Barefoot Running Without Shoes Is So Healthy


Barefoot running without shoes is good for your feet and body statics, and it just feels great. To start safely in the barefoot trend

Feeling the pure nature under the soles of your feet is a wonderful experience! Why not only the feet but your entire body benefits from barefoot running and how to make sense and safely start running without shoes (or with barefoot shoes), we explain here:

Why is barefoot walking useful?

“The human being is a barefoot runner,” says orthopedic shoemaker Daniel Bürkner from Berlin and vice president of the Zentralverband Orthopädieschuhtechnik ZVOS, “Only for protection did our ancestors wrap their fur around their feet, which has developed into shoes over the course of time.”

A consequence of wearing the shoe: The foot muscles and the entire foot stunt – also because of the smooth floors. “When running barefoot, on the other hand, the front part of the foot bounces off the impact, which lessens the strain on the joints from the toe, over the ankle, knee, and hip to the back.”

Barefoot running
Barefoot running benefits the entire body © Jacob Lund /

What health benefits does running without shoes have?

” It develops a whole new body feeling, with time, not only the foot, but the entire body becomes more agile and flexible. The foot reflex zones are stimulated more barefoot, which benefits the entire body.

How do you practice barefoot running?

“Barefoot running is healthy when the foot muscles are in training,” says Bürkner, “which means that the foot muscles, like other muscles, have to be set up slowly in order to perform their function, otherwise not only sore muscles but also permanent misalignments. ”

Bürkner advises: “Start with just half an hour of running without shoes, preferably on soft ground at first and only twice a week.” Beach walks without shoes are a good start as sandy soil gives way. Soft forest and meadow paths provide a springy surface, which gently strengthens the muscles.

Very important: “It is not enough to simply take off the shoes and maintain the old movement pattern. With each step, deliberately roll softly from the heel to the bale,” advises the orthopedic shoemaker. “Imagine being pulled up like a puppet with threads on your head.”

On floors and other hard, non-springy surfaces you should only walk longer without shoes if you have built up enough foot muscles. For example, if you want to boost muscle growth, you can practice sitting down, picking up a pencil or a towel with your toes.

What does running with barefoot shoes bring?

Barefoot shoes usually consist of a very light rubber sole that protects the foot from injury, and top with a closing sock.

What are the risks of barefoot running?

“If you’re serious about starting barefoot running, then I suggest you check with a doctor beforehand if the foot is strong enough to support your body weight without supportive shoes,” says Bürkner. If you have an orthopedic shoemaker, you should also have your barefoot walk and walk in barefoot shoes analyzed.

Consulting is useful. For example, with a kinked foot, intense walking without a supportive footbed can trigger pain and increase malposition. Also with osteoarthritis in the toes, the increased movement would increase the pain.

And of course lurking stones and other sources of injury not only on asphalt but also on forest roads. Until enough muscle – and cornea – is built up to catch them, it takes some time. But beware: “In very thick, solid cornea cracks can develop, which in turn can cause injuries,” says Bürkner, “With barefoot shoes, you’re more on the safe side.”

Conclusion: barefoot running benefits the entire body – if you turn on your head and consciously exercise new movement patterns. Just try it.

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