Lose Shoes, Gain Speed

Alex Davis, Editor

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“That doesn’t make any sense, running barefoot should make you slower because it’s harder and there is less padding!” You may think that this is true, and it will just make your feet hurt, but really it would be better without shoes! We have given our feet the luxury of having extra padding when really it just makes are form sloppier. I’m not saying you should stop wearing shoes because they still protect us from things on the ground like sharp objects, but they still are not very helpful and cause more injuries! Your feet have a lot of capability but are held back by shoes. 

Why would running without shoes be easier on your feet? Running without shoes would seem like it would be more painful, but you have a lesser chance of getting injured. Studies have shown that when you run barefoot you will most likely land on the balls of your feet or the mid-foot, were as running with shoes give you a higher chance of landing on your heel which is very painful and can cause problems. 

“Barefoot running” can lead to solving a lot of problems, 30% to 70% of runners suffer from injuries that repeat themselves every year. This can cause slower running and forcing people to give up running entirely. Over time this crazy weird idea of running barefoot has evolved into an actual good strategy to running 

People don’t just use this barefoot running strategy within their homes. People can be found running through the streets barefoot daily. Though the people that do run the streets have to keep a careful eye and watch for dangerous items on the ground.  

This isn’t just some crazy idea, there have been many barefoot runners before. For example, Abebe Bikila who ran barefoot, made a record-breaking time in the Olympics. In fact, “based on your body’s proprioceptive abilities–that is, the way it can communicate up and down all pathways. When you run barefoot, your body precisely engages your vision, your brain, the soles of your feet, and all the muscles, bones, tendons, and supporting structures of your feet and legs. They leap to red alert, and give you a high degree of protection from the varied pressures and forces of running,” states Runner’s World magazine. On the other hand, those who run with socks, shoes, or something else on their feet will lose a lot of input in their proprioceptive system. 

Some people were surveyed on switching to running barefoot and their results were expected to be bad because at first switching can be hard and uncomfortable, but still 42% of people said nothing negative about the switch!  

In conclusion, running barefoot may not be the safest option but it will greatly increase injury in your feet. Once shoes were invented it ultimately made it harder on your feet. This is why if humans didn’t wear shoes, they might even become faster because of what the foot is able to do. 

Sources:

Stromberg, Joseph. “Is Barefoot Running Really Better?” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 30 July 2012, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/is-barefoot-running-really-better-9710493/.

Bernstein, Lenny. “Is Barefoot Running Better for You?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 3 May 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/05/09/is-barefoot-running-better-for-you/.

Burfoot, Amby. “Should You Be Running Barefoot?” Runner’s World, Runner’s World, 11 June 2019, https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/a20803834/should-you-be-running-barefoot/.