At The Running Company, we love to share the lessons we have learned running, from runners we have met and supported, and garnered from trusted suppliers and healthcare professionals.
Barefoot running can be a useful training tool in your running armoury, and there are some very compelling arguments for going shoeless, or at least wearing the least amount of shoe possible.
You may develop a more natural gait and strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the foot. Removing the heel lift of most shoes helps the Achilles tendon and calf muscle stretch and lengthen and may reduce injuries, such as calf pulls or Achilles tendinitis caused by short, tight tissues.
Runners will learn to land on the forefoot rather then the heel. The heel strike during running only came about because of the excessive padding of running shoes, but research shows this isn’t the most effective or natural running stride. You may improve balance and proprioception. Without shoes, you activate the smaller intrinsic muscles in your feet, ankles, legs, and hips that are responsible for better balance and coordination.
You may feel more grounded. Being barefoot helps you improve balance, but it also helps you stay grounded and connected with your environment. You will learn to spread your toes and expand your foot while it becomes a more solid and connected base that supports all your movements.
But suddenly going barefoot or wearing a minimal shoe can be quite a shock to the system and require a slow adaptation phase. We are no longer hunter-gatherers and should allow time for our bodies to adapt to this style of running.
The Running Company stocks a complete range of shoes graded 0-10, with zero representing natural motion shoes and 10, a shoe which offers maximum support. Based on your Digital Gait Analysis, injury history, current running shoes and running goals, we will advise which running shoes you require.