Barefoot Running Improves Technique

Ditch the Shoes for Better Form




PlusONE/Shutterstock.com

Barefoot running has become a popular activity for athletes, and with the right training, can be a helpful tool for many runners. A recent study from the University of Jaén, in Spain, confirms the benefits of barefoot running. Researchers set out to determine what types of changes a 12-week program of barefoot running would produce in foot strike patterns, inversion, eversion and foot rotation.

Thirty-nine recreational athletes with no experience in barefoot running participated. Twenty formed the experimental group, with 19 serving as a control group. Researchers determined each runner’s low, high and comfortable running speed and conducted pre- and post-running tests using cameras to document foot strike patterns. The experimental group’s training consisted of a progressive increase in the duration and frequency of barefoot running, while those in the control group performed the same progressive running program with their shoes on.

The experimental group showed significant changes in foot strike pattern, with a tendency toward a mid-foot strike at all speeds. They also displayed changes in foot rotation and inversion toward a more centered strike at the lower speed, supporting the notion that progressive barefoot training can help athletes trying to change their foot pattern to a mid- or front-foot strike.


This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Lissa Rankin on Moving from Fear to Freedom

Fear often arises in us because of stories we unconsciously harbor in our mind—and understanding that unleashes the calming power of our intuition.

Try Some Stretches

Not all stretches are alike, so it helps to know what kind to do for what purpose.

Pumped Up About Geothermal

People are finding that geothermal pumps, which draw on the below-ground temperature of 50 degrees to heat and cool buildings, make sense environmentally and economically.

Preventing, Reversing and Managing Diabetes Naturally

When we’re aware of the physical and emotional components of diabetes, it’s easier to make the lifestyle changes that ward it off.

Not Your Grandma’s Stuffing

The time-honored Thanksgiving dish is evolving to include healthy ingredients such as black rice, cauliflower, chestnuts and pecans, sometimes stuffed in an apple or squash.

Add your comment: