If you are a runner or aspire to become one, you probably know that your feet will be the most tested part of your body. This is why runners who are serious about this sport tend to invest a small fortune in shoes designed to optimize the process and protect their joints and tend.
So, why would you even want to consider running barefoot? As it turns out, the data shows that this type of running improves foot biomechanics and even helps reduce the risk of injury. This is because the running efficiency is increased when you feel the earth underneath your sole.
However, depending on the surface you are running on, you won’t be able to always go barefoot. This is why most well-known sports brands have at least one line of barefoot running shoes. It’s also why today we’ll discuss what these shoes are and why runners who want to try this style should add them to their gear.
What are Barefoot Running Shoes?
Also known as minimalist shoes, these are shoes that mimic the shape of the bare foot (with toes) and fit on your feet like a glove. In fact, most of these shoes only have a thin rubber sole to protect your skin from the running surface.
So, there’s no special sole to make you feel like you’re running on clouds. In fact, this shoe’s main purpose is to improve your grip and protect you from rocks, glass, or other sharp items that may be on the ground.
Why Should I Try Barefoot Running Shoes?
Running is a sport with many benefits, but you can get different results with different shoes. So, if you want to test your limits and discover a new style, here are a few reasons you should give barefoot running a chance.
1. A More Natural Approach to Running
While it will feel weird at first, as you get better at it, you will develop a more natural gait where you learn to land on the front of the foot and the midsole. Regular running shoes have excessive padding around the heel, which is why runners feel comfortable landing on the heel, but this is not an effective or natural stride.
Stronger Ligaments and Tendons
As your stride returns to the natural way, you will also strengthen your ligaments and tendons, especially the Achilles tendon and the calf muscle. This happens because there’s no longer a padded heel to stop you from making the entire natural movement.
Since you will be forced to stand (and run) on your own two feet, you’ll also activate some of the smaller muscles in the feet. These muscles are often protected by padded running shoes, so you don’t put them to work as much as you should.
When running with minimalist shoes, you’ll start using every muscle fiber that’s involved in maintaining balance, improving stride, and keeping those legs moving. As a result, you’ll have better balance and a firmer grip when you walk.
You Burn More Calories
Running is one of the most effective workouts to strengthen your heart, but it also burns calories and helps you stay lean and thin. And yet, if you want to burn more, all you have to do is kick off your shoes.
That’s because you won’t have that extra help that comes from a cushiony springy running shoe. Therefore, you’ll work a little harder for each step, which amounts to a whole lot more effort than when you were running with padded shoes.
Test It Out!
Running barefoot or with minimal shoes is not for everyone, but you won’t know until you’ve tried it. So give it a chance and see how you feel. Once you get hooked, you may never want to return to regular shoes again!