Barefoot, pros and cons of running barefoot


Check with your doctor before you jump to run barefoot because some people do not have anatomy appropriate to practice barefoot and could result in serious injury.

Since its origins, human beings have made racing and travel great distances without any kind of footwear, and precisely run barefoot is the maximum of the barefoot running, also called natural running, distinguished by a form of running something different.

This form of running, in which progress is made without shoes, entering the corridor into direct contact with the ground, did win the first gold for Africa at the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 by the hand of Abebe Bikila, that made barefoot Marathon.

Also attributed to him various benefits, backed up by numerous studies. One of them is carried out by Harvard University and directed by Lieberman’s doctor, which focused on analyzing the type of tread of athletes running shoes and compare them to the of the Barefoot did.

That research, published in the journal Nature, found that between 75 and 80% of those who run with running shoes made the first impact on the ground with the heel, while those who go barefoot come in contact with the ground with the front part of the foot, i.e. with the metatarsal. In both the muscle chains which are activated, like the twins, isquiotibiliales or lumbar, are different, being seven times more aggressive impact with the heel, so it is possible the appearance of lesions.

But we are accustomed to wearing sneakers since it is the first steps, thus blinding the sensations coming from the millions of nerve endings in the feet. This is listed as one of the main reasons why many are released to run barefoot, feeling the irregularities and the temperature of the ground, in what for them is a great gesture of freedom. However, there is also fear to have damage in the soles of the feet, so many practices the barefoot with a minimalist shoe, a kind of sock or very thin sandals that improve tread without coming into direct contact with the ground.

If you plan to start in the world of the barefoot you should take into account that the change must be progressive to avoid injury. It is recommended to start little by little, interspersed with phases of a career with slippers and without them; This way, the foot will begin to adapt to changes without resenting. You can also begin practicing barefoot on a static tape to prevent the hypersensitisation of the plant of the foot with the ground. Other great places to practice the barefoot are bike – as they tend to be quite smooth-, or athletics tracks and parks that have a softer soil.

Benefits of the barefoot

The barefoot seems something that is fashionable nowadays, but is actually the most natural movement, and what our most distant ancestors did. The proven running of such benefits include:

  • Improving tread, already that the landing is done on the front part of the foot, which thanks to the bow and fingers, especially your thumb, divide the weight. This translates into a lower impact to the joints and muscles, especially your knees and, therefore, less risk of injury.
  • Increase proprioception, i.e. the information is received from the position of the muscles of the foot, which makes it possible to immediately correct a bad footprint. This reduces injuries, especially ankle sprains.
  • A notable improvement in the muscles and ligaments of the feet, little exercised when we run with slippers.
  • An increase of the distance traveled, because although the shorter steps, are made more quickly. Also to take smaller strides, the weight exerted on the impact on the ground is lower.
  • Causes an improvement in posture, making it more upright and aesthetic, as running with shoes, the body tends to pull back.
  • A decrease in heart rate and a reduction in oxygen consumption at 5.7%, spending less energy than with the traditional running.

Contraindications of running barefoot

However, despite the numerous benefits of this type of exercise, not everyone can practice it. It is advisable to consult your doctor before you jump to run barefoot because some people do not have anatomy appropriate to do so and can result in serious injury. Blisters and erosions in the soles of the feet will be your companions; to minimize them, it tries to run over a more or less smooth surface, has many different levels, and that is free from objects that can cut or puncture. Remember that you have to run safely and without fear so that the movement is entirely natural.


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