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Running Barefoot

I love when the weather gets warmer and I can finally wear flip flops and let the wind blow through my toes. Feeing the cool grass beneath my feet is what spring is all about.


Other people have taken it to the next level and run barefoot. Some athletes train and compete shoeless, like South African runner Zola Budd, a former Olympic track and field competitor.

So why do they do it? To prove they can withstand pain? To show how tough they are? Have they lost their sneakers?

Some barefoot runners like the way the ground feels on the soles of their feet, like the grounding sensation that allows you to balance in a yoga pose. Plus shoes can be constricting, and when your feet are bare, you can really spread your toes out and grip the ground.

When you run barefoot, your muscles are in control instead of your shoe, so some feel it makes their feet stronger, which improves their performance. Shoes also add weight to your feet, so running barefoot could improve your speed.

Some barefoot runners say they have fewer injuries when running shoe-less. Sneakers can cause blisters, calluses, and toe numbness, so some runners do it because it's more comfortable.

Want to know some other reasons why people run barefoot? Then read more

Also, when you wear sneakers, you are depriving yourself of a very important aspect of running - feedback. The ability to know you are landing too hard, or on the wrong spot of your foot, is essential in learning to run gently, smoothly, efficiently, and without the risk of injury. Wearing sneakers makes your foot blind to those sensations.

Another great thing about running without sneaks is a greater sense of awareness. You pay more attention to your surroundings, especially to the ground below. You've got to be super focused so you don't step on a piece of glass or small pebble. You also become more aware of your form - being accurate with each stride and careful not to drag your toes.

Well, it's something to think about. Have any of you ever tried barefoot running? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

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