Race Natural: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Barefoot Running

Running barefoot increases the contact with the ground and this is good because as soon as there is a bigger work of the muscles of the feet and the calf, improving the absorption of impact on the joints. In addition, the bare feet allow for a higher sensitivity to small adjustments that the body needs to do to avoid injury, which is not always the case when you use running shoes with good shock absorbers or own to bruised pronated or supine, for example.

However, the ideal is not to go start to run barefoot without any preparation, because it is necessary to get used to the feet and protect the skin from scratches or cuts, so the safest option is to use ‘gloves for feet’ or run barefoot on the beach or at the gym.

Advantages and disadvantages of barefoot running

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To run barefoot the body is able to adjust better, with smaller risk of injury in the joints of the knees and hips, because of course the first part of the foot that has contact with the soil is the breast of the foot, which distributes the forces of impact directly to the muscles instead of the joints. In addition, this is a natural way to strengthen the small muscles inside of the legs, which decreases the chances of inflammation such as plantar fasciitis.

However, when running barefoot there are small changes in the body, the skin of the feet is thicker, it can lead to blood blisters on the instep of the foot and there is always the risk of cuts and injuries due to stones in the path, or shard of glass, for example.

How to run barefoot safely

The best ways of running barefoot without damaging the body are:

  • Running barefoot on the treadmill;
  • To run barefoot on the sand of the beach
  • Run with ‘gloves for feet’ which are a type of half-reinforced.

Another safe option is to run with shoes without cushioning and that can open as well the toes of the feet while you run.

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To begin this new way of practicing the race it is important to start slowly for the body to get used to. The ideal is to start running less miles and for less time, because as soon as it is possible to avoid the pain in the fingers, which is called scientifically of metatarsalgia, and decreases the risk of microfraturas in the heel.

How to get started

The best way to start the race minimalist or race natural, as it is also known is to start your workouts gradually. A good tip is to start by switching the shoes that are accustomed to using for ‘gloves for feet’ and running on the treadmill or on the beach.

After a few weeks you can start jogging in the grass and then after a few more weeks you can run totally barefoot, but also starting the conveyor belt, the sand of the beach, the grass, then on dirt, and, finally, on the asphalt. It is only recommended to make a race of approximately 10K on the asphalt after you have started this type of adaptation there are more than 6 months. In any case it is safer to be accompanied by a personal trainer to achieve the best results always.

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