Running barefoot. Sounds counter-intuitive at first. Wouldn’t that be like wrangling or doing yard work without gloves? Some say no, that we’re designed to run with nothing on–our feet.
There’s some merit to this idea of running barefoot, fostered greatly by the popular new book by Chris McDougall called Born to Run.
It seems to improve the balance and awareness sensors in and around the foot. Heck, that’s the same reason I chose a ferrier who doesn’t use shoes on my horses. I’m learning that for horses, the “bare hoof” action also lends itself to improved circulatory health of the animal.
In humans, bare footin’ while running tends to promote a shorter stride, mainly because in the raw you more naturally land with a flatter foot, as opposed to landing sharply on your heel.
I invite you to read a brief article by Brian Hoke, DPT, SCS. Brian teaches courses across the nation, including a well-respected course called “When the Foot Hits the Ground.”