Abebe Bikila hailed as one of the greatest marathoners of all time, won the 1960 Olympics gold medal in Rome running barefoot. His shoes didn’t fit well, so he took them pre-race.
While circumstances forced his choice, it sparked the debate on whether running without shoes is better. Well, there are two sides to the coin. There are those that argue that running without shoes allows you to maintain a natural stride while. The opposing camp, on the other hand, says that barefoot running only increases the likelihood of getting injured.
So, is running without shoes better for you? Here’s an overview.
Potential Benefits or Barefoot Running
It Can Help Improve your Posture
Yes! Running barefoot helps improve your gait. By extension, this translates to a better, upright posture. It is essential to mention, however, that running without shoes may not work for the long terms regarding correcting your posture.
You need, therefore, to combine it with other strategies such as using posture correctors. Be sure to pay freeyourspine.info a visit to discover some of the most sought after posture correctors on the market and what they can do to improve your overall wellbeing.
Relaxing your Muscles
It may help strengthen the muscles and tendons as well as ligaments of the foot thereby allowing the development of a more natural gait. Because there is no heel lift found in most running shoes, the Achilles tendon, and the calf muscle can stretch an action that lessens injuries such as calf strains or Achilles tendinitis.
It Improves how you Run
Barefoot running allows you to land on the forefoot instead of the heel. Running shoes have excessive padding to ensure that you land on the heel. According to research, landing on the heel results in unnecessary braking with every stride.
Statistics indicate that the most efficient runners land on their mid-foot, thereby helping them keep their strides smooth and fluid. Additionally, landing on the forefoot allows the arches to act as natural shock absorbers.
Potential Downsides of Barefoot Running
Increased Risks When Running
Running barefoot exposes you to a host of hazards such as stepping on broken glass, sharp rocks and thorns. Besides, wearing running shoes offers insulation in extreme weather conditions such as snow.
Exposure to Injuries
The shock exposed to the foot can lead to severe injuries especially if you run without shoes frequently. The plantar surface of the feet is usually soft and tender. When exposed to the intense pressure that comes with barefoot running, the plantar may become sore and eventually increase the risk of plantar fasciitis
Formation of Calluses
See, switching to barefoot may lead to the development of painful blisters and calluses. Running without shoes can significantly reduce your performance especially if you get injured or develop plantar fasciitis
The Bottom Line
You can get hurt if you’re running barefoot or not. However, running shoes lessen the likelihood of developing an injury an injury. If you are to run barefoot make sure that you start slowly and take extra caution to reduce the risk of getting injured.