barefoot running, good or bad for you

does it work?

1 to 20 of 21 messages
08/02/2014 at 11:56
I currently run in New Balance 940's but I'm intrigued by barefoot shoes. I'm in the middle of 'Born to Run' where the author is advocating barefoot shoes. Will they help my pronation issues or hinder them? I run 5k mainly, but up to marathons
08/02/2014 at 12:07

What are your pronation issues?

08/02/2014 at 12:27

I don't think he does advocate barefoot running in his book. He does, however question the running shoe industry and whether the expensive motion control shoes are in fact of any use or could even cause injury. He talks of pronation as being a natural part of running and doesn't cause injury. I think you need to finish the book and make your own mind up. 

To add my views I like lightweight shoes but fall short of minimalist purely because there a lot of sharp stones, glass etc out there and you need some protection. The character "Barefoot Ted" in the book ends up with his feet cut to pieces at the end of the race. 

08/02/2014 at 12:38
RicF, I have to be honest and say I don't know. The running shop I had my gait looked at in advised me to get my New Balance shoes. What type of issue I had never registered ????
XX1
08/02/2014 at 13:00

Just for clarity what do people mean by "barefoot" shoes and "minimalist" shoes?

XX1
08/02/2014 at 13:54

Why not have a look at the thread "Gait analysis, is it a waste of time?" thread Steve?

08/02/2014 at 14:58

personally I would say yes it is a waste of time unless coached.  there so many factors to consider.  just you tube bare foot running.

the body has to be aligned in a straight line, cadence has to be maintained, and the pelvis needs to be in the right place. 

I have read a number of articles and it also appears that even if all the above are good and correct, injuries may still be caused by the hard pavement/road.

it is simply pie in the sky for most runners.

 

 

08/02/2014 at 15:30

Surprised Ben hasn't jumped in yet.....

i thought he could smell the word 'gait analysis' from miles away 

08/02/2014 at 20:53

I don't consider Nike free, Saucony Kinvara etc. minimalist.

in contrast, VivoBarefoot Neo, Evo etc. have about a 5 mm sole, no heel-toe difference: basically they provide protection from glass, thorns, dog muck and so on. (and provide extra traction with Neo/Breatho trail shoes), but with practically no cushioning; they are not only very flexible but also really let you feel the ground and allow your foot to move in a more natural manner.

If Kinvara, Frees etc. are going to be called minimalist then the VBs etc. need to be called "barefoot shoes" because really, they're completely different. I found that I muscled up my feet quite a bit by running in the Neos all the time (and occasionally running barefoot). But you have to start with short distances and really work on your running form.

I chose to move to VB Neos to assist in changing my running style to shorter stride, higher cadence etc., because they helped me to feel the ground, feel how I was landing.

09/02/2014 at 18:39
I just fancy trying them out. Might invest and see
10/02/2014 at 21:31

I run in Nike free 4.0 v2's and love them! I used the "heels" before and always seemed to have sore knees. Since using free's I generally don't have any problems. Just bought some NB trail shoes the 1010's. They feel very similar but with better grip.

My advice would be to take it easy when you start! And make sure you have a forefoot plant not heel strike and a smaller stride.

 

23/02/2014 at 16:13
Right. That's next month's purchase sorted out. Won't find out if I can live with them til I buy some and have a go. Thanks all for input
23/02/2014 at 16:22

Over 25 years ago I routinely trained in race shoes. But I only weighed 8 stone something and could skoot along at sub seven pace off road barely breathing.

Obviously ahead of my time, along with trail running and HR monitors.

XX1
23/02/2014 at 16:24

What shoes are you intending to purchase?

XX1
23/02/2014 at 16:48

 Running barefoot can decrease pronation on the foot’s impact with the ground. This is thought to be because running shoes have extra weight for cushioning at the heel of the shoe, causing the runner to heel strike more, which in turn results in increased pronation during the step. According to Stacoff, Kaelin, and Steussi, researchers at the Biomechanics Laboratory, “The least amount of pronation takes place when running barefoot."

Running barefoot can help reduce or eliminate this evil pronation issue that is heavily marketed by running shoe companies as being the main cause behind most injuries. Running shoe companies have created various different shoes that attempt to correct or prevent pronation and assume the neutral position is the only good position the foot must land in.

Could it be regardless if runners feet land normal, rolls in or rolls out, foot landing position may not have any impact upon injury rate?

Edited: 23/02/2014 at 16:56
24/02/2014 at 07:02

If you think "barefoot shoes" don't exist, then "nude tights" must really screw with your head.

28/02/2014 at 07:49

Hi Debra,

As part of my recovery I am now running in Brooks pure drift with the liner removed so that they are zero drop.  Do they count as minimalist or bare foot shoes?  I like them because they are light and have a wide toe box. 

Also because they are so light they minimise impact which protects my shins.

01/03/2014 at 21:43

Hi Surrey Runner, I don't know enough about them to say which I'd consider them to be. Looking at a review on the web, I'd say they couldn't be considered "barefoot shoes" if worn with the insert providing a 3-4 mm heel-toe drop. Even without that, maybe too much cushioning to be "barefoot"? The light weight and wide toe box are good features. I think there's a gradation rather than a definite line, and different people are going to have different opinions as to where they draw the line. I'd consider my Inov8 Trailroc 235s minimalist rather than barefoot (I bought them for the Lakeland 50, because on those trails I wanted a bit more underfoot protection/cushioning than in the VivoBarefoot Neo Trails I used for my other 50-milers) - while the Trailroc 150 surely would be "barefoot" (just with added traction!)

02/03/2014 at 13:38

I'm not a barefoot purist: I don't have a problem with that. I love running barefoot; I've run a grassy/muddy parkrun barefoot, for example. But foot coverings (aka shoes) are useful tools which have their place, just like the body coverings (waterproof coat and warm layer) which stopped me from getting hypothermia out on the SDW50 last year were useful tools. I want to be able to go for long trail runs without having to consider every step what might be hidden on the overgrown path etc. (thinking about how NDW looked last year), and I don't see myself running 50-mile trail races barefoot any time soon.

02/03/2014 at 22:04

Thanks Debra, 

I've taken out the insert so it is a zero drop.  There is some cushioning still but much.much less than my previous shoes.  May try and go further next time though put off from running completely barefoot due to strange looks I would get. 

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