… simply take off your shoes and go for a short jog. Or hop on the treadmill for a few minutes. I’ll guarantee that it will feel different, and you’ll probably notice your foot contacting the ground on the fat pad behind the base of the pinky toe rather than on the heel (commonly called a “forefoot strike”). This change in gait happens automatically – your feet sense and interact with the surface underneath, and adjust your stride on the fly.
I’ve commented before that I’m curious about this whole running barefoot movement that seems to be so popular right now. I haven’t done it in ages, but I do remember trying it out a few years ago. Albeit only on very short runs.
I’m not sure I would go truly barefoot though, unless it’s on a beach or well kept grass. The risk of stepping on a sharp rock or broken glass is just not something I want to be thinking/worrying about while running. But I would like to give the Vibram FiveFingers shoes a try.
As the article referenced above explains, nobody knows for sure if running barefoot is actually better.
Will it make you run faster? Will it reduce injuries?
There seem to be evidence of both, so who knows. The reason I find it intriguing is because it just seems more natural to me. That’s the way we were born and before Nike, Asics, and the like existed, people used to walk and run barefoot. Watching my baby daughter walk easier without shoes makes me think they are an extraneous thing we, as humans, need to get used to.
On the other hand, I could argue that advancements in technology and medicine have given us these new running shoes so it may be better for us.
The reality is that I don’t know. But I do want to give running barefoot a try.