No shoes? No problem.

Have you ever seen someone running around without any shoes on and just cringed?

Just think of all the things they’re stepping on. Ouch.

It’s even worse for people who are flat-footed. They’re going to get shin splints and they’re stepping on who-knows-what. Double ouch.

Although these people may seem crazy, they’re really not. There have been mixed reviews regarding barefoot running, with some studies claiming they’re better for you, while others claim that you’re better off running with shoes.

Overall, these people just want to take care of their feet! Who doesn’t want happy feet…

So what are the potential benefits from barefoot running? Without shoes, your feet strike the ground with the front of your foot rather than the back, lessening the impact. This is why some people with knee problems claim that barefoot running decreases their knee pain–there’s less force going through your legs as you hit the ground.

No shoes also means less weight on your feet. So if you’re thinking about pure speed, you’ll run a bit faster and more efficiently.

Want to try? Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Make sure your lower body and core is strong. Increase those leg and abdominal exercises before you start running barefoot to ensure your body can handle the newfound change.
  2. Practice weight-training exercises barefoot. Your feet need some time to get used to the feeling of bearing weight without shoes on.
  3. Start off slow. Run barefoot in small intervals, and then increase once you get used to the sensation.

As always, you should consult with your doctor before making a drastic change in your exercise regime. Not completely sold on barefoot running? Try wearing extremely minimalist shoes instead! They’ll still give you some support while lessening the weight on your feet.

minimalist-running-shoes

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