Ready to kick off your running shoes? Running barefoot can mean no bunions, back problems or injury. Find out if it's for you
Still not sure whether barefoot running is for you? It has its benefits...
1) Barefoot running gives you increased running efficiency
Research suggests that running barefoot increases efficiency by 4%. This is likely to be due to the fact the foot can function more effectively without the restriction of supportive footwear.
2) Less chance of injury
Running in a barefoot shoe like Vibram FiveFingers® means you have a greater awareness of your foot position on the ground and increased leverage making you less likely to suffer an ankle sprain.
When running barefoot on hard surfaces, you automatically compensate for the lack of cushioning underfoot by plantar-flexing your foot at contact, thus giving a softer landing. This helps to prevent shin splints.
3) Running barefoot strengthens foot muscles
When you support a broken limb with a plaster, the muscles weaken. Likewise, when you support the foot within a conventional running shoe, it results in a weakening of soome muscles. Weak muscles can mean greater injury risk, greater dependency on shoes, and impaired performance.
4) It decreases your risk of bunions
Because the traditional shape of feet does not match the shape of our shoes, the big toe is often pushed towards the middle of the foot and the same is true of the little toe. This, along with the heel of the shoe pushing the big toe even further, results in a deviation of the big toe which can lead to bunions.
5) Barefoot running maximises biomechanical performance
Counter to popular belief that the arches are there to absorb shock, they are in fact designed to store energy and return that energy to the gait cycle on the next step. Wearing shoes that 'support' the arch, prevent the arches from performing their function. Being barefoot ensures that the arches are working as they are designed to.
If you're not ready to go totally barefoot, and unless you're running down a pristine beach, ultra minimalist barefoot footwear will protect you from cuts and give you grip over a variety of terrains.
Vibram FiveFingers® shoes are designed to allow the foot to function effectively, with all the benefits of going barefoot including injury prevention, minimising back pain and strengthening the foot structure.
Vibram’s patented shoe takes a minimalist approach to barefooting with a thin, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric that fits low on the foot for comfort and quick drying.
How to make a safe transition to barefoot running
Join the chat about barefoot running here
Posted: 07/02/2012 at 12:40
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