Running in Barefoot and Minimalist Shoes

May 18, 2017 by
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear, Footwear Products, Health, Sports 

Today’s post is from a website called Jen Reviews. The piece below is one part of the entire post, which focuses on running in what the author calls “barefoot shoes” or minimalist shoes. It think this is a relevant subject and of importance because many runners, and even walkers, want to learn more about and try these shoes. The article is 15 Health Benefits of Barefoot Running Shoes, According to Science (+8 Tips for Beginners).

There is a lot of valuable information in the lengthy article and we can all learn something by giving it a read. I’ve extracted a section that talks about transitioning into running in these lightweight shoes. With summer coming on, many think about getting outside more and looking at new shoes. These shoes can be helpful to many runners but many athletes have been injured by doing too much too soon, giving podiatrists extra business. Don’t be one of them. Read the section below and then check out the full article.

Here’s the excerpt, taken from tip # 4 for beginners. To me, that means beginners to either these shoes or running in general.

Gradually Transition into Using Barefoot Running Shoes Regularly

While running barefoot or with barefoot shoes can be beneficial on many levels, just because you have the option to run in barefoot shoes, doesn’t mean that you have to use them all the time (3). That is, while professional athletes use them to recover from injuries, they do not use them while they are training or during a game.

You must choose the right manner in which to use your barefoot running shoes, especially if it is your first time using them. The best way is to ease into the use of them.

Try walking indoors first, then walk outdoors. Proceed to run indoors, then run outdoors. Once running outdoors, transition from running on soft surfaces to harder ones. Doing this will allow your body’s natural shock mechanisms to build up, which will allow you run better with these shoes or barefoot in the future.

It is recommended that when switching running shoes, that you do not add more than 10% of exercise per week to your regular running routine.

For instance, during the first four weeks of using barefoot shoes, walk slowly for 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per week. In the next 2 weeks, run briefly on a soft surface 2 to 3 times per week. You can do this exercise as a warm-up or cool down for your regular workouts.

After this time, you may then increase your barefoot running exercises on soft surfaces by 10% 2 to 3 times per week. Proceed to do this until you are able to perform 50% of your normal workouts in barefoot shoes.

Bottom Line: Though running with barefoot shoes can be beneficial to your health, you do not have to use them all the time. In fact, for those who have not used barefoot running shoes, it is best if you ease into the use of them by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts over a matter of weeks.

This is good advice for anyone thinking about these new lightweight shoes. Check out the full article at 15 Health Benefits of Barefoot Running Shoes, According to Science (+8 Tips for Beginners).

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