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Is barefoot running really better for you?

Barefoot running is a trend with a lot of momentum behind it. The idea that we have evolved to run barefoot, and that returning to this natural state can have benefits for running. Research has been done on both sides, with lots of strong adherents... so where to we stand today?

Yes, Barefoot running is better for you

Barefoot runners have fewer injuries, they don't have to spend as much money on shoes and equipment, and their distance performance improves. Barefoot running is the way to go.

With barefoot running feet can move as they are supposed to

Modern shoes are not shaped correctly and do not allow the foot to move freely. This in turn impacts our gait and ability to run to our full potential.

Running barefoot is how we have always run and is how our body has evolved to work

No, barefoot running is not better for you

While different, barefoot running is not superior to running with shoes. barefoot running creates its own kind of injuries, and studies show it doesn't actually improve performance.

When our ancestors ran barefoot, the terrain they ran on was not man-made

We now run primarily on concrete and therefore need shoes that protect our bones and joints from sustained impact on these surfaces

We should protect ourselves from the impact of running with appropriate cushioning.

There is not enough evidence to show that barefoot running is beneficial

Barefoot running works under specific conditions

On specific surfaces and with the correct technique barefoot running can be beneficial.

We need to re-adapt to barefoot running

Barefoot running is effective, but only after the runner has adapted to it. Transitioning to barefoot running too quickly or without preparation may cause injury.
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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 08:53 UTC