Running has always been one of the most affordable ways to get fit and lose weight, as all you need is a pair of running shoes and some loose clothing.
Now some people are taking running one step further and making even bigger savings. They are running barefoot.
Barefoot running is certainly not a new phenomenon. The human body is built for running, and we started running long before Nike made their first training shoe.
Those that are passionate about running barefoot actually believe that barefoot running is better for the body.
It causes fewer injuries, which results in the feet becoming stronger, helping to cushion the body on impact. Also, as a slightly different running style is required, less stress is placed on the spine.
When running barefoot you run on the balls of the feet rather than the heels. Your toes naturally spread out to help grip the ground and provide support. You will lean forward and bend your knees slightly to allow this, but it will come very naturally very quickly.
“It’s like your feet are suddenly free – like they are getting out of prison. And they are: your shoes.” – Ken Bob Saxton, a barefoot runner.
Ken Saxton was so impressed with his progress after throwing out his old shoes and going barefoot that he now runs a barefoot running website – runningbarefoot.org.
He strongly believes that many running injuries are caused by running shoes. Even shoes that are tailored for an individual foot can cause injuries.
It is estimated that over 60% of all runners are injured at any one time, and most of these injuries are caused by the “heel strike”. When the heel strikes the ground first, there is no natural cushioning and all the impact travels up the legs to the spine.
This does not happen in a front footed running position. Some runners have managed to cure their shin-splints problems with barefoot running.
Barefoot Ken now runs 10 marathons a year, and his joint problems seem to have cleared up since he threw out his running shoes.
Barefoot running is now so popular that you can buy, yes you guessed it, barefoot shoes!
Some Famous Barefoot Runners:
- Zola Budd, the Olympic athlete from South African, used to run barefooted.
- Abebe Bikila from Ethiopia won the 1960 Olympic marathon barefoot.