Barefoot Running Improves Technique

Ditch the Shoes for Better Form




PlusONE/Shutterstock.com

Barefoot running has become a popular activity for athletes, and with the right training, can be a helpful tool for many runners. A recent study from the University of Jaén, in Spain, confirms the benefits of barefoot running. Researchers set out to determine what types of changes a 12-week program of barefoot running would produce in foot strike patterns, inversion, eversion and foot rotation.

Thirty-nine recreational athletes with no experience in barefoot running participated. Twenty formed the experimental group, with 19 serving as a control group. Researchers determined each runner’s low, high and comfortable running speed and conducted pre- and post-running tests using cameras to document foot strike patterns. The experimental group’s training consisted of a progressive increase in the duration and frequency of barefoot running, while those in the control group performed the same progressive running program with their shoes on.

The experimental group showed significant changes in foot strike pattern, with a tendency toward a mid-foot strike at all speeds. They also displayed changes in foot rotation and inversion toward a more centered strike at the lower speed, supporting the notion that progressive barefoot training can help athletes trying to change their foot pattern to a mid- or front-foot strike.


This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Gardening Asanas

Overdoing garden work can produce aches and pains, but by integrating yoga positions while planting and weeding, we can emerge pain-free after hours of being on our knees and bending.

Indigenous Wisdom

Indigenous elders from around the world meet together to pass down four sacred gifts of wisdom we would do well to heed.

Nature’s Remedies

Creatures in the wild ranging from microbes to elephants cope with parasites, pests and pain using natural substances; it all suggests why our preserving the natural world is good for us, too.

Healthy Climate, Healthy People

As the Earth slowly heats up, we’re being affected by rising allergens, disaster-related trauma and the increase in insects carrying dangerous diseases.

Whole Grains Help Us Eat Less

When overweight Danes exchanged refined grain products such as white bread and pasta for whole-grain equivalents, they tended to feel full sooner, eat less, lose weight and have less inflammation.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Zen Shiatsu Training

Business Spotlight
Shiatsu School of Vermont, one of two schools certified in the U.S. to offer Zen-style shiatsu certification, is offering a one-year Certified Practitioner Program starting this September.

Transformation Through the Art of Breema

An upcoming weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Movement from April 20 to 22 will provide a fulfilling entry into Breema’s philosophy, self-care exercises and bodywork.

Tour Green Homes at Green House Festival in Brookline

Mothers Out Front has organized a green home tour from noon to 3 p.m. on April 8, in Brookline.

Sleeping Better Naturally

Business Spotlight
At The Organic Mattress, a family-owned specialty sleep store, people will find mattresses made from natural and organic ingredients, including organic cotton, wool and natural latex made from the sap of rubber trees.

Rising Seas Threaten Boston

The Climate Action Business Association (CABA) is standing up to protect Commonwealth small business communities against imminent danger.

Peace on Earth

My latest favorite author is 20th-century new thought leader and philosopher Emmet Fox. His piece below feels like a perfect fit in light of the world’s celebration of our planet on Earth Day this month.