Barefoot running is not a new craze in the health and fitness industry. It has actually been around for quite some time. It is, well, running barefoot or close to it. There are of course proponents of the exercise and critics.
Interestingly enough, barefoot running has come into the limelight recently but it has been around for centuries. A new book published by a proponent of the movement has triggered some more interest recently.
History of Barefoot Running in Modern Times
The trend has been around at least since 1972 in modern times. A long distance Olympic runner that maintains his ties to the sport by coaching other runners states that the trend comes and goes about every decade or so.
The first barefoot runners were Native Americans, modern day runners adopted the practice from watching the Native Americans move sure footed with thin sandals on without any injuries or pain.
There are several groups across the US that is dedicated to the practice. There are races that are held around the US and the globe for that matter that are dedicated to measuring the distance and speed of barefoot runners.
Is It Better?
Barefoot running does have its advantages over running in running trainers. The way the foot reacts to the ground when you run without a shoe actually may reduce the onset of injuries.
It is estimated that when you are wearing running shoes the heel of your foot absorbs up to 3 times your body weight in pressure. When you run without running shoes your foot lands differently on the ground the ball of your foot lands first and there is less pressure that lands with it.
The results is that there is less shock to the heel of your foot and less injuries overall. Now the critics look at things a bit differently. The experts do agree that landing on the ball of your foot for sprinting activity is ideal but for long distance running it may be problematic.
Long distance runners that are landing on the ball of their foot because they are running barefoot may be putting too much strain on their Achilles tendon although studies do not indicate that this is necessarily true.