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barefoot running

While our ancestors may not have run in shoes, they also didn’t run on gravel and grass. Nowadays there are specifically designed trainers that provide the all-natural benefits of barefoot running without the risk of road hazards.

why barefoot running?

This style of movement brings us back to a more natural gait, landing on the forefoot or middle of the foot as opposed to the heels. In the short term, this reduces the force of each footstrike from three times a runners’ body weight to 60% of her body weight. In the long term, barefoot advocates claim you will have stronger feet and ankles, improved balance and a reduced risk of injury.

take barefoot baby steps

We are by now adjusted to trainers with cushioning and support, so a complete switch from running 10Ks in ASICS with a 12mm shock-absorbing heel to endurance running in Vibrams with a 0mm heel is not recommended. A slow transition to barefoot running is the key to avoiding injuries. Introduce barefoot running gradually as a warm-up or cool-down from a main run, and build up foot strength over time. Keep in mind this will take months rather than days.

fly silently

Rather than pounding the pavement, veteran barefoot runners land lightly. As you develop your technique and increase your tempo, you will start to feel light and fast. Once you manage your first run in silence, you will be a barefoot convert.

For more advice on transitioning to barefoot running, check out Sweaty Betty CEO Simon Hill-Norton’s tips or find your nearest boutique to try on some transition footwear. Shop barefoot running shoes >
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