Barefoot/minimalist running has been on the resurgence recently. Most notably, more people are out and about running trails barefoot, getting their feet muddy, but most importantly allowing them to be free and used how nature intended them to. I have only been minimalist for about 7 months as I am writing this blog and I wouldn’t go back to conventional shoes. One thing for sure is the lack of lower limb injuries I’ve had, before transitioning, I had knee pain, lower back pain and hip pain from weak tendons and ligaments. Since then I have been free of any injuries on the lower body.
A lot of people reading this will probably think, why on earth would I want to run on hard, rocky ground barefoot. Well, the answer is you don’t. Minimalist shoes such as vivobarefoot offer the protection our feet need whilst allowing them to be in their natural position with wide toe boxes. None of that squashing your feet lark. If you have ever been on a long distance walk/run or hiked up a cliff or mountain, then you may have wanted to rip your hard, rigid hiking boots off straight away when you’re done. This is expected because our feet aren’t suppose to be squashed into shoes like that. The hard, rigidness limits the feeling of the ground, thus, not using any of your sensory nerves, tendons, ligaments or muscles. Long-term your feet will be weak and unable to keep you walking as you hit the older age.
However, I am not saying, stop wearing normal shoes right now! You will need to transition into minimalist/barefoot footwear. Simply because, for most of our lives we have all been following the social norm of wearing big cushioned, good looking shoes haven’t we. So the chances are, on your first time being barefoot/minimalist whilst running, you will experience calf pain and Achilles pain. This is because modern day shoes eliminate the need for those muscles and tendons to work. Which is the whole benefit of being minimalist. Wearing vivobarefoot or any other minimalist shoe will enable you to use those vital muscles and tendons and reduce the chance of injury.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen written by Christoper McDougall is a fantastic read especially for more insight into barefoot running. (Not an AD)
You see it all over social media from personal trainers and fitness influencers getting the message across of how important it is to look after your body for long-term health. Yet 99.9% of them don’t talk about the importance of healthy feet. Throughout our whole lives we rely on our feet, so why aren’t we caring for them. Have a think about this, data suggests that up to 79% of recreational runners get some kind of lower limb injury, which seems odd, given the amount of technology wrapping up our feet which is supposed to be helping us move better. Podiatrists will talk down the benefits of being barefoot/minimalist because to be frank, they wouldn’t have a job if people transitioned properly and took care of their feet themselves so you can see why. One thing you will not experience in minimalist shoes are BLISTERS, these are a nightmare which you always tend to get from a new pair of cushioned rigid shoes that need to be broken into. None of that is necessary with minimalist shoes. When I wore my vivobarefoot shoes for the first time, I expected to get blisters and when I didn’t I was mind blown, it was amazing. The shoes I have are the vivobarefoot Primus lite II recycled.
I hope you enjoyed the read about the art of barefoot running and I hope you will consider the switch. If you would like any more info on this topic, feel free to let me know! Have a good day!