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Hi! I am new here, but I got such great answers with my last question, that I thought I'd ask another one that has been puzzling me.
I have lurked about some in the whole shoes / no shoes discussion. I am on week 5 of C25K. I have never run before. I am female and 209 lbs - obese. I run on the treadmill for a little over half of my runs and outside for the rest. When I am on the treadmill, I almost always run barefoot. Outside I wear sneakers. Most of the people I have read are either pro-shoes or pro-barefoot/minimal shoes.
Does it hurt that I am doing both? Should I stick to one or the other?
What kind of surfaces are you running on?
Grass/Sand/Dirt: Go barefoot
Concrete/Asphalt: Wear shoes (For safety reasons -- glass, stones, nails, what-have-you.)
As much as it may pain the barefoot crowd on the board to hear this, mankind has not yet evolved to the point where one can safely do a marathon on concrete.
Started Walking March 2009
2010 Gasparilla 5K Fun Walk (1:17:09)
2010 AFLAC Iron Girl Clearwater 5K Run/Walk, (1:14:10)
2010 Miles For Hope 5K -- Clearwater (1:22:14) (Oh, that bridge!)
2011 Gasparilla 5+3K, (2:03:18)
2012 Gasparilla 5K Fun Walk, 3/3/12
Do both, however you feel comfortable. One is not better than the other, they compliment each other.
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I agree with HCT. There's nothing wrong with doing both, in whatever mix works for you. I think running barefoot does help with foot strength, which might help reduce foot injury. All my barefoot running so far has been on hard surfaces (asphalt and some concrete), and I've had no problem with that. If you're going to run barefoot outside, you need to watch out for anything sharp, whether it's stones or glass or nails, you name it. I don't think I'd want to do a long distance barefoot, though there are those who have done marathons. The most I've done is about 3 miles.
Doing both is the way to go, as long as you are not running barefoot on concrete. The different support levels you get in training both, will help develop strength that just doing one or the other cannot. It is good to get out on the grass and run around without shoes on, not just a treadmill, so go make your feet green!
"WITHOUT STRUGGLE, THERE WOULD BE NO PROGRESS" - Frederick Douglass
"TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!"