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13183 Views 34 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2011 11:13 AM by Julie Ann Hackett Go to original post 1 2 3 Previous Next
  • LastPlaceJason Amateur 33 posts since
    Dec 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Dec 18, 2009 7:26 AM (in response to classicallytrained)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I teach barefoot running.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at robillardj "at" gmail "dot" com.

     

    I also have a website with barefoot and minimalist shoe informration- http://barefootrunninguniversity.com.





    The Barefoot Running Book

    Jason's Website


    Jason's Ultramarathon Schedule Site (formerly The Ultramarathon Store)

    Jason's Barefoot Running Blog

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,422 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Dec 18, 2009 8:04 AM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    It's also been discussed here recently, at this thread.  http://community.active.com/thread/76625/barefoot-running/0/45

     

     

    Len





    Len

  • ExperiencedRunner Amateur 31 posts since
    Jan 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Jan 19, 2010 10:59 PM (in response to classicallytrained)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I would be very cautious of running barefoot.  You could do some very serious damage to you feet if you were to step on glass, sharp gravel etc.  running shoes do much more than protect you feet from sharp objects, then cushion the foot from the many, many pounds of force that one places on them from motion.  I am concerned for the long term effects on your muscles, joints, and bones of your feet from barefoot running....

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Jan 20, 2010 6:59 AM (in response to ExperiencedRunner)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I would concede the risk of sharp objects but I think many would argue that running in cushiony shoes has done nothing to reduce the rate of injury in runners and some might even argue they do more harm than good.

     

    I can’t stop thinking about giving it a try and I’ve been eyeballing the vibram 5fingers to reduce the risk of injury from stepping on something sharp.





    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)


    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,422 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Jan 20, 2010 9:08 AM (in response to rbird)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I have done some barefoot running - not a lot and none since the weather really got cold.  I haven't encountered the "sharp object" problem  but maybe I've just been lucky.

     

    Increasing foot strength is one of the benefits touted for barefoot running.  In my limited experience that is true.  I cannot vouch for the claim that you run more midfoot - I'm a heel striker with and with out shoes.  Nor did any of my aches and pains miraculously disappear.  Take it for what it's worth.

     

    Here are a couple of interesting articles.  The first tries to be balanced.  The second is a study comparing shoes to barefoot.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/phys-ed-is-running-barefoot-better-for-you/

    http://www.pmrjournal.org/article/S1934-1482(09)01367-7/fulltext

     

    Len





    Len

  • rbird Legend 1,073 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    20. Jan 20, 2010 10:04 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I had to run through shattered beer bottles on a sidewalk next to a busy road Tuesday evening.  I assumed they had been chucked out of a passing car.  Really pissed me off . . .





    2010 Space Coast Marathon 4:27:39

    2011 Charleston Marathon 4:25:58

    2011 Croom Fools Run 50k 6:16:51

    2011 Marine Corps Marathon 4:24:48

    2011 Jacksonville Bank Marathon 4:44:12 (4:45 Pace Leader)

    2012 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay 28:20:47 (3rd place-Mixed Ultra)


    Check it out - I'm bloggin'!

  • bedeker Amateur 7 posts since
    Mar 14, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    21. Mar 14, 2010 1:14 AM (in response to rbird)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I've been a runner for over 20 years, and have had all the usual aches, pains and injuries you would expect from running over that period of time.  I recenlty started running in Vibram Fivefingers because I'd read several articles and McDougall's book "Born to Run", and decided to see if I could put some life back into my running regimen, and to calm down a few foot and left groin issues.  I started off the first day planning to go around the neighborhood, maybe do a couple miles.  I got to the 2 mile point and felt great so kept going.  I finished at about 5 miles, and aside from sore calves felt great!  No foot pain at all and my groin felt great too.  Since then I've done my usual workouts and haven't had a single problem with pain anywhere.  Today i went 7 miles at an 8 min/mi pace and never got sore, no blisters or hot spots.  The Fivefingers force you to run with proper form, because if you don't you're going to have pain right away and you'll automatically correct whatever it was you did wrong, whether it be overstriding, heelstriking, or whatever.  As far as it being "dangerous" to run barefoot, this is what I think:  100,000 years ago our ancestors were chasing after antelope barefoot, and we're the living proof that they were successful, so they must not have had major foot problems running barefoot.  Our foot was engineered to run.  Modern shoe companies have tried to improve upon an already fine-functioning system, and often when you try to change something that has been fine-tuned through millenia of genetic refinement, you end up causing as much harm as good.  That's just my 2 cents.  Try it yourself.  go out to a nice park, golf course, or cross country course and run around for 2 or 3 miles barefoot and see how your feet feel afterwards.  I bet you'll be surprised!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,422 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Mar 14, 2010 7:03 AM (in response to bedeker)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    bedeker wrote:

     

    I've been a runner for over 20 years, and have had all the usual aches, pains and injuries you would expect from running over that period of time.  I recenlty started running in Vibram Fivefingers because I'd read several articles and McDougall's book "Born to Run", and decided to see if I could put some life back into my running regimen, and to calm down a few foot and left groin issues.  I started off the first day planning to go around the neighborhood, maybe do a couple miles.  I got to the 2 mile point and felt great so kept going.  I finished at about 5 miles, and aside from sore calves felt great!  No foot pain at all and my groin felt great too.  Since then I've done my usual workouts and haven't had a single problem with pain anywhere.  Today i went 7 miles at an 8 min/mi pace and never got sore, no blisters or hot spots.  . . .  Try it yourself.  go out to a nice park, golf course, or cross country course and run around for 2 or 3 miles barefoot and see how your feet feel afterwards.  I bet you'll be surprised!


    If you had left it at that, I could applaud your post.  I'm glad the Fivefingers work for you.  I hope they're still working after a couple thousand miles.  Of course, that doesn't mean they'll work as well for the next person.  There's no way to tell without trying.  I haven't run in them so I don't know how close they are to barefoot running, which I have done.

     

    But the rest of your post is speculation on your part.

     

    bedeker wrote:

     

    . . .  The Fivefingers force you to run with proper form, because if you don't you're going to have pain right away and you'll automatically correct whatever it was you did wrong, whether it be overstriding, heelstriking, or whatever.  As far as it being "dangerous" to run barefoot, this is what I think:  100,000 years ago our ancestors were chasing after antelope barefoot, and we're the living proof that they were successful, so they must not have had major foot problems running barefoot.  Our foot was engineered to run.  Modern shoe companies have tried to improve upon an already fine-functioning system, and often when you try to change something that has been fine-tuned through millenia of genetic refinement, you end up causing as much harm as good.  That's just my 2 cents. . .

    I'm still trying to figure out what property of these shoes can "force you to run with proper form" and "automatically correct whatever . . ."  Not to pick on you specifically, because I see these claims all the time from proponents of barefoot running, as well as Fivefingers.  I'd love to see some sort of proof that it's true.  As for our ancient ancestors chasing antelope barefoot, well . . .  Did they have much choice?  It appears some of the chase was at a walking pace, some at a jog, some running.  So should you adopt a Galloway plan and give up those 8 minute miles?  And no "major foot problems" doesn't necessarily follow.  There's an interesting video on YouTube of some modern-day Africans running down an antelope.  In shoes, no less!  How to destroy the image!  Anyway, there's some walking, some slow jogging and some running. (Looks like heel strike on one foot, midfoot on the other.)  It's very time compressed so you can't tell how much of each.  The animal is basically stalked to exhaustion, and at the end it just collapses and is killed.

     

    I really am glad the Fivefingers work for you.  Maybe they'll work that well for others.  A lot more experimentation needs to be done, and over thousands of miles.

     

    Len





    Len

  • bedeker Amateur 7 posts since
    Mar 14, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    23. Mar 14, 2010 1:44 PM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    Len,

    you're right, that was a bit of late-night speculation on my. part.  I agree that more experimentation needs to be done.  I wonder if anybody is doing any clinical trials comparing lower-extremity running-related injuries in standard running shoes versus barefoot runners.  I'm sure no shoe company is going to want to fund that for obvious reasons.  In the end, you just have to keep experimenting and find what works for you.  Brian

  • LastPlaceJason Amateur 33 posts since
    Dec 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Mar 14, 2010 1:55 PM (in response to bedeker)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    Research comparing injury rates between shod and barefoot runners is being planned right now... should be done in about a year.  I don't think it will be a "holy grail", but should at least verify what is only supported by anecdotal evidence right now.  namely, barefoot runners suffer less injuries.  I doubt it will be an actual experimental design, thus causation will not be established.  There are an awful lot of extraneous variables that could play a role in this research.

     

    Because of that, I think it is important to simply figure out what works best for you.  If that's barefoot, great.  If it is electronic cushioned trainers, awesome.  Just don't forget to thank the race volunteers.





    The Barefoot Running Book

    Jason's Website


    Jason's Ultramarathon Schedule Site (formerly The Ultramarathon Store)

    Jason's Barefoot Running Blog

  • baronr Rookie 2 posts since
    Apr 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Apr 11, 2010 4:17 PM (in response to jeff19)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I went to the American College of Sports Medicine conference last fall and saw Dr. Lieberman's presentation on the evolution of running...pretty neat stuff! He had a cool video (narrated by David Attenborough of course!) of an African tribesman running down a gazelle or some other form of horned running beast. This guy ran this animal to exhaustion, killed it, and ate it. Go Humans!

    Anyways, Dr. Lieberman's lecture touched on running barefoot (he runs barefoot in Cambridge, MA....not exactly the "safest" place for feet) so I decided to give it a shot. Put my shoes on my hands and cooled down barefoot. Running barefoot is just plain fun. I've been running barefoot and with VFFs ever since. But the problem with barefoot running is that it is fun...you may not realize that you're hurting. Went too far a few times and I paid for it with some pretty good calf and metatarsal pain. Just like anything else, you've got to ease into it. I started just doing portions of my runs barefoot and eventually progressed to barefoot/VFF only. I'm running around 60 mi/wk without complications (fingers crossed.) Give it a shot, you may like it!

  • johnsaleem Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 11, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Apr 11, 2010 10:06 PM (in response to baronr)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    Thank you for sharing your experience! If you haven't already, I would highly recommend that you pick up "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. Very good material about barefoot running and society's need to return to it.

     

    Cheers!





    John Saleem

    "Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction."

    -William James

  • chrisser25 Rookie 2 posts since
    Jun 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    27. Jun 18, 2010 5:34 PM (in response to jeff19)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    i read an article entitled "Running barefoot versus running shoes" that discusses about Steve Magness' interesting article about the link between injuries and impact forces and how running shoes companies want you to think that they’re inhibiting it.

    Running barefoot has been all the craze lately, what with the release of vibram and all, it’s very interesting to see where this will go, I don’t think running shoes companies will go down without any fight, though, if they’ll go down at all!

  • Wideguy Legend 1,161 posts since
    Aug 27, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    28. Aug 3, 2010 9:54 AM (in response to classicallytrained)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    I'm a new, Super-Clydesdale runner, tipping the scales at 275.  I've been running barefoot since I started in May with the occasional exception of wearing my VFF's on rainy days when the cars kick a lot of sand into the road. Curently only up to about 2 miles  at a 13m/m pace  but it feels so natural and for  guy my size to be out 3 days a week with essentially no pain ... I can barely stand wearing shoes now.

     

    Add me to the Barefoot lists





    C25K GRADUATE!
    Complete 10/30/10

    And then I let it all go again. More "restarts" than I can count but I haven't given up hope or trying yet. So who knows what's possible.

  • Wideguy Legend 1,161 posts since
    Aug 27, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    29. Aug 3, 2010 10:02 AM (in response to ExperiencedRunner)
    Re: Running Barefoot

    ExperiencedRunner wrote:

     

    I would be very cautious of running barefoot.  You could do some very serious damage to you feet if you were to step on glass, sharp gravel etc.  running shoes do much more than protect you feet from sharp objects, then cushion the foot from the many, many pounds of force that one places on them from motion.  I am concerned for the long term effects on your muscles, joints, and bones of your feet from barefoot running....

    Emphasis mine... Actually that statemeent has been proven false many times.  Running shoes , in fact , do NOTHING to reduce the impact forces your body feels while running. Your body still takes that exact same hit, each and every step. In fact much research is showing that  barefoot runners  actually DO begin to run more gently, less actual impact forces.  All those cushy shoes do is block the pain until later when your body cools down.

    http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

     

    That's a link to a study conducted at harvard that shows that heel striking runners actually absorb a double peak of impact  and the impact hits much more suddenly than a barefooter.





    C25K GRADUATE!
    Complete 10/30/10

    And then I let it all go again. More "restarts" than I can count but I haven't given up hope or trying yet. So who knows what's possible.

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