Bare Foot Running Not for Older Runners

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 02, 2015 12:51 AM GMT
    01well_physed-sfSpan.jpg

    NYT: Experienced older runners who switch to barefoot running may not adjust as naturally to the process as younger runners do, a new study suggests, which could increase their risk of running injuries.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/barefoot-running-may-be-harder-for-those-over-30/?ref=health
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 02, 2015 12:54 AM GMT
    Actually, I think barefoot running is bad for all ages. The joint damage accumulates over time. More severe with the older, but it starts with the young, as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 02, 2015 1:14 AM GMT
    Frankly, Art, it is not for younger runners either!
  • 1blind_dog

    Posts: 376

    Apr 02, 2015 6:22 PM GMT
    Literally running barefoot is for very few people and takes a lot of training and learning and initial pain tolerance. The point of learning how to run barefoot is learning how to run how humans were meant to naturally and using that form in your shoes. It still takes time to learn and strengthen the feet but in the long run it's better for your joints. Barefoot style running teaches you how to be lighter on your feet and do less damage to your joints in the long run.

    Though I agree, the older you get the less I'd recommend trying to learn.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1034

    Apr 02, 2015 7:37 PM GMT
    Oddly, the vast majority of barefoot runners I've seen are older guys. But it seems to be more about a crunchy granola aesthetic than about health.

    Agreed that if you're going to run barefoot you need to learn how humans were meant to run - but humans were not meant to run on concrete.

    I run barefoot on sand, but I don't run sand often. And I'd never run barefoot on pavement.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 02, 2015 7:55 PM GMT
    I agree. Back in Paleo time, they didn't have asphalt roads. They were running on grasses, mud and other organic matters.
  • 1blind_dog

    Posts: 376

    Apr 02, 2015 8:01 PM GMT
    bro4bro saidOddly, the vast majority of barefoot runners I've seen are older guys. But it seems to be more about a crunchy granola aesthetic than about health.

    Agreed that if you're going to run barefoot you need to learn how humans were meant to run - but humans were not meant to run on concrete.

    I run barefoot on sand, but I don't run sand often. And I'd never run barefoot on pavement.


    Well if you're going to run barefoot you have no choice but to run as humans were meant to. You find out quickly that heel to toe running just doesn't work. My point is that even in shoes it's still better to run in the same form as barefoot. We were meant to walk with our heels hitting the ground first, but not run that way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 02, 2015 8:15 PM GMT
    woodsmen saidFrankly, Art, it is not for younger runners either!

    Exactly my point.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Apr 02, 2015 11:08 PM GMT
    bro4bro saidOddly, the vast majority of barefoot runners I've seen are older guys. But it seems to be more about a crunchy granola aesthetic than about health.

    Agreed that if you're going to run barefoot you need to learn how humans were meant to run - but humans were not meant to run on concrete.

    I run barefoot on sand, but I don't run sand often. And I'd never run barefoot on pavement.


    Right. I would never have considered running on pavement for a significant distance. In San Diego, I was able to run on a beach where the sand was just the right consistency. When I lived in Minneapolis, I was able to run around Lake Calhoun (3 miles) barefooted because, except for very short stretches, I was able to run on sand or grass.

    On appropriate surfaces, running barefooted should not be a problem once one becomes accustomed to it. When wearing running shoes, the heel is significantly higher than the toes which is not the case when running barefooted so, until you become accustomed to it, you may experience sore calves. Also, it takes a while for the soles of the feet to become toughened up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 04, 2015 4:50 AM GMT
    Actually, if you're going to run on pavement, barefoot (or barefoot shoes) is the only way to do it. Otherwise the shock to the body is too much. My opinion, but we each have our own tastes, based on body types and genetics.
  • runnersteve

    Posts: 5

    Jul 21, 2015 4:58 AM GMT
    I'm 47 and run about 3x/week, 6-7 miles each run, all on pavement or concrete. I've gradually transitioned (over about 3 years) to minimal shoes, my current pair being the Merrel Trail Gloves. By necessity, I forefoot strike. I used to have terrible problems with my knees, and my physical therapist said I should stop running about 3 years ago. So far, no knee problems.

    I really don't think I could run in anything but minimal shoes with a distinct forefoot strike. But I don't recommend rushing into it - give it many months if you want to give it a try.

    In other news, I think I'm developing a kidney stone, but that's another issue.