All About Bare Foot Running and Minimalist Shoes

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I cannot forget the sight of my mom sitting in front of the TV guzzling mugs of coffee drooling over Milind Soman, talking about his barefoot running in the marathon and minimalist shoes. And I was like ‘ugh! How can a mom be so crazy about old uncle ji… :P’ but then a look at Milind’s muscled calves and I got the answer for her craziness. LOL

Well, take a look…. He is actually…. Hmmm!!  well, something   😉    Mommyyy   🙂

All About Bare Foot Running and Minimalist Shoes

Know All About Bare Foot Running and Minimalist Shoes here.

Barefoot running, also known as minimalism or natural way to run, is simply going without shoes or in thin-soled shoes. To run barefoot is considered to be the natural way of running and some cultures like Tarahumara in Mexico still foster this idea. Being barefoot remains a controversial topic and many argue it might not be suitable for all runners. Minimalist runners, or runners who run in minimal shoes or barefoot, argue that going barefoot can correct a runner’s form. It has the potential to foster a forefoot strike, which can result in fewer injuries like IT Band Syndrome, Runner’s Knee, Shin splints than those who run with a heel-strike.

History of minimalist running

It was in 1960 Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila, the greatest Olympic marathoner of all time, won the first of his consecutive gold medals without shoes and made a world record and later joined in the mission by runners like Zola Budd. But it wasn’t until 2009 that barefoot running became a hot topic.

Why run barefoot?

Studies have proven that less weight on your feet will improve your efficiency and decrease your time. Research has also shown that barefoot running forces the foot to impact the ground differently. Running shoes typically make runners strike the ground with their heel first, whereas barefoot running changes the gait to a forefoot strike. It strengthens the muscles of the foot arch and feels great.

How to Start Running Barefoot

The more minimal a shoe the more your foot, ankle, and lower leg have to work to maintain and support the body in motion which means the foot, ankle, and calves have to be stronger.

Some ways to begin strengthening to transition to moving towards being barefoot are:

  • Strengthen the lower body and core

  • Practice weight-bearing strength exercises barefoot

  • Begin to incorporate short intervals (seconds to minutes) of barefoot walking around the house while continuing to use minimal shoes walking or on the elliptical.

  • Practice patience and flexibility.

Minimalist Running Shoes

barefoot running minimalist shoes

Following the boom of barefoot runners, running shoe companies came up with the Five Fingers shoe, also known as minimal shoes. Minimal running shoes are an alternative for runners who want to try barefoot running but also want to protect their feet from dirt, water, rocks, and other road hazards. The barely-there nature of the shoes put little between you and the ground, imitating barefoot running so you don’t have to put your vulnerable soles at risk. Here again, Milind wearing those minimalist shoes.

All About Bare Foot Running and Minimalist Shoes

  • Land gently on your forefoot and gradually let the heel come down.
  • Don’t overdo it or overstride.
  • Build up slowly and be patient.
  • Stop and let your body heal if you experience pain.
  • Stretch your calves and hamstrings carefully and regularly.
  • Listen to your feet. Stop if your arches are hurting, if the top of your foot is hurting, or if anything else hurts.

To end I would like to quote my mom’s favorite 😛 ‘THE MILIND SOMAN’ who points out that once you take off your shoes, you can feel the difference instantly, but it took him two years to fully understand the difference between running barefoot and with shoe Quote: “Shoes make you weak. You run on a heel, so your weight is in front. It’s a completely wrong stance. The stresses in your body when you wear shoes are all unnatural.”

Now that you know all about barefoot running and minimalist shoes, will you be comfortable with them?

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