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

Pillow Self-Talk

Spending a few minutes each night with three purposeful questions will help us to rest content and awaken with joy.

Eco-Upgrades for America’s Landmarks

From the Grand Canyon to the Gateway Arch to the Empire State Building, America’s landmarks are making the old new again with Earth-friendly changes.

Five Reasons to Love a Cat

Cats are low-maintenance, health-enhancing roommates; they’re also surprisingly eco-friendly.

Eye Contact Syncs Baby and Adult Brainwaves

When an adult looks into the eyes of a baby, a synchronization of brain waves occurs that supports early learning and communication skills, say Cambridge University researchers.

U.S. Midlife Women Choosing Natural Health Care

More than 80 percent of midlife women reported using complementary approaches in a recent survey, with herbal teas and vitamins the top choices.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Everyone Gets Manic for Annual Vegan Festival

The eighth annual Chicago VeganMania, a daylong celebration of vegan culture, commerce, community, cuisine and couture, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 1st.

Finding the Gems

While helping the environment is a key motivator for many people that shop at retail storefronts that sell used furniture and building materials, the thrill of discovering something unique is just as powerful a draw.

A Woman’s 1,000-Mile Journey Along the Great Lakes

Loreen Niewenhuis's latest book, A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk, to be released this spring, explores the geology of the Great Lakes and the history of Lake Michigan.

Balance Chiropractic and Wellness Offers Holistic Events

Balance Chiropractic and Wellness, in Hoffman Estates, focuses on helping patients add more movement to their life and to achieve fulfillment and health.

Healing Energy

Located on Main Street, in Skokie, Solay Wellness is a growing retail, Internet and global wholesale company that specializes in natural, organic Himalayan salt-based products.

VitaClay Cooker Offers Healthy Cooking

Essenergy has introduced a new eight-cup VitaClay Smart Organic Multi-Cooker, a slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer, plus a yogurt maker.