Guest Post: Running Without Your Shoes

If you ask most runners, they take a lot of pride in the different types of shoes that they sport.  Some runners spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars for the niftiest pair of shoes on the market, especially those who are concerned with really making an impression on the running scene.

With that in mind, it would almost seem ludicrous if not completely crazy to run a marathon with nothing but the soles of your feet.  It is hard to imagine running a marathon in the first place, let alone running with no protection for your feet, yet some people swear by it.

There have been a few studies on this particular matter, and for some people the findings may be pretty surprising.  As a preface for this whole discussion, for a long time now, people have preferred running barefooted for races for a variety of reasons.

In the 1960s Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila, one of the greatest Olympic marathoners of all time won the first of his consecutive gold medals barefoot.  Bruce Tulloh, who has ran European record times from 1955 to 1967, was known as well for running barefoot.

While it may be hard to imagine running barefoot for miles and miles, many studies have shown that all the bells and whistles that new age running shoes boast are of little actual help.  So that means all the foam padding, posts, bridges, and dual-density midsoles are really not all they are cracked up to be.
Fortunately, this barefoot running craze has yet to catch on for a couple obvious reasons.  Perhaps first and foremost is the issue of safety.  Runners always run the risk of stepping on twigs, glass, or even sharp rocks in the process of their training.

That being said, there are some advantages to running barefoot.  The most important being the decreased weight of running shoes.  Although many running shoes are lightweight, it can make a world of difference removing that extra weight, especially in long distance runs.

However, although this definitely would help aspiring runners to get an advantage in a competition, most people are not going to be interested in stepping up their game to that extent and are perfectly content running around the block for some cardio.  At least the majority of runners would.

When it comes down to it, there are a lot of reasons people like to run barefoot, and there are a lot reasons people do not.  So the best way to test whether or not barefoot running is for you is to simply go out and try it on for size.  Who knows, you may end up liking it.

About the author: Jessica Staheli is a health and fitness nut. She loves to write about being healthy and getting in shape because she believes that taking care of your body is important. Having fitness equipment in your home is a great way to remind yourself to exercise, and she recommends for help with choosing a treadmill. Follow her on Google+.

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