Barefoot running

I saw a program on the adventure channel the other night about this guy who runs marathons all over California barefoot and has never had any injuries. Dismiss him as a crank if you want but some of the things he says about running technique and style make a lot of sense!!


  • Obviously he don't run in our local park, with broken glass, dog turds and junkie's discarded needles.Not to mention Scottish winter. It could be nice on a warm beach somewhere though!
  • I once ran on Weston Super Mare promenade in the summer, never again it was very hot and burnt my feet. Surely that amount of shock being transferred to the joints can't be good for one ? Mind you Zola Bud did have quite a good time barefoot !
  • A lot of what the barefoot people say has been echoed by Gordon Pirie in his book 'Running Fast and Injury Free' except he does advocate using shoes (very lightweight though). The book is well worth a read, you can download it from

    I'm a convert, I do all my running in racing flats (30 miles a week) and I'm not particularly light or fast as advised by the popular running press. Since converting I've not had any injuries and I'm faster (good title then really) !
  • I haven't read any articles about it. But I guese we've evolved over a few million years to run great distances over trails with nothing more than a bit of animal skin as a shoe.
    It's only the last thousand years we've taken to wearing shoes so there must be sonmething in it.
    Don't fancy it January though.
  • I'm trying out a weekly VO2 max session on the treadmill barefoot. It seems to be improving foot flexibility and stretching the calf more. Interestingly there is tendency for occaisional forefoot running - something I never do with running shoes. Maybe it's because the belt gets hot!
  • Does this mean when I go to the beach for a hard workout I can leave the running shoes behind? I'll have to give it a try sometime in June/July.
  • Don't start barefoot with a hard run! Have good warm-up and really stretch the calves before you try it. (My VO2 max is like most peoples gentle jog!)
  • We may have evolved over millions of years to run on grass/trails barefoot--but not on concrete!! Thats only recently!
  • Well I'm not running through sheep shit barefoot ,sorry.
  • We may have evolved to run barefoot--but then we're made to wear shoes all of our lives, and that must affect our biomechanics to the extent that barefoot running might not be too advisable! Still, a quick blast probably won't do any damage. I tried a quick dash round the gym after I'd been skating . . . it was the wierdest feeling, because I didn't know which bit of my foot to land on and ended up running with my arms waving about all over the place trying to keep my balance. But the worst bit was leaving a trail of sweaty footprints behind myself. Ychafi!!!
  • There's a bloke on the rec.running newsgroup that runs in leather mocasins. I think that might be preferable to running barefoot. Some things that are acceptable in California simply don't translate well to the north of England - I imagine barefoot running would fall into that category.

    I did have a quick go yesterday around the garden and it felt surprisingly comfortable. I wouldn't like to be seen on a public highway though - the police would probably assume that I'm some sort of sleep walker.
  • Imagine stubbing your toe on an uneven
    paving stone........OOOOWCH
  • I've run barefoot on beaches - the sand really does wonders for shifting the hard skin, a bit like a bit of sandpaper i suppose. And i would add, it was overseas, but if you have the chance to do it, try it. REally works all the muscles in your legs. I usually do it on holiday. Several times up and down Benidorm beach as the sun is rising, splashing through the wavelets is just wonderful.
    The only draw back is the rubbish hidden in the sand. But i only needed 7 stitches in my heel after finding the broken bottle. (Cyprus, circa 1974)
  • not advisable to run barefoot around here... too much dog sh*t on the pavements.
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