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Barefoot Running Shoes - Learn About the Benefits and
Dangers of Barefoot Running

Barefoot running shoes have become quite the hype.

One of the hottest topic of the past few years in running is barefoot running, surely.

When you see a runner tearing up the track barefoot you can't help but pay attention.

There is something mystical and alluring about someone who can get out there on all terrains without the protection of shoes.

Someone who can fully embrace barefoot running.

South African runner Zola Budd and Ethiopian Abebe Bikila come readily to mind as elite runners who have succeeded without running shoes.

So, Why is Barefoot Running Suddenly So Popular?

barefoot running shoesWhy is barefoot running so popular?

Well, I think it started getting more popular, slowly, anyways.

That's just by judging forum discussions, articles, etc.

But there is no doubt that popular running book Born to Run helped barefoot (or minimalist running) jump from obscure cult status to full-blown hype.

The book is really nicely written.

I read it at a time when I wasn't running that much for a while.

But the book really inspired me to get back into it.

The book advocates barefoot running as the running style that makes sense.

The writer argues that "normal" running shoes force you to land on your heels. When barefoot running you land on your mid-foot, the strongest part of the bottom of your feet.

When landing on your heels, the shock absorped by your feet and lower legs is larger than when landing on your mid-foot.

And this causes all kinds of nasty lower leg, foot and knee injuries.

In short the argument made in the book is:

Barefoot/minimalist running = good.

Normal running shoes = bad.

So, Is it Really That Simple - Is Barefoot Running Better? 

The writer of Born to Run had been going through all kinds of nasty running injuries and his barefoot running "cured" him.

Well, at least, for a while. Not documented in the book is what happened to the writer after he had spend some time doing his barefoot running.

Guess what? He started developing running injuries again.

The problem with barefoot running is that you can't just jump into it.

The biggest argument against barefoot running is the stress it places on the feet.

Without the protection and extra cushion provided by running shoes, the hard surfaces used for races and training can be very harsh on your feet. Many who embrace barefoot running experience a lot of pain.

You need to re-learn to run like this. Not landing on your heels will help your lower body absorp the shocks better, that's true. But suddenly other parts of your legs and feet absorp the shocks than before.

It's like when you first start running. You need to take it easy. Build up slowly. Don't go too crazy...

Additionally, most running surfaces will have rocks, pebbles, glass, and other debris that can scrape and cut into the soles of the feet.

Those cuts are susceptible to bacteria which can lead to infection. It could actually present a threat to your health.

Heat is another discomfort while running with bare feet. Paved roadways and rubberized tracks will absorb heat and become incredibly hot, which will hurt your feet as you run.

barefoot running shoes

So, Should You Do Barefoot Running or Not?

I have been talking about this with some of my running friends for a long time now. We think we have found the right way to go about this.

Coincidentally, I recently read an interview with famous runner Alberto Salazar, who supports our view.

So, if we are wrong, we are at least in good company... :)

We think that it is good to do some barefoot running each week. If you are a high mileage runner, then you'd probably do about 10 miles or so per week in your minimalist running shoes / barefoot.

The rest of the time you run in your normal running shoes.

The 10 miles of barefoot running will help you develop a more natural running style without pushing you through the pains and injuries of barefoot running all the tme.

With your natural running style comes an increased running cadence (stride rate) and most likely, over time, faster running times.

The good thing is that you will be able to do this more natural running style with your normal running shoes as well.

Should You Get Yourself Some Minimalist Running Shoes?

Want to embrace barefoot running? And you are prepared to take it easy on yourself. Not run all your miles barefoot, in other words be a bit sensible about it all?

Then you should look into some barefoot / minimalist running shoes. There are plenty of alternatives available nowadays.

In fact almost every brand has got its own "natural running shoe".

I have dedicated some pages to the most popular ones:

Nike Free Running Shoes
Regarding the Nike Free.... Can I be cynical for a moment? In Born to Run it is argued that Nike are the big culprits in bringing us modern running shoes.

They developed the product causing us to heel-strike, then they developed the market for it.

So, it is a bit funny that Nike now almost does a full circle. They have gone back to running shoes with less protection. Claiming that this is the way we are supposed to run...

So, check it out if you must... :)

Newton Running Shoes - TOP CHOICE
Now, these are some running shoes I can really endorse. I have been in contact with the Newton running company. Talking to them about their research, the work that goes into developing their shoes.

They are the real deal.

Newton running shoes do the best job of mimicking barefoot running. Without many of the dangers associated with it.

Still, you will have to allow an adjustment period when using Newton runners, but when you want to get into barefoot running, I'd really recommend checking out the page I wrote about their shoes above. Just click the link and enjoy!

barefoot running shoes
You can't get much further away from natural
running with these types of shoes

And of course, I have left some space for the next thing up from actually running barefoot: Vibram Five Fingers.

Now, the Vibrams look pretty cool. I had to get myself a pair as well. They fit like a glove.

When you do decide to get some Vibrams, even more so than with the other minimalist running shoes, make sure you ease into them.

Start off really easily, just a bit of walking around the house, then a gentle jog for just a few minutes and slowly, very slowly, build up from there.

You can do serious damage to your feet if you decide to ignore this advice and just start running on these shoes like nothing changed.

In fact, Vibram has been facing some court cases because people feel like they didn't get the right education when using these shoes, and consequently they have gotten themselves injured.

That's not to say you shouldn't get yourself a pair of barefoot running shoes if you wanted to. It just means you need to be really conscious about how you'll use these shoes. And you may have to accept that this type of running shoe is not for you.

Women's Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes #1 - Women's Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa LS

Women's Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa LS
What makes the running shoes from the FiveFingers family stand out is definitely the revolutionary design.

Even so, there are a couple of other aspects that you will absolutely love about this ultimate model designed especially for women.

First of all, they are completely machine washable, which will surely save you some time and effort.

In addition to this, SeeYa LS only weigh 4.

2 ounces, in order to ensure you maximum freedom when you exercise, jog or run.

So try them now and enjoy maximum speed, comfort and safety at the same time! You will not be disappointed.

Click here for more information

Women's Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes #2 - Women's Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS

Women's Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS
Natural comfort has been made possible by the KomodoSport LS running shoes from Vibram.

The first aspect you will notice about these shoes is the colour, which will help you stand out from the crowd.

The unique combination of grey and pink is suitable for every single woman looking for some adrenaline.

Furthermore, the special lace system is suitable for any kind of foot, while the footbed is completely stitch free and will therefore reduce friction on impact.

This is hence one of the fastest, most professional models in the FiveFingers family, so why not give them a chance?

Click here for more information

Women's Vibram Fivefingers Running Shoes #3 - Women's Vibram FiveFingers Bikila

Women's Vibram FiveFingers Bikila
Try the brand new Bilila by Vibram and you will surely enjoy the ultimate barefoot running experience.

There is no other product that could make you feel more free and comfortable than this ultimate invention from the FiveFingers family.

Despite the weight of under 5 ounces, performance was not sacrificed by the manufacturers.

For example, extra safety is ensured by the 3M reflective surfaces, while the single hook and loop closure are responsible for a quick adjustment.

Last but not least, these running shoes are 100% machine washable and their durability is unquestionable.

So what are you waiting for? Try them now and make a change.

Click here for more information

Women's Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes #4 - Women's Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport

Women's Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport
One of the ultimate models in the FiveFingers family, TrekSport, comes in two colour combinations, khaki / red and blue / gray.

They are the ideal running shoes if you are passionate about climbing, trekking or other similar activities.

They behave excellent on any kind of surface and have the ability of absorbing the impact of shocks, keeping you away from injuries and other complications.

The midsole is only 4mm thick and offers extra protection against stones and other factors that you may encounter during your journey.

So make sure you stay safe and comfortable before you go and choose these ultimate running shoes.

Click here for more information

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Running Shoes #1 - Men's Vibram Fivefingers SeeYa LS

Men's Vibram Fivefingers SeeYa LS
With FiveFingers, Vibram has introduced something completely new and revolutionary to the market.

This very special design was created to provide you with the same freedom as barefoot running and keeping you safe at the same time.

Just try the SeeYa LS and you will be absolutely amazed by the feeling of comfort they will provide you with.

Another aspect that will improve your experience with these shoes is the fact that they can be machine washed very easily.

So in case you were looking for something revolutionary, flexible, comfortable and easy to use there is no better choice than the SeeYa LS.

Click here for more information

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Running Shoes #2 - Men's Vibram Fivefingers Bikila LS

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Bikila LS
The Bkila LS running shoes by Vibram Fivefingers are just another proof of the company's creativity.

What makes this model stand out, however, is the addition of a special lace system, along with a 3M reflective surface that could help add safety to your running experience.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the quick adjustability of these shoes.

With Bikila LS by Vibram Fivefingers you will feel light as a feather and also add some comfort to every single one of your running sessions, so do not miss the chance to make a difference.

There will be no room for disappointment.

Click here for more information

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Running Shoes #3 - Men's Vibram Fivefingers KSO

Men's Vibram Fivefingers KSO
If staying safe and ensuring a total level of protection for your feet while running is your main goal then KSO by Vibram Fivefingers is an excellent investment for you.

Whether you are a fan of fast running or even racing, flexibility or comfort will be reinvented with this sensational new model from a company that has revolutionized the running shoes market with their design.

The nylon upper will also keep debris away, which is another reason for choosing to invest in this pair of ultimate running shoes.

Add the very special price and you will be on your way to making a difference for your running sessions without too much effort.

Click here for more information

Men's Vibram Fivefingers Running Shoes #4 - Men's Vibram Fivefingers KomodoSport LS

Men's Vibram Fivefingers KomodoSport LS
What makes these running shoes stand out from the first time you see them is their design.

The combination of black and green used perfectly on the revolutionary design Vibram has brought to the market is definitely something out of the ordinary.

If you are a fan of speed running then you will also enjoy the special laces and the fact that these shoes only weigh 6.

7 ounces, making you feel incredibly light every time you wear them.

So if you want to try a brand new experience and take your running and jogging sessions to another level, this is the kind of investment you should definitely make.

Click here for more information

I hope this helps you get a feel for natural running and barefoot running shoes.

I hope you see from my descriptions above that I endorse working on your running technique and style, but that I'd like you to do it with a bit of caution.

I don't want to see you getting injured, so, when going with minimalist running shoes, just make sure you adjust to them.

I'd also recommend to you to check my article on running cadence. Part of a more natural running style is to develop a faster running cadence. Check out that article to learn how to improve your running cadence.

Barefoot Running Shoes

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