What Everybody Ought to Know about Barefoot Shoes

Did you know that Bare foot shoes are for ADVANCED BAREFOOT RUNNERS?

Nike, Tera Plana, and, heck, even Chris MacDougal won’t say that aloud. But it’s true. The fact is if you simply slap on some Vivo Barefoot Kalis and run as fast and as far as you normally do in traditional shoes, YOU WILL PROBABLY SEVERELY INJURE YOURSELF.

Just listen to what Barefoot Ted has to say to beginning barefoot runners:
“[Barefoot Running] is not good if you are thinking it is some sort of cure-all that only requires taking off your shoes and starting to run injury free without radical changes in the way you may have been thinking of running up to now. If your running strategy has been about very specific time or distance goals, and you have been willing to push through pain to injury, then I would caution you: your bare feet will not allow you to continue this way. ”

Besides the Ridiculous Name, What’s Wrong with “Barefoot Shoes”?

First Consider the Qualities of Barefoot Shoes:

  • ZERO arch support

    If you wear shoes, your arch is weak. Running improperly or properly without it will put stress on your arch. Too much stress means injury.

  • ZERO heel cushioning

    This means your foot hits flat, causing your Achilles tendon to stretch. Regular shoes baby your Achilles. If you put too much stress on your Achilles, it can SNAP leaving you in a world of misery: surgery, cast, and lots of physical therapy.

  • ZERO stability or motion control

    You will automatically pronate when you run without shoes–shoe padding has prevented you from pronating for as long as you have been running. Pronation is nature’s course, but when you start to pronate after years of “forced stability,” you’re knees and lower leg won’t be ready for it.


    Barefoot shoes allow your toes to splay. This helps with impact. But some of your bones may be stiff from lack of use, which can result in aches.

The problem isn’t barefoot shoes. It’s what they allow you to do: GO TOO FAR OR RUN TOO FAST. The protective sole on barefoot shoes allows you run further than you would in bare feet. Furthermore, the sole, no matter how thin does provide some cushioning. The minor cushioning prevents all the necessary feedback you need to correct your stride. It also tends make you want to run as fast as you did when you wore regular shoes.

I know the forums are lighting up with barefoot running injuries. In fact most of the hits to my blog are for barefoot running injuries. Why? Because when you take off your shoes, you magnify everything. The world comes alive, but so do your atrophied muscles, and stiff tendons and ligaments. If you just “run through the pain”, your feet run the pain through you. If you piss them off too much, they’ll put you on your back.

I love to run, hike, and be barefoot. Removing my shoes has opened me to a world of new experience. But even the majestic Redwood only adds one ring a year.

There is a time for shoes and a time to be bare. The Barefoot Running Gods Welcome all. They told me that WEARING TRADITIONAL SHOES IS NOT A SIN WHEN MAKING THE TRANSITION TO BAREFOOT RUNNING.


That said.

Let your Feet be the Judge

If barefoot shoes alleviate some of straight bare ills, by all means wear them. The ultimate goal is running safely and as comfortably as possible.

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