Barefoot running: How humans ran comfortably before shoes!

Here’s a little scoop on the latest fad which has caught the fancy of fitness-savvy celebs, BAREFOOT RUNNING! Yes, that’s right! Barefoot running or natural running has become a favorite part of the fitness regimen of a number of Hollywood celebrities. However, the question here is, are we better runners if the shoes came off?

Barefoot Running - Is the new Fitness Fad?
Barefoot Running – Is the new Fitness Fad?

Thanks to celebrities like Scarlett Johansson turning out in her Vibram Five Fingers, this new fitness trend is gaining more and more popularity and has become this year’s biggest running trend. However, it’s not something new to all the serious runners who have been training barefoot on the asphalt sans shoes for years.

The trend gained popularity after the publication of the book Born to Run in 2009 by Christopher McDougall. And it turns out that barefoot running is better for you than normal running with shoes as it’s more comfortable and correcting according to

Well-known shoe expert Tobie Hatfield gives his view on why barefoot running is more beneficial:

  • The natural motion of barefoot training helps in strengthening feet and increase flexibility
  • The idea is to take notice of one’s feet in a similar way one does for other parts of the body.
  • One feels the sensory nerves. And because there are minimal impact forces on landing, it can be very comfortable provided you develop calluses on your feet.
  • Running barefoot also means that less energy is spent and has been shown to use about 5% less energy than shod running
  • A strong foot is less likely to develop a collapsed arch
  • One must build up slowly by practicing walking around barefoot frequently. Walk a quarter-mile to one mile every other day.

So if you’re thinking of making the transition to minimalist shoes or barefoot running start slowly as The American Council on Exercise found that it should be done slowly and as 25% of your normal running routine or it could cause injuries. Also, be sure to invest in a pair of minimalist shoes. So go ahead and be fit!

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