Going The Wong Way I'm ALWAYS going the Wong way

Barefoot Running

That title probably gets your attention. As is common knowledge, we need shoes in order to run. Running barefoot is impossible to comprehend. Except…it’s not. There are so many reasons that I have found that compel me to run barefoot. And I figured that now would be a good time to post them here.

I have been running barefoot for over 9 months now. I started off running a few blocks, and I have progressed to now run a few miles a couple of times each week. Yes, it will sometimes be briefly uncomfortable when I step on a pebble, but it is usually gone in the next step. However for most people the thought of pain is enough to prevent them from ever trying to run barefoot. On the other hand, just because I run on the street does not mean that everyone has to. Running on sand or grass would definitely be more comfortable, but it’s really not that bad running on the pavement (in my opinion). I believe that running barefoot is better, and I want my behavior to be in accordance with my beliefs.

  • I was not born with shoes. (Of course I also wasn’t born with clothes, but clothes don’t injure me. If they did, I wouldn’t wear those either.)
  • Injuries increase with the price of the shoes according to surveys from runners.
  • It’s recommended (by pediatricians) that young children be allowed to walk around barefoot so that they can develop their feet. There must be something there, right?
  • By the laws of physics the force of each step when running has to be translated and absorved somewhere. Running sure isn’t hurting your feet. Where does that leave? Perhaps the knees and hips?
  • Tough and hardened feet are much more useful than soft tender feet. Soft feet are nice to the touch, but they can’t nearly do what used feet can do. If you had to run away from danger, you can’t exactly stop to put on your shoes.
  • Without the artificial support of shoes, your feet need to balance and adapt. That is, the muscles and tendons in your feet will get stronger. It’s similar to why it’s excellent to do exercises without artificial support. You need to balance while also performing the task at hand. And that will make you stronger and strengthen the entire structure.
  • There sure are a lot of people from other countries that are awesome runners without the need for shoes. Have you ever thought about that? Not only are they awesome, but they have lower incidence of injury. Just because I wasn’t born in a culture like that does not mean that I cannot become like that!
  • I stand for freedom!. I always have, I always will. But it is a different kind of freedom that I feel when I’m running barefoot. It kind of makes me feel like a little kid, and I love that.
  • The arch is one of the strongest structures known to man. We use it for bridges to hold up amazing amounts of weight. Have you ever seen an arched bridge have something filling the entire arch? No. That’s because the arch is strongest when there is nothing filling that gap. Surprise, surprise guess where we have an arch.
  • One of the most important reason to consider running barefoot is that it makes you more conscious of your running form. So while your form might suffer when you’re running with shod feet, you won’t modify your behavior because it doesn’t manifest itself until years of running have beaten your body down. However you will definitely notice the difference with bare feet. You will not strike your heel. You will land on the balls of your feet. You will be careful of where you go. You could learn how to run with better form from someone teaching you. But that doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to change. Pain is a much better way to modify your behavior than mere information. It’s a reminder every step that you need to run correctly.

I run barefoot. I enjoy it.