Barefoot running

  • Knarf
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26 Mar 2012 19:10 #54489 by Knarf
Barefoot running was created by Knarf
I've been a rather fanatic runner for a number of years. Last year I got in touch with the phenomenon called barefoot running. I went barefoot running in a forest nearby for a couple of weeks and at first it actually went better than expected. I didnt do any long distances (It was only 4 KM) but I was able to run it as fast as I did with shoes.

I started barefoot running because I've read it would lead to less injurys (specially the knee seems to take less hits) and would strengthen the ankles and calf, of which the first was a bit of a weak spot of mine due to several soccer/footbal injury's.

Anyway, as I've said I went barefoot running about 3 times a week for a couple of weeks. At the beginning everything went fine, no pains, no injury's. I ran most parts on rather soft soil (leaves/twiks/dirt) which also helped. When walking on the pavement it often felt less pleasant.

After about a week and a half or so I started to really feel my calf. I figured this was because I was training muscles I normally didnt really use, but it didnt go away and got to a point where it felt as cramps during the run, resulting in me more or less ending my barefoot career.

I'm planning on starting again soon and was wondering if any people here have any experience with barefoot running?

Have you also experience this feeling in the calf? Or might I be having an incorrect posure?

This topic is also cause im kinda curious if there are any barefoot runners out here and what got them into starting with it.

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27 Mar 2012 06:46 #54535 by Nakis
Replied by Nakis on topic Barefoot running
I'm informed that you just need to train with it for a bit. Yes, you are using new muscles, but you need to pretend like you haven't run before. Because you are using muscles that haven't run that way much before.

I'm uncertain if you are also talking about actually barefoot, or those wierd toe shoes. But it ends up being the same. Just give it time, and maybe do long run, rest day, sprint day, rest day, long run.

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27 Mar 2012 08:41 - 27 Mar 2012 08:44 #54539 by Jestor
Replied by Jestor on topic Barefoot running
I remember when this hit the running world, and it has caused a lot of controversy...

I does sound like you are using a different set of muscles, but, I am not a runner, I am a martial artist, so i kept quiet....

Possibly, we have no barefoot runners here.... So i went looking...

www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/ru...ng/calf-pain-warning

There is a forum at Runner's World that maybe you should read...

As s martial art instructor, I see it happen all the time... New muscle useage = new muscle pain...

As I'm not a runner, I wondered about foot placement... From past articles, and this forum post I linked, I wonder how your foot placement is...

Most folks run heel-to-toe when walking or running, especially with shoes on, the foot, more importantly, the heel, is protected from heavy strikes caused during impact.... People think that because their foot is covered, that it is invincible... Its not... That's why all the designs to build a better running shoe...

Whereas barefoot anything requires a different step, from mid-foot, to almost tip-toe style running.....

Think about moving quickly over gravel....

With shoes, no worries... Without, you are still pretty quick, but for the "sharp rock dance"... lol...

I've heard the same benefits, better on knees and joints, improved posture and feel for the ground....

And as a martial artist, I think barefoot anything is best, it allows you to get a feel for the turf under your feet. Where shoes nullify it, and people often misstep, not realizing the surface underneath the inch and a half of plastic and foam is unstable...

I hope the pain stops for you quickly, id join a running forum as well...

I joined a Atrix forum when I have questions about my phone, and a Halloween forum for fellow haunters.... Peer to Peer is a great way to learn, and most love helping...

Good luck...

And I hope you are enjoying the journey... (pain and all...:woohoo:)

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Jedi ain't Saints....


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Last edit: 27 Mar 2012 08:44 by Jestor. Reason: typo...
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28 Mar 2012 17:25 #54629 by discordor
Replied by discordor on topic Barefoot running
Look into the Pose method of running. They are wearing shoes but they focus on the techniques that would be most helpful to a barefoot runner. First time I ran like that I hobbled for a week from that same calf condition

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  • Aceboizor
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29 Mar 2012 18:06 #54715 by Aceboizor
Replied by Aceboizor on topic Barefoot running
I love being barefoot in general, and I notice I do most things better without shoes on: walking, running, standing, exercise, and marching back when I was in marching band. I have infinitely better balance and control over my body when I'm barefoot.

I've heard about those 'barefoot shoes' where it's shaped to your feet to provide protection but isn't a proper shoe. Does anyone know if those work/feel all right?

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29 Mar 2012 18:22 #54716 by Jestor
Replied by Jestor on topic Barefoot running

Aceboizor wrote: I've heard about those 'barefoot shoes' where it's shaped to your feet to provide protection but isn't a proper shoe. Does anyone know if those work/feel all right?

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Ive got a buddy who has them for the martial arts, and he loves them...

I would think they would be great for protecting your foot, yest giving the most accurate feel...

Im considering a pair... ASIACS has a version I saw at a shoe store here in Illinois.. hard bottoms, about $50...

The Vibrams are a little more expensive, but they have quite the variety...

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Jedi ain't Saints....


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  • Phortis Nespin
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29 Mar 2012 22:02 #54721 by Phortis Nespin
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  • Hadi Apollos
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30 Mar 2012 02:10 #54732 by Hadi Apollos
Replied by Hadi Apollos on topic Barefoot running


These are what Jestor was talking about. Five finger shoes. I actually recently watched a show on Discovery Channel about shoes (boy, what an interesting life I live, lol) and these shoes are very good. Research has shown that shoes are actually causing our muscles throughout our feet to deteriorate due to the fact that shoes don't work out all the muscles in your feet. These shoes not only protect your feet, but they allow all the muscles to move and get worked out properly. Been considering getting myself a pair.

The issues, though, is with comfort. You may be doing something that's better for your feet, but you're losing the support that your back and legs need. So while a shoe may enhance one section of your body, it takes away from another. I have back pains, and have to use inserts to keep me from being in pain 24/7, so these shoes would not be very beneficial to me.

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30 Mar 2012 11:04 #54747 by Jestor
Replied by Jestor on topic Barefoot running
@Phortis... o.m.g.... that's great!

Hadi, how does your back feel when your barefoot?

I've found most peoples backs feel better bbarefoot... I think it too is due to the body knowing what right for it...

Our posture changes, as does the rest of us, to suit the environment... Like shoes....

I too have to change my boot inserts periodically....

Most people stand, with weighting their heel... I think this is incorrect... as you are precariously balanced on your heels....

Yet, if you bend your knees slightly, placing more weight on the balls of your feet, I've found it helps take the pressure off... My opinion of course... lol...

That's where your balance is... Its why you can walk longer tiptoe that you can on your heels... New martial artists experience pain similar to what knarf is describing....

I can't find steel toe sandals, and my boss vetoed them anyway...:woohoo:

On walk-about...

Sith ain't Evil...
Jedi ain't Saints....


"Bake or bake not. There is no fry" - Sean Ching


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30 Mar 2012 16:02 #54763 by Knarf
Replied by Knarf on topic Barefoot running
Thanks for the many replies!!

I'm uncertain if you are also talking about actually barefoot, or those wierd toe shoes.


I'm talking about actually barefoot, no shoes. I have thought about them, but first wanted to try and run barefoot before purchasing anything of the sort.
I actually liked feeling everything I stepped on, as well as cold/wett spots. It gives an extra dimension to running!

I wonder how your foot placement is...

Most folks run heel-to-toe when walking or running, especially with shoes on, the foot, more importantly, the heel, is protected from heavy strikes caused during impact.... People think that because their foot is covered, that it is invincible... Its not... That's why all the designs to build a better running shoe...


Yea I've read about that! On normal shoes you land on the heel having your knees take most of the impact. While when barefoot you land on your 'toes' (not really but kinda) having your ankles take the first part of the hit and then the knees.
I was aware of this during my runs and focused on landing on my toes instead of my heel.

As s martial art instructor, I see it happen all the time... New muscle useage = new muscle pain..


Well I'm not going to argue with a martial art instructor!!
Indeed as all have said, its new muscle usage so it will take time to get used to. I think I started with a bit to much enthousiasm. Going to take it a bit slower now.
Did a barefoot run tuesday and it went well. Did feel my calf a bit the next day so just keeping rest for a couple of days and then go again once it feels better again.

I love being barefoot in general, and I notice I do most things better without shoes on: walking, running, standing, exercise


So we do have a barefoot runner here!?

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