Home > Running Related > Why run barefoot? It’s fun… plain & simple.

Why run barefoot? It’s fun… plain & simple.

OK. This short article from Associated Content would like to answer some questions for you about running barefoot.  This post will be filled with my 2 cents and reaction.


Allow me to give you my version.

  1. What is Barefoot Running? I refuse to answer this one.  If you don’t know, stop reading and click your way out of here.  :D
  2. Why the Interest in Barefoot Running? Simply because it’s interesting.  Why the interest in anything?  The reasons for actually doing it come later.  The interest is just that… interest.  Why not?
  3. What are Some Reported Benefits to Barefoot Running? This one gets more interesting.  Some people say it’s more natural.  This is a slippery slope IMO.  Running is certainly a natural movement, just as is walking.  I am just not quite there with this one.  Running is natural with or without shoes.  Would running naked be more natural.  This one may be more about specifics.  Let’s see… Barefoot running promotes a natural running gait.  This I can agree with.  Yeah, I know.  I am splitting hairs, but the skeptics need us to be specific.  The article cites environmental concerns.  Seriously?  Are they just trying to come up with stuff to write about.  So are they saying that people run barefoot so that one less pair of shoes needs to be manufactured to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing shoes on the environment?  Nobody runs barefoot for this reason.  It’s BS.   The reason I hear most cited is… to reduce injury.  Another crappy reason IMO.  If you really want to reduce your chances of injury stop running and walk.  Yeah, it will take you longer to get where you are going, but your chances of getting shin splints are almost nil.  The reality is that running barefoot will not keep you from getting injured.  I like to think that the injuries shod runners face and barefoot runners face come from two different pools.  Many barefoot runners report that knee pain disappears and shin splints never return; however the same runners complain about sore calves, pain in the top of the foot, and ankle pain.  Don’t get me started on Plantar Fasciitis.  Some barefoot runners say that their cleared up since running barefoot and others (like me) got their first case of it from running barefoot.  Of course, I am not so gung-ho as to run through it.  I let it heal and it has  not returned.  So, you see.  I run barefoot and have been injured; PF while barefoot and shin splints while shod.  1-1.  The bottom-line is, if you get hurt running… let it heal before continuing to push yourself.
  4. What Risks are Associated with Barefoot Running? You might step on something and it might hurt.  Open your eyes, pay attention, and watch where you step.  Oh heck, you ARE going to step on something.  Everyone does it at some point when running barefoot.
  5. Does Research Label Barefoot Running as Safe or Risky? Since when do we need research to tell us whether something is safe or risky before we do it.  It doesn’t take a scientist to tell me that bungee jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge may be risky and isn’t particularly safe.  Everything has risks.
  6. Is Barefoot Running Right for You? Probably not.  Don’t try it.  If you do and you like it, you may tell your friends.  Then they will try it and tell their friends.  Pretty soon, everyone is running barefoot.  If this happens I won’t be a deviant anymore.  Then I will have to change the name of this blog to averagerunner and that would be boring.  LOL… I am just kidding.  Barefoot running will not be for everyone.  At one point, during transition from shoes, I told myself… “Man, you have to really WANT to run barefoot”.  It can be a difficult transition.  I like to think it was related to the years of being shod and had I grown up without shoes… it would have been simple.  Just go run, the rest comes naturally.  Wait, does that make it natural?

So, it really doesn’t matter what the answer to these questions are.  Barefoot running is subjective.  I think it is a lot of fun.  This is my reason for doing it.  Don’t worry about the pros & cons, whether running barefoot is the next step forward, or even if it’s a good idea.  It’s fun.  That’s all you need to know.  Oh… and it burns a lot of calories.  I like to eat at McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

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