The greatest benefit of bare foot running is that it helps improve technique as shown to the right in an extract from an american daily paper.
This is where the benefits of barefoot running maifest themselves. An improved technique leads to improved landing and impact forces and shorter faster steps which have both been linked to less injuries in runners.
All of which sounds great but it is sadly not that straight forward or we would all have been doing it years ago. There are a couple of marketing myths that need to be addressed before you decide whether barefoot running is right for you.
1. The barefoot shoes themselves are only for protection of the feet and provide no other function. They do not improve the function of the foot or improve the structure of the foot over time. If your foot pronates then your foot will always pronate - thats just how your foot was built.
2. The improvement in technique comes not from fore foot striking as discussed to the right but from where the foot lands in relation to the body's centre of gravity. This can actually be learned without the need for minimalist shoes - do you see all the elite athletes changing to barefoot shoes??
3. There is a break in period for barefoot running. As mentioned to the right you land differently when you change to barefoot running. This change in landing results in a change in how the low controls the forces created by running thus muscles work in a different pattern to before. This is like doing a new weights program. You wouldn't go in to a gym on your first day and lift the heaviest weights you can get your hands on because you would struggle to get out of bed the next day. Barefoot running is the same.
In our barefoot running assessment we not only assess if you are suitable for barefoot running but also look at how well you can adapt to the new technique and provide drills to enhance the whole experience.
We also look at what weaknesses in strength and / or flexibility may be holding you back and provide a referral letter for consultation with our strength and conditoning coach to build a comprehensive training plan. The strength and conditioning work forms a huge part of a successful transition so getting this right is the cornerstone to injury free running.