barefoot running is, if you carefully integrate it into your training, so not jogging for an hour, but first of all jogging for 10 minutes without shoes, determines good foot muscle training The ideal surface is lawn or sometimes a sandy beach with not too much incline at low tide, where the sand is a little harder. On an inclined plane or too soft sand there is a risk of overloading the Achilles tendons or knee joints. The treadmill also depends on the surface, which can be very hard. But why not? If necessary, you run with solid socks, it’s almost like walking barefoot ..
Learn to walk barefoot: How “Natural Running” works
Now and then running without shoes is healthy. You can really learn to walk barefoot – we will show you what is important with the running technique.
Shoes seldom fit to the centimeter
Running shoes are becoming more and more mature, there is now a suitable pair for every foot position and movement sequence. Even the most modern footwear has negative aspects. Rarely do the sporty treads fit to the centimeter in length and width, so that the shoe is either too tight, is laced too tightly or the foot slides back and forth in the shoe.
If you run regularly, your feet are exposed to unnecessary strains that can lead to health problems – and can spread to the entire body. Misaligned feet can also be compensated for with suitable running shoes, but not treated. And such misalignments are not the exception, but the rule. Large sections of the population have to deal with kinked, lowered, or spreading feet.
You’re faster barefoot
This is where barefoot walking comes into play: It not only helps against misalignments, but also brings a number of other advantages. Let’s start with one that should be particularly interesting for athletic runners who want to improve their time: if you run barefoot, you’ll be faster – at least if you don’t have spikes on your shoes. Researchers have proven this in studies, . On the one hand, the weight of the shoes is dropped, and on the other hand, walking barefoot improves the running economy: runners without shoes took shorter steps, the cadence was shorter and the contact with the ground was less.
The Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila is unforgotten. Bikila set a world record and won gold.
Walking barefoot helps prepare for the competition
Of course, not every surface is suitable for walking barefoot. Especially in competitions on asphalt, you should use running shoes to avoid injuries. Exercise sessions on soft surfaces such as lawn, sand or hardwood floors without shoes on your feet make sense, because they train and strengthen the foot and prevent injuries like heel spurs and Achilles tendonitis. A best commercial treadmill for home use is also ideal for running barefoot.
Walking barefoot is healthy – but you shouldn’t overdo it at the beginning. You will probably feel your lower calf muscles after 30 minutes of barefoot running if you are not used to it and your foot muscles are not well trained. Sprinkle units without shoes a maximum of twice a week, otherwise the Achilles tendon can cause problems due to an overload.
Other health benefits
Moderate barefoot walking also provides other health benefits. Regular barefoot runners are less likely to suffer from athlete’s foot because the air keeps their feet dry. Better blood circulation also protects against fungal attack.
Patrik Reize, Medical Director of the Clinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at the Stuttgart Clinic, points out another advantage of “natural running” in the “Welt”: The soles of the feet are stimulated, which has a positive effect on the internal organs. Reflex arcs and circuits in the body are responsible for this.
This is how you learn to walk barefoot
Why learn? Anyone can do that, right? Of course, you are immediately able to walk without shoes – but there are a few points you should consider and consider sticking to a “natural running” training plan. As already mentioned, the muscles first have to get used to the new loads. Start with some exercises that will help you restore the connection between your feet and the ground.
For example, toe gymnastics, also known as “Toega” yoga, is recommended. The toes are strengthened by stretching and stretching, thereby increasing mobility. A deep crouch also helps to ensure the correct foot attachment when walking barefoot – because you learn to keep your center of gravity above the ball of your foot. You can train the elasticity and resilience of the tendons by jumping. For example, jumping rope allows a short contact time with the ground. Pay attention to a straight posture and balance, so that it is best to come down in the same place where you jumped up.
When walking barefoot, you prefer to start with short distances on a soft surface, because at the beginning every stone hurts under the soles of your feet. You will notice that in running shoes you tend to come up with the heel, but barefoot tends to put more strain on the middle and forefoot. It happens automatically. Make sure you are upright when you run so that your feet are directly below you when you come up. In any case, stay relaxed throughout the body, the steps should appear light and springy.
Diabetics should be careful when walking barefoot
Warning: walking barefoot is not suitable for everyone: diabetics or other people whose pain may be disturbed must be careful to notice injuries under the foot in good time so that infections do not occur. Even with osteoarthritis or bone-related malpositions, it is advisable to use sturdy shoes.
Barefoot shoes as a compromise
Many runners swear by it: barefoot shoes that look like gloves for the feet, in which each toe finds its own place. In this way, the “natural running” feeling should be maintained, but the sole should provide protection on roads and stony dirt roads. It is important that you adapt your style to walking barefoot – i.e. land on football and not on the heel. Otherwise the lack of cushioning of a classic running shoe in the entire musculoskeletal system can lead to complaints. And of course, such toe shoes are a good alternative even in the cold, so that walking barefoot in winter does not lead to numbness and frostbite on the feet.
Walking barefoot on the treadmill – advisable or even dangerous in the comparison test
Once you have decided on a high-quality, good and new treadmill for training in your own home, you should generally buy it above all via the Internet. Because here you have the advantage that you don’t even have to worry about transporting the treadmill . With the high weight and the wide boxes , this is quite a very big and very important advantage, which can counteract the rash when buying.
In addition to the actual purchase of the treadmill, it is also important that you take care of the right accessories and the right equipment. Special clothes are useful here for training and running , as they provide excellent support and, for example, absorb sweat particularly well.
A lot of people also think about the shoes and then either choose a pair of high-quality sneakers or running shoes , but alternatively, many people also choose to do the training on their own and new treadmill with bare feet.
The reasons for such a decision are very diverse and, of course, have a lot to do with your own demands and habits , because many people are still simply used to walking bare feet whenever they do there is an opportunity for this.
In the gym, the question of whether running without shoes on a treadmill is a good or bad choice actually doesn’t arise. Here, of course, the advisors and trainers have the duty of supervision in the appropriate premises and here the use of appropriate shoes is always mandatory and therefore an absolute obligation for you too .
And in the end, you should also abide by this rule, because otherwise you will quickly be in trouble. Here, for example, the operators of the fitness studio may even be able to issue a ban on training. Of course, this does not have to be and is then very annoying.
So be very well prepared for the relevant conditions and rules here and make sure that you always have a few shoes with you for running and for training on the treadmill .
These usually fit into your pocket without any problems and in many studios you also have the option of leaving them on site immediately after training . The feared transport is no longer necessary here, which of course makes things a lot easier.
The rules and regulations are of course somewhat different if you want to complete and carry out the treadmill training in your own home. Here, of course, it is up to you to ensure that you can train under optimal conditions.
However, a good choice is to do without wearing appropriate shoes. However, after the first training session you may find that the requirements and stresses on your feet are significantly higher and stronger when walking barefoot.
This is simply due to the fact that today’s modern shoes take a large part of the load off your own feet and take it off you. However, this is not always a good choice for the muscles affected , because if muscles are not used, then they unfortunately recede relatively quickly.
It is not for nothing that many of the orthopedic surgeons and real experts today believe that it is a good choice if you generally do not wear the shoes in between. In this way, you train the muscles in your foot particularly clearly and strongly, which in turn ensures that your feet are trained .
And of course the effect mentioned can also be described in the other direction, the muscles in the foot can also be clearly trained and strengthened if you make sure that you actually do this. But of course not everything is sunshine here, it is often important that you are particularly careful when training without shoes on your treadmill .
Otherwise there are problems here that have caused many of the operators of the fitness studios to waive and set up a duty to wear the shoes: injuries and accidents are much worse and the consequences for you as a user on the treadmill are even clearer less. However, this does not have to be the case. If you are simply a little careful yourself, you have good options for carrying out an efficient and yet safe workout . And at the same time, this is also a matter of practice, because the more often you practice without shoes , it is very important that you feel safe and get an appropriate exercise. Start with a light and slow pace, So that there are no problems here and so that you always have the quick and easy way to react if the worst comes to the worst.
Running barefoot on the treadmill – advisable or dangerous?
Do you particularly enjoy jogging on the treadmill and wondering if you shouldn’t leave your running shoes behind? Are you wondering whether running barefoot on the treadmill would be good for your health ? Unfortunately, there is no general answer, because walking barefoot on the treadmill has both advantages and disadvantages. We will explain the factors involved and whether you should prefer not to walk barefoot on the treadmill.
What are the advantages of running barefoot?
Most shoes squeeze the foot in an unnatural way. The front parts are far too narrow and squeeze the toes, while heels create an unnatural angle of the sole of the foot. For this reason, not only complaints arise, but also complex foot muscles have to recede, since they are not needed and have to make room for lack of space. Walking barefoot not only gives the foot space for its natural sequence of movements, but also minimizes physical discomfort in everyday life. Walking barefoot strengthens the foot muscles and also stimulates muscle building in the leg and buttocks. The muscles, tendons and ligaments are stressed naturally, which benefits the joints and back. Walking barefoot also creates a natural cornea that protects against injuries and serves as a cushion for the heel and bones.
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Here is an overview of the advantages of walking barefoot:
- no complaints from too narrow or unnaturally shaped footwear
- strengthens the foot muscles and stimulates muscle building
- more natural and gentle movement sequence for joints
- protective cornea forms
You don’t have to see the cornea as a disadvantage, because this is by no means the unsightly, hard cornea that quickly becomes cracked. Rather, it creates an elastic cornea that forms again and again and is very flexible .
Incidentally, walking barefoot more often even stimulates the sense of touch in the feet, which has deteriorated due to the wearing of footwear. Numerous nerves end in the foot, so that it can take on the important task of palpation on various surfaces. It is also worth knowing that running barefoot outdoors can strengthen the immune system through cold stimuli. Practical, isn’t it?
What about running barefoot on the treadmill?
Because of the many advantages, it initially makes sense to do without running shoes on the treadmill and simply step on them with bare feet. In practice, however, this project proves to be significantly less recommendable:
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Place of happening What speaks against walking barefoot on the treadmill?
At home on the treadmill Modern running shoes have built-in dampers that absorb vibrations from jogging and keep them away from the joints. If you run barefoot on the treadmill, your joints will be stressed again to a greater extent and complaints will become noticeable. Numerous bacteria also accumulate on the treadmill, which could cause unpleasant smells if the cleaning and hygiene are inadequate.
At the gym In the gym, the use of the treadmill without shoes and stockings is prohibited for reasons of hygiene alone. Bacteria could stick to the tape and multiply, which is not only unsanitary, but may also transmit diseases. In addition, it is also the case in the gym that your ligaments, tendons and joints are stressed by the suddenly missing damper of the footwear.
The alternative to running barefoot on the treadmill
As you can see, walking barefoot on the treadmill is not a good idea. Neither at home, nor in the gym or on a shared model . So that you can still use the many advantages of running barefoot for yourself, you should occasionally do without shoes in everyday life. For example, leave out the footwear for these activities :
- when walking in nature
- at home in free time
- in your own garden on the lawn
Give your feet a lot to feel: The difference between grass and dry earth, gravel and asphalt or sand stimulates your nerves.
Conclusion: walking barefoot on the treadmill is not recommended
For a variety of reasons, walking on the treadmill with bare feet is not recommended. Running shoes in particular are now so mature and well adapted to the athlete’s foot that they can protect the joints from the vibrations when jogging – and should therefore also be used on the treadmill. If you still want to walk more barefoot and do something good for your feet, the best way to do this is to walk outdoors normally. Among other things, you strengthen your immune system very much.
Is walking barefoot more inefficient than light shoes?
Barefoot walking is the trend. But we have unearthed a study that questions the benefits in at least one area. Read here where that is the case.
For years, the trend of jogging has been towards barefoot running. Not only should it be healthier, but also more training-efficient. The lower weight on the feet means that less energy is used when jogging.
So far, so well known. Now, however, a study is being conducted that was carried out in 2012. This says that walking barefoot should be more strenuous and therefore inefficient than walking with light shoes.
Experienced runners increasingly prefer to bare their feet when running. Because training without shoes is not only a benefit for the foot and shin muscles, but according to the latest studies should also be more gentle on the joints than walking with shoes. For example, researchers at the University of Virginia recently discovered that walking barefoot is easy on the hips and knees. They measured higher loads on the treadmill in these areas when the experienced test subjects wore running shoes than when they exercised barefoot on the treadmill.
Another study could now influence the opinion about barefoot jogging again: In the article “ Metabolic Cost of Running Barefoot versus Shod: Is Lighter Better? “US researchers presented results on the energy efficiency of running. Based on the hypothesis that weight on the feet would lead to higher energy consumption, they put 12 experienced runners on a treadmill and let them run barefoot, then with increasingly heavy shoes. They measured the oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide emissions during the training sessions with the different foot loads.
While, as expected, runners used more oxygen and emitted more carbon dioxide in heavier shoes than in lighter shoes, there was a surprising result in the study: the difference in energy consumption between running barefoot and running with light running shoes was practically non-existent. Although the test subjects were used to walking barefoot, the additional weight of the light shoe made them no additional effort.
The researchers speculate that this could be due to the cushioning of the shoe, which compensates for the additional energy consumption due to the weight of the shoe. However, the study was not sufficient for a more detailed investigation of the cause; and with 12 subjects and only one type of shoe tested, it can hardly be considered representative.
The result that walking barefoot is more exhausting than walking with a light running shoe should be enjoyed with caution. First, the study should be repeated on different surfaces, with different shoes and more test subjects before the individual athlete should have any consequences in his training sessions. Individual constitution and inclination are still more important than results from studies. However, what has been proven again is that especially light running shoes are more efficient and should therefore be used especially in competitions. Whether they are shoes like the Nike Free Run 5.0 that come particularly close to barefoot walking , or better cushioned lightweight shoes,
One answer to “Is barefoot walking more inefficient than light shoes?”
My experience with barefoot shoes is that you should start with very short distances. The intensity for muscles and vision is much higher when walking barefoot than with conventional running shoes. The foot itself has to absorb the shocks, which it can actually do and only learned through our sturdy shoes. If you dare to take it easy and increase the distances, you will soon have a much more intense body feeling. The sense of balance is trained and the joints are protected by stepping on the forefoot. All in all: walking barefoot is only recommended!