Barefoot Treadmill Running

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    Jan 07, 2009 1:47 AM GMT
    An elite marathoner was telling me today about barefoot treadmill running. He believes it strengthens the feet and has a result the lower body, resulting in very few injuries.

    Does anyone successfully follow this philosophy? Your thoughts?
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    Jan 07, 2009 1:59 AM GMT
    That might only work for a younger person, for a short time. In the long term, the impact injuries from running barefoot could have very negative effects as one ages.

    Our ancient ancestors ran barefoot, but lived far shorter lives than we do. I ran in Army combat boots a great deal, almost as harsh as running barefoot compared to modern running shoes, and now at 60 I walk with a cane, and sometimes need a walker. I have VA disability ratings for service-connected joint problems, directly related to marching & running.

    I would advise running in only the best, most cushioned training shoes you can buy.
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    Jan 07, 2009 7:39 AM GMT
    Been there, done that. Only I ended up with a dirty and calloused feet. On top of that, my lower back started hurting. icon_neutral.gif
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    Jan 07, 2009 7:59 AM GMT
    Wow running even with shoes takes it's toll on joints. Take away the cushion provided by the shoes... If this manner of training hasn't negatively impacted the dude I'd say he's prob a very lucky athlete.
  • joggerva

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    Jan 15, 2009 8:43 PM GMT
    I don't know about running barefoot on the treadmill, but I try to run barefoot as much as possible in sand, on dirt, or on asphalt (well, when it is warm, that is).

    You have to change the way you land though. Rather than stretching forward and landing on your heel, you will need to lean forward a bit and land on the ball of your foot. Your heel will only touch down slightly for balance. I notice that it works different muscles and I think it strengthens your lower calves. There is debate over which alignment is better to prevent injuries, so I'm not going to say one is always better than the other, but I have had less injuries when I run barefoot.
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    Feb 20, 2011 2:00 AM GMT
    I often run barefoot on fields / tracks kept in good condition (not the run down tracks behind poorly funded community colleges with rocky surprises around the bend, and feel it helps with balance, awareness of stride, and also my shoes get pretty rank quickly so in the summer it's a good way to just keep cool and chill.

    Tried it on a treadmill out of curiosity - in a way it forced me to focus on proper landing and stride - some times I land on the ball of my foot and it makes me more susceptible to checking as far as balance and momentum issues go...but it was only about a mile and a half into it before I realized that I was pounding the hell out of my feet and after stopping and when washing my feet in the shower I realized that I might as well have been running on a belt sander that was so dirty it turned my soles dang near black. Probably won't do it too frequently.
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    Feb 20, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    26mileman saidAn elite marathoner was telling me today about barefoot treadmill running. He believes it strengthens the feet and has a result the lower body, resulting in very few injuries.

    Does anyone successfully follow this philosophy? Your thoughts?


    the consensus among most of my serious running friends is that going barefoot or minimalist (vibrams) is great for just about anything EXCEPT running long distances. Not to say one couldn't benefit from doing drills, or strides going barefoot or minimalist (in the grass).
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    Feb 20, 2011 5:44 AM GMT
    I love my Vibram shoes, it's barefooted running with some protection basically. It promotes a more natural type of running by going toe-to-heel instead of the other way around, kills the calve muscles though
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    Feb 20, 2011 5:48 AM GMT
    If you are going to run barefoot do it outside in nature, no on a treadmill, not on asphalt or anything man made. You feet are your best friend but look at how we evolved...not walking on treadmills. I get really bad shin splits so can't run on hard surfaces. Go climbing barefoot for awhile then you can walk anywhere barefoot w/o a problem.
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    Apr 03, 2011 11:29 PM GMT
    I run on the treadmill at the gym and they won't let you run or workout barefoot because of health reasons and I would never run barefoot on pavement. As much as I run, it would wear the skin off my feet if I ran barefoot. But it's a great workout to run barefoot on sand and I do that a lot on the beach early mornings before the sand is so hot.
  • FriscoJansen

    Posts: 2552

    Apr 03, 2011 11:43 PM GMT
    Gosh, I never even thought about running barefoot on a treadmill. That would not be fun. Id probably bust my toe on something. Though I seen shoes called skeleton shoes or something and it's supposed to be like running barefoot. Look them up. Ive been thinking about getting a pair. My new Nike Shox are a little too heavy for me to run in.

  • Apr 09, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    FriscoJ82 saidGosh, I never even thought about running barefoot on a treadmill. That would not be fun. Id probably bust my toe on something. Though I seen shoes called skeleton shoes or something and it's supposed to be like running barefoot. Look them up. Ive been thinking about getting a pair. My new Nike Shox are a little too heavy for me to run in.



    have you tried the barefoot running yet? what size are your soles?
  • JockChefJim

    Posts: 373

    Apr 09, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    OK...counting three threads on the current popular list right now regarding barefeet. All us foot fetish guys must be on right now. icon_biggrin.gif
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    Apr 09, 2011 3:32 PM GMT
    I'm a avid runner...When I hear this running bare foot ...even after hearing the rationale...I think how could they do it?..The bottoms of my feet are so sensitive I'd be fucked...Ya I know.... after awhile your soles would harden up...but still..ouch....BUD
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    Apr 09, 2011 7:00 PM GMT
    mybud saidI'm a avid runner...When I hear this running bare foot ...even after hearing the rationale...I think how could they do it?..The bottoms of my feet are so sensitive I'd be fucked...Ya I know.... after awhile your soles would harden up...but still..ouch....BUD


    true , but it depends on the surface. I did it last summer . On grass it's heaven, sand also.
    If there's a bit of gravel , it depends of the size and the type. The round pebble like stones are ok, but the hard edge blue stones are painful. Paved roads are surprisingly easy if they're not too hot .
    i don't know how guys get to run trails though. I read about a guy who did half the Long Trail ( Vermont) running it barefoot.
    But all things considered , the fun of it isn't worth the risks of injury. We NEED our feet !!
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    Apr 09, 2011 7:24 PM GMT
    what about shattered glass and other stuff on the ground? <- my biggest fear with running barefoot