Top 3 Barefoot Running Injuries & How to Treat Them

The #1 cause of barefoot running injuries is GOING TOO FAR TOO FAST. You can’t just run the same distances barefoot as you did with shoes. You WILL INJURE YOURSELF. Watch the Video in my “How to Run Barefoot” to get started SAFELY.

Here are three of the most common Barefoot Running Injuries and How to Treat Them. (Site Disclaimer)

  1. Monster Blood Blisters

    I’ve had blood blisters before, but nothing like the ones I got the first week when I started running barefoot. They looked like purple marbles shoved deep into my toes.

    What causes them? A combination of heat, friction, pressure, and moisture form blisters. So, running barefoot on a treadmill is a fantastic recipe for blisters. Luckily, as the skin on the sole of your foot thickens, blisters are less of a problem.

    Blisters can talk. Heel blisters, for example, suggest heel striking or over-striding. Blisters under your toes or the ball of your foot at the base of your toes imply a tendency to “push off” with each stride.

    Blister Treatment

    Clean the blister with soap.
    I let nature choose whether my blisters pop or not. Sometimes they break other times they don’t. The fluid or blood is there for reason; so, I just let it do its thing. I don’t pick at scabs either. I trust my body.


    Sterilized needlesBut if you’re determined to conduct minor surgery on yourself. At least, buy a box of tattoo “liner needles”. These are single use sterilized needles. Get a small grouping 3 or 5 tight liners will work great.  Don’t GET MAGs, Flats, Double Stack Mags, or Round Shaders. Those needle groupings are way too wide. You want a LINER, better yet a TIGHT or SUPER TIGHT LINER. (BTW, placing a sewing needle in a flame/hydrogen peroxide will NOT STERILIZE THE NEEDLE. You can give yourself a staph infection if you break the blister with dirty instruments.)

    Moleskin For Blisters
    Helps Prevent Further Blistering

    Use moleskin to prevent further blistering. Just cut a hole the size of the blister and stick the moleskin around it. MOLESKIN is USELESS for SMALL BLISTERS UNDER TOES. Blisters are common to shod runners. As a barefoot runner, I no longer get blisters.

  2. Top Foot Pains and Aches

    My wife had this, not me. She described it as a dull ache on the top side of her foot. Pain on the top of the foot is usually from the anatomical changes occurring in your foot. The new stresses of splaying your foot forces your foot to change. Overworked muscles, stretched tendons, and ligaments cry out for relief. Pain on the top of the foot can also result from the stress placed on the metatarsal bones (metatarsalgia).

    Treatment for Top Foot Pains and Aches

    Treatment is simple: RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). If the pain becomes moderate level or you experience sharp, shooting pains, stop running until the pain subsides. If you keep running on it, you can bust-up your metatarsal bones. Do that, and you’ll be on the couch for months.

  3. Achilles Tendonitis & Calf Pain

    Barefoot running puts a lot of stress on your lower leg. The calf muscle and front of the leg become sore quickly. This pain is from the lengthening of the calf and Achilles. You’re going from a raised heel shoe to a zero drop (heel and forefoot are the same height). Your lower leg, ankle, and Achilles are actually put to work. Some Achilles and lower leg trouble results from bad barefoot running form. YOU MUST LET YOUR HEEL TOUCH THE GROUND. JUST DON’T LET IT HIT THE GROUND FIRST. WHEN YOUR HEEL TOUCHES THE GROUND WITH EACH STRIDE, IT UNLOADS SOME STRESS PUT ON THE ACHILLES AND CALF. A lot of beginners overstress the Achilles by running on their toes. The heel NEVER touches the ground. a HEELESS stride will over stress your calf and Achilles.

    Treatment for Achilles & Lower Leg

    If you’re Achilles aches, STOP RUNNING. If you experience sharp, shooting pains, stop and do not run again until the pain subsides. If you rupture your Achilles, you will need surgery, you’ll be in a cast and you won’t be running for a good long while. Take a break from running, let it heal.

    Rest Ice, Compresses, and Elevation will heal the injury.
    These Ankle Wraps are awesome. You can freeze or heat them. They’re great injury aids.

    Once it’s healed STRETCH AFTER runs.  Then use a Rolling Pin to Massage your Lower Leg. The Rolling Pin Massage will break Up scar tissue, increase circulation, and help your Achilles out tremendously. I have an entire post devoted to My Achilles Tendon Injury Recovery.

Use Bellows Breathing to Aid All Barefoot Running Recovery

Wearing Regular Running Shoes is NOT a SIN. Use them to transition to Barefoot Running. You can run with the same great barefoot stride in shoes.

Ghosts of Santa Cruz

The Haunted Coast.

They say the California Central Coast is full of ghosts, that with the mists, clouds, and fog the sea brings apparitions. You never feel quite alone near the sea, especially when the hazy light fades.

I’ve felt the touch of spirits, good and bad. The good, on one of my trial runs at UCSC. It was mid day but a type of fog the natives call “pogonip” covered the sun. It filled the forest with cool drizzle. The damp charged the scent of eucalyptus and bay leaf. As I emerged from the tree covered path and entered the meadow, a burst of sun beams broke through the fog; they shined through the hole in the clouds above me. It was as if a window to heaven had opened up. I was stunned; I stopped running and just looked up in amazement at the mysterious portal. A rush of warm air blasted down. It smelled of fresh roses, strawberries, and mint. With the scent came an overcoming thrill of joy. I laughed. When I came to my senses, the portal had closed. I inhaled deeply, then continued my run. From that point onward, I had the distinct sense that someone watching over me. It was a little discomforting at first because it was so pronounced and lasted for weeks. I felt self-conscious taking showers, going to restroom, and doing other personal things. Either I got used to feeling or it went away.

A few days later, a daydreaming mother of three side swiped my Corolla. After the impact, I stepped from my car to find out if the woman who hit me was OK. She and her children were fine. I returned to my vehicle to retrieve my insurance information. Just before reaching into my glove compartment, I felt a presence tugging on my shoulder, urging me to step away from the car. I looked at the road, but it was clear. Nevertheless, the pressure to get off of the road overcame me. I left the insurance information in the car and walked to the curb. As soon as I got to the curb a huge SUV zoomed around the corner and slammed into my car, completely wrecking it.

The other supernatural encounter I had at UCSC was not so positive. It was downright frightening. And I hope it never happens again. It was about a week before the angel came to me. I was hiking across the street from family student housing. It’s an “off limits” hidden trail. The hike started out pleasant enough. I crossed a dilapidated bridge, then spied an inviting side trail. It was narrow had clovers and wild strawberries on the sides. Soon the vegetation gave way to looming redwoods, which darkened the path considerably. As I followed the trail, a growing sense of dread emerged. It got to point where I was in a panic, almost overcome with terror. I felt as I would lose my mind if stepped further, as if some malicious presence would take control. My hair raised, my heart raced. An alarm was triggered in me; it told me told me run, to get the hell out of there ASAP! But when I tried to run, I couldn’t. I was frozen in place. I tried to yell, but my voice didn’t work. Then I heard a branch snap near a ring of huge, ominous Redwoods. I know no one else was on that trial. Whatever had snapped the twig wasn’t human or animal. I knew I could not be alone with it. But I couldn’t move and I knew it was approaching. I forced myself to imagine a peregrine falcon (my totem animal) flying overhead. The grip of terror broke. I bolted off the trail and ran home.

A few days later, I decided to run an experiment, I took someone else with me to the same area, determined not to venture as far this time. I did not tell her what had happened to me the last time I went there. Sure enough, the person I was with had the same alarm signals go off. She turned to me and said, “This place is evil. We need to go.”

These are the places of power, some good, some evil. Their energy cannot be denied. Tread barefoot, it’s easier tell which is which.

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