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Looking at starting barefoot running? Here are some helpful hints

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Despite technological improvement in running footwear over the years, the incidence of running related injuries has not decreased. Furthermore matching runners and foot posture to shoe types too has not decreased injuries. Previously we needed to run for survival so looking at barefoot running maybe of benefit.

Barefoot running encourages ball of foot contact with the ground while running. This results in shorter strides, higher cadence and softer landing while running. Shorter strides reduce loads experienced by the body while running which may help prevent injuries. Barefoot running may provide greater sensory feedback from having a barefoot in contact with the ground. Injuries often associated with barefoot running include achilles tendiopathy and metatarsal (toe bone) stress fractures.

Looking at starting barefoot running? Here are some helpful training tips to get you going.

  • SLOWLY transition to barefoot running as the body requires time to adapt

  • Try and run on the BALL OF THE FOOT when running bare feet

  • Decreased MILEAGE is essential as you are no longer wearing footwear

  • Monitor SORENESS to the leg and foot muscles as these muscles develop

Currently research surrounding barefoot running is minimal. There is suggestion in scientific literature of benefits however lack of study into injuries associated with this type of training. Watch this space for further information on barefoot running.

At WA Health Group our skilled physiotherapists are able to treat all your running related aches and pains such as knee injuries, ITB friction syndrome, stress fractures, patella tendinopathy, achilles tendiopathy and shin splints.

We are well located in Hilton, Western Australia, 7 minutes from the centre of Fremantle. Call us today on 6161 4091 or email to book an appointment.

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