August 18, 2010

Running Without Shoes

Posted in Category : Exercise

Recently there has been an increase in the people who believe that running without shoes can be more beneficial than running with shoes on. Research has shown that running barefoot can reduce the risk of foot injury and that the running efficiency increases by 4%. Some believe that wearing shoes and running would weaken the muscles in the feet and reduce the natural biomechanics of the foot. With the support from shoes, ligaments and tendons stop functioning the way they ought to and this increases the chance of tears in the ligaments and cramps in adjoining muscles of the feet. Running without shoes has both its pros and cons. It would really help you save some money on the running gear. Though at first it might feel awkward you will soon get used to it and soon you will start enjoying the feel of the earth beneath your feet. Shoeless running is said to help to keep all the tissues and muscles of your feet active and strengthen them. The insteps in your feet often need support but it is said that running without shoes is one way of making them stronger and less prone to inflammation and weakening. As you start running barefoot you might have to first try out small distances.

Running your normal course barefoot the first time might lead to more complications than you expect, as you will put your feet and calf muscles through unexpected rigorous activity. It is only natural to feel uneasy and sore the first few times but soon you will get used to it and eventually you will get comfortable running without shoes. One other issue to keep in mind is that while running barefoot you must plan your route for running with great care. Generally you might pick a trail through the woods or a mountainous path but barefoot running requires a lot of care and precautions. Golf courses, jogger’s parks, paved paths and grassy fields are among the best places to go running without shoes. If you live near the beach, then the best place to run barefoot in on the beach but you will need to watch out for glass pieces and broken shells. Running without shoes has its disadvantages also as it tends to increase the plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon as the shock on the foot increases the ligaments and muscles might start revolting. The key is to start slowly and try to get comfortable while running without shoes.