Barefoot Running: Q+A

Can anyone run barefoot?

A. If you believe barefoot running is our evolutionary heritage, it certainly follows that anyone can. Or almost anyone.

“Certain neuropathies, such as diabetes, makes it inadvisable,” says Daniel Lieberman. If you’re overweight or out of shape? You need to build up your conditioning and fitness slowly, just as you would if you were running in shoes.

How long will it take me to change my form?

A. “It takes around 10-12 weeks to change flexibility, and around six to eight weeks to increase strength - but proprioception could take days or weeks, it’s very individual,” says Jay Dicharry.

If you’ve been a runner for years rather than months, you may find it harder to change your form because your movement patterns are more deeply ingrained.

“Most of changing your form is about ‘software’ – the nerve-to-muscle communication –rather than the ‘hardware’, or your musculoskeletal system.”

Get to grips with barefoot running
or take on some key barefoot exercises before you begin.