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Barefoot Running

Has anyone done this? I've been dong it for several months now and recently ran a road 5K. I have felt better than ever since starting with barefeet as running with shoes caused alot of injuries(even with custom built shoes). I feel soooo much better.

However, my grandma's trainer just heard about this and went ballistic saying that I'll ruin all my tendons, ligaments and muscles. But I only had injuries BEFORE doing it barefoot and we weren't born with shoes, this is how we were meant to be I believe.

What do you guys think?

Comments

  • I've been reading a lot of good things about barefoot running lately. I just recently bought a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes (http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/) which are special for outdoor activities. They're like toe socks with a firm sole...plus they're vegan. I don't really run outside, but I wear them to the gym and in general for the comfort.

    Something like this might ease your mind about potential injuries while still getting most of the benefits of barefoot running.

  • Every single person I know has told me I need to get those but that's sort of beside the point. I definitely know I'm not injuring my body by running with barefeet. It just totally works for me. If I could feel myself getting injured I wouldn't do it, which is why I no longer run with shoes.

    I mostly run on my treadmill for convenience sake but sometimes run outside and with road races I do need to just be prepared for them.

    I don't plan on changing until this stops working for me but I would like to know if anyone has injured themselves with barefoot running(which I've never heard of) or if they think it's bad. I'm going to be getting a gate test to see exactly what I'm running like soon.

  • Hey,

    My joints have been feeling so much better running with vibrams, I get kneepains very fast when running in running shoes.

    I think it has something to do with, when wearing shoes my foot doesnt get the whole grip on the earth, but when running barefoot your whole foot steps down without being squished at all.

    Its very easy for me to choose, cause I litteraly cant run at all when I wear shoes due to joint pain and this is gone when I run barefoot. so my body speaks clearly to me on this.

    Bliss you!

  • Hi, me running on VFF after years on injury with normal running shoes, I'm never running on normal running shoes ever again. But my body still needs to adjust the new shoes (I want to fast to far 8) ) and I'm learning a new running style (pose method) it takes a while but I think its worth it.

    It's easier if you don't have to worry about the right shoes vff are not really bare foot but its not that far away.

  • Might be kind of cold in the winter months for me ;-)

    Seriously I keep hearing nothing but good things about running barefoot. For me I live on a gravel/dirt road made with lots and lots of small rocks so it's not an option for my regular running loops. I could try it off our mountain on a paved road I do my longer runs on...but that road also turns to dirt...hmmm

    For me I healed chronic knee injuries and knee pain of almost 20 years by going vegan. Dairy was the culprit for me. Eliminating dairy eliminated all the inflamation and pain. I did my first half marathon a few weeks ago pain-free and had a great run. A couple years ago, that would have been unheard of with my knee condition. (I believe being mostly raw also helped too!)

    Anyhoo, everyone's knees and joints are different and there are a million variables as to why some people get injuries and others don't from running. I'd give barefoot a try if I didn't live in Vermont :-)

  • troubles- i think that barefoot running is a great concept. its totally natural. humans have been out-running things for millions of years without running shoes. I know for a fact that running in ill-fitting shoes will mess up your body (knees for sure) but developing your own feet to do what they were meant to do seems like the most natural thing in the world. so keep on keepin on!

    I kinda really want those vffs now. Those seem amazing.

  • sv3sv3

    Yeah, I love the look of those VFF's! Might have to get a pair soon as my current trainers are getting a bit old now.

  • Ha, thanks for all the encouragement. I've been getting alot of criticism from non runners alot and even some from runners and it sucks. I mean, I wouldn't be running if I thought inside the box and wore shoes. It's just not an option. My grandma wants me to have a gate test so I can get 'the perfect shoes' but honestly I'm sort of past that. I don't want to wear shoes since because I feel so liberated. I don't even want to get a pair of vibram.....although I have been getting emails from my 'concerned' friends about those all the time since I started doing barefoot. I have a treadmill so running in the winter is not really an issue. There generally aren't many races in the winter either so that's no biggy for me.

    I just feel like barefoot running has really opened my mind..........we weren't born with shoes, so we're meant to be barefoot and no creation of man can make walking or running 'better' in my opinion.

  • Keep us posted on how things are going with your running. I like the whole idea of barefoot running. On a beach or nice clean grass would be great! Maybe when I'm in Costa Rica for a couple weeks in March I'll try running on the beach barefoot. There is supposed to be miles and miles of beach so it might be a truly lovely experience.

  • Joyce! It's nice to see you. I haven't been around much on here and there are mostly newer people:)

    I will keep you posted. Starting next week I'll begin my 10K training for a 10K in the spring. It takes a while to build the foot callous up for longer distances but once it's there it doesn't go away fast. haha. I've really been rejuvenated by running with no pain and that's something that is worth working for.

    Though, I may not get out of doing this gate test, my grandma is pretty adamant....the only problem is, they only do the gate test as a prelim. to you buying shoes. I am not going to buy shoes. haha

  • swayzeswayze Raw Newbie

    That's awesome! I've been wearing my fivefingers for almost 2 years now and I love them. I don't think I have the guts to go completely barefoot, though. I have a big gross-out thing with my bare feet touching soil.

    Swayze

    www.fitonraw.com

  • This is something that sparked my interest a year or so ago when I saw an article in a colorado paper about a guy who trail runs with his dog barefoot. It had an amazing picture of him suspended in the air, running down a hill. Made me think he was into raw foods he looked so fit and healthy! Who knows if he was, can't seem to find the article but I did come across this website. Very interesting, sounds like a lot of fun!

    http://www.meetup.com/Barefoot-Running-Club/en/

    i love jogging on the beach whenever I'm there, but am a bit discouraged from trail running since I tried it once on what I thought was a mostly soft earth/dead leaves trail...couldn't even walk it! someday i guess...

    keep it up troublesjustabubble, seems like its right for you

  • this thread has been pretty inspiring to me- im a runner too (just did my first half marathon a month ago) and just thinking of running barefoot on sand or on cool grass sounds so luscious. Im going to research it and try to transition i think.

    thanks troubles!! :) you go girl!! good luck with the 10k-- let us know how you do!

  • I think it's cool how so many members on this site are interested in running! I'm just starting out the raw lifestyle (again) but I've been wanting to join cross country track at school for years, but I get horrible pains in my shins. I've been searching for some type of footwear that will aid this.

    The vibrams seem like a great idea, but I'm not sure if my weight training teacher would allow me to wear them on cardio days... Plus I've been wondering, and I hope someone can answer me: Is there a certain amount of foods you must eat in order to maintain enough energy to run long distance? What are great foods for energy?

    Normally marathon runners stock up on complex carbohydrates, I believe. I, however, do not want to have to resort to cooked grains. Somehow I feel the answer is tons of organic greens!

    Oh, and yeah, I do think that humans were born to be barefoot, however as we became more industrialized, the surfaces we walk on have changed in texture, density, etc. Shoes were created for protection of mankind's' inventions such as chemicals, glass, etc.

  • those little "running" socks/shoes are so expensive!! i'd rather run in barefeet than pay $100 for those.

  • Running barefoot on grass or sand or dirt or a rubber(ized) surface is awesome. But the human body did not evolve with asphalt and concrete around, so use common sense in choosing where you run barefoot.

    Wondermuffin--I highly suggest eating some fruits and perhaps even some sprouted grain before a lengthy run. Greens are very nutritious, but they're low on calories, and are likely to leave you without enough energy. Green smoothies with sweet fruit and greens would be a great compromise. You get calories from the fruit, and the greens should keep all the sugar from hitting your bloodstream at once.

  • "Running barefoot on grass or sand or dirt or a rubber(ized) surface is awesome. But the human body did not evolve with asphalt and concrete around, so use common sense in choosing where you run barefoot."

    Not true, if you run the same way without shoes as with shoe you can't run on hard surface's but with a different running style you can run on hard surfaces without damaging your foot (of course don't run 40km tomorrow on hard surface if your not used to it, it takes time for your body to change. (google bare foot ted).

  • They are expensive but no worries google "tarahumara sandals" en you have perfect shoes for almost nothing.

  • All of this discussion is great!

    Wichten-definitely check out barefoot running. You're miles ahead of me on distance(although I'm working on it!) and I think you could really benefit!

    As far as the purpose of shoes, yeah, we use them, and pretty much always have to protect our feet from weather, sharp things, etc but that doesn't mean they make our body more perfect. I'm convinced that barefoot running was the way we were supposed to run. Shoes shouldn't be viewed as an improvement of a bodily function. There's just no way that a man made invention makes our bodies more functional. I wear shoes all the time in the winter because it's cold but not because I walk better in them.......I mean heels....seriously, not made for comfort

  • I started running farther to prepare for 10K's and my feet barely noticed it! This is a big deal for me since it's twice the normal running. I'm being more adamantly told that now that I'm running longer distances I really need to "pick up a pair of sneakers". But I'm so encouraged by how I'm feeling that it's not even remotely getting me down!

  • Still plugging away! I've done six mile barefoot runs now and am ridiculously into it.

    It's freezing outside though now and dark by the time I get home from work so I'm only on the treadmill unless there's a nice weekend day I can do it. Super amazing!

    This week I'll be hitting more than twenty miles!

    http://frontyardfoodie.com/

  • i love walking barefoot and indoors running or jogging barefoot on a treadmill , i usually am barefoot at work whenever ican and pple look at you funny ,it feels great to let your feet breath. if you cant do so may be wear socks 1 or 2 pairs ,it could work , all the best http://twitter.com/meths969

  • love the book "born to run"!!

    it got me to hike down griffith park barefoot.

    some stares

    but

    who cares?

  • Very nice book, red it twice. Yesterday my first 10km on VFF still not as smooth as I wanted to but the tarahumara running style is developing (even with the very big smile 8) ) You fly over the streets, with almost no effort, I'm very curious what it will be in 2 or 3 months time.

  • great book.. "Born to Run". Of course here in the civilized world, we do need protection from glass, etc. , but I say anywhere you can, run barefoot.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/athletics/article6823220.ece

  • did you guys have foot and calf pains after your first few runs?? i've only ran barefoot twice now (longest run was 45 minutes then i walked rest of the way) and my achilles is burning!! i've got a few huge blisters and it just hurts to walk. will this pain eventually subside?

    i'm going to try on Vibrams today because going on the gravel and pine needles hurt like hell. hope i like them!

    i also put "Chi Running" on hold at the library. anyone ever read it?? i love "Born to Run" and want to get my hands on as many good running books as possible.

  • 00 Raw Newbie

    I've been a shoe minimalist for quite a while even before I knew there was a word to describe it (not quite barefoot, but I do make my own huaraches and I wear the thinnest soled shoes I can find with socks if it's chilly outside -- ballet shoes)... lol. You do have to relearn how to walk/run (mid/forefoot strike instead of heel strike), but after a little while it becomes your natural way of moving.

    As for the pain, if does hurt a little at first just because you're reengaging muscles that you never really worked before besides when you were a barefoot child learning how to walk. You're just building up muscles in your feet, ankles, legs that should have been working the whole time you've been walking. The pain should feel like your arms after doing 100 more push-ups than you're used to doing - that crazy burn that hurts but strangely feels good at the same time lol. The more you practice barefoot, the less it'll hurt. You just have to build up those muscles.

    However, if it's some really scary sharp pain you're feeling, or the pain isn't going away, you should get checked out by a doctor or professional sports injury therapist just to make sure you're okay...

    Make sure to post how the Vibram FiveFingers go. I'm thinking of getting some, since I'm tired of those ballet shoes I always wear... I'll be happy when I can accidentally walk in a little puddle and not feel like my feet are damp all day.

  • missc, thanks for your input! i think you're right about my muscles just not being used to it. it's basically just severe muscle soreness. i had to crawl when i got back from my 2nd run! haha

    i tried out the vibrams tonight and the place i went to only had 2 pairs of size 39. they fit ok, but my toes were too long so they felt squished. it would've been nice if they had more, but i'm just gonna order size 40's online and hope they fit. i can't decide between the Sprint and the KSO. i tried on the Sprints tonight but am concerned that i'll get rocks in them when i run on gravel and in the woods. also, i love the colors but know they will get dirt and mud on them so will probably go with black.

  • I'm still trying, running VFF on every surface.

    I did a street race of 10 km in 44:01 minutes went great and with ease, lots and lots of muscle pain afterwards but that gets better toke one week rest and started with running again I flew over the roads big smile on my face but all good things have to end broke or sprain or I don't know a bone in my left feet and it hurts and got swollen. So 4 weeks later pain and swelling is gone next week I try again.

    VFF are really great on grass. On the roads also nice but wet grass haha you will get a really big smile on your face, flying along your running mates who are breathing like steam engines and pounding the roads like a hurt of elephants :).

    @joannabanana sand in vff's is not pleasant (running on a beach) else I like my sprints (mostly grass, woods, paved roads) and please take the time to let your body adjust :).

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