method and Evolution running, and some trial and error has gotten me from 4 months ago being winded with my knees giving out after less than 1/2 mile on the treadmill, to just this weekend doing a personal best half marathon. I'm not fixed yet - I still have huge difficulty resisting the temptation to overdo any endorphin-producing activity and spend too much time with stiff, sore muscles and misaligned joints when i'm not warmed up - but I'm making progress and barefoot running is fun and feels free, even on hard surfaces (i don't live or work by a beach or golf course, i work by a paved park trail).

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by Chris » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:36 pm

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:You are looking at arch collapse with any significant running, and even faster arch collapse if you run barefoot.

Actually, it's just the opposite. Running barefoot is the best thing you can do to strengthen and maintain your arches.

Running barefoot singlehandedly cured my PF and allowed me to continue ultrarunning. Humans, though 99.9999% of our history, have run barefoot with minimal to no ill effects. Only recently have our arches started collapsing, our PF started flaring up, our knees flaring up, and our IT bands screaming. About the time we started running in shoes and on pavement, to be exact.

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shoes and barefoot, the best of both worlds

by benjydaniel » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:29 am

so you want to run barefoot but you don't want to run barefoot. the answer in Nike Free. They come in trainers, runners. The idea is to develop muscles that get forgotten by a normal running shoe, improving performance. read up on it. I have a pair of Nike Free 7.0s and I love them.

Hope this helps

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by erykmynn » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:31 pm

I have Free 5.0's also. Don't run much, but once I got used to them they are my go-to cardio shoes.

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by Ze » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:24 am

barefoot running is interesting. lots of good points brought up by people here.

there aren't many studies on this stuff, so its hard to know really when barefoot running does / doesn't reduce injuries. seems like in a lot of instances it could.

arches - you have foot muscles that should hold it in place. of course if you just go out and start running barefoot a lot, your muscles are too weak and you will flatten your arch. however perhaps with proper adjustment it would be okay.

what's interesting to me is from the energy expenditure and mechanics side. running barefoot changes mechanics not only of the foot (landing toe first instead of heel) but it changes the orientation of the rest of the body, and redistributes the load. this may change how much energy is required at a given speed.

this really hasn't been studied...and how does it change with speed? if running on toes was as energetically efficient as heelstrike running, than why do people choose heel / midstrike instead? really interesting stuff.


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