Is Barefoot Running Safe?

New research has found that running barefoot is safe. Scientists have studied how the foot hits the ground while running barefoot or with minimal footwear and have determined that the foot does not heel-strike when it lands.  Running shoes are designed for heel-striking. When your running barefoot you’re more likely to land on the balls or the middle part of your foot which reduces the potentially harmful impact that a heel-striker would experience.

Daniel E Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University authored a paper that appeared in the journal of Nature.  The paper says, “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shoe-ed runners generate when they heel-strike. Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes.”

If you decide to try barefoot running make sure you start off easy. Like most Americans, if you have been running with running shoes your body is used to heel striking. Running barefoot involves different muscles. Let your body slowly adjust to your new style of running. Check out Professor Lieberman’s web site Running Barefoot or in Minimal Footwear . It has a lot of helpful information on the subject.

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Best – Mike Cola

Fitness Contrarian – Helping Peolpe Build Healthy Bodies

About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

4 Responses to “Is Barefoot Running Safe?”

  1. It’s great that you are spreading the word about running barefoot. I have been running like that for almost a year and I really love it.

  2. Even if running shoes are designed for heel-striking, one can learn how to land on the middle or the front of the foot. With the right coach and proper technique, it can be done, and a lot of runners are doing it right.

    Barefoot running doesn’t really appeal to me. Sorry Mike. Good article tho for those who would like to get into it.

  3. Mike,
    would you suggest that it is better to run with barefoot foot gloves or some other type of special footwear to avoid cuts and bruises or is it best to just work up enough calluses to take on the terrain directly?

  4. Barefoot running has many benefits. Try the new barefoot shoes and you will experience the difference. I run thru central park in new york city every morning wearing my barefoot shoes and it feels so much better than my nike’s. Give it a try people its AWESOME!

    Mike Bell
    Webmaster, & Triathlete
    COsram Bulbs