Runners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My GP mentioned this trend (is it a trend, that's how he referred to it, anyway) to me yesterday, not advising me to try it, but in context of a general chat about running and how our feet work.

Are there any barefoot runners on here (I'm guessing not given the frequent conversations about shoes :rolleyes:)?

It seems entirely logical to me that our feet shouldn't need cosseting in shoes to run, but then, in this country at least, we're all brought up cosseting our feet in shoes, so I wonder if an adult's feet could adapt to running barefoot happily, or if it's too late by then and we'd have to start in childhood.

I love going barefoot and would never wear shoes if it were practicable, but that's the deciding factor isn't it? It's just not practical to go barefoot in a world with broken glass and clumsy people in high heels :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
I couldn't imagine doing that over any distance, other than maybe on a beach, I get vaguely sore joints from walking about in my regular shoes all day cuz I walk to and from uni which is about 2 miles! (I like my flat pumps that have absolutely no cushion what so ever... and flip flops!).
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
There's not many who do it, but it can be done... I think it starts with like a 'climatisation' period (for want of a better word), where you start running barefoot on a soft surface like grass, and still do some runs in trainers. I'm guessing that after a while the skin hardens up and you're able to run more and more without shoes.

Seems entirely feasible and logical, being perfectly natural and all. Though in all honesty, whilst I understand the logic behind it - if it were the best method of doing things, surely more people would run bare foot? I'm remember in my youth watching athletics and one guy running barefoot - he's probably a well known name to to vets of running/athletics but I have to admit I have no idea what his name was, anyway he was bloody good, but I can't think of any elite athletes nowadays who would run barefoot. Come to think of it, the barefoot guy I'm thinking of may have even ended up running in shoes/spikes eventually!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,654 Posts
Not for me!

I think barefootedness would have to something one did from a young age.

Running on a sandy beach may seem like a good idea but would you trust it to be safe ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
richardsimkiss said:
There's not many who do it, but it can be done... I think it starts with like a 'climatisation' period (for want of a better word), where you start running barefoot on a soft surface like grass, and still do some runs in trainers. I'm guessing that after a while the skin hardens up and you're able to run more and more without shoes.

Seems entirely feasible and logical, being perfectly natural and all. Though in all honesty, whilst I understand the logic behind it - if it were the best method of doing things, surely more people would run bare foot? I'm remember in my youth watching athletics and one guy running barefoot - he's probably a well known name to to vets of running/athletics but I have to admit I have no idea what his name was, anyway he was bloody good, but I can't think of any elite athletes nowadays who would run barefoot. Come to think of it, the barefoot guy I'm thinking of may have even ended up running in shoes/spikes eventually!
There was a woman in the 80s who was famous for running barefoot - Zola Budd. She was from South Africa, but she "became" British, if I remember right. I have a vague idea she then changed nationality again, but she pretty much dropped out of sight after only a few years.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,618 Posts
almost_no_specifics said:
Yeah, you might step on a needle and get HIV...
All depends on the beaches you run on :) Inner Herbrides beaches, the worst your going to stand on is some seaweed.


I can't imagine running in barefeet. I find it hard enough to walk across a road without going "Ouch!" due to a stone spiking me in the foot....imagaine running along and then standing on something hard like that! That got to smart!

O.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
943 Posts
I'm sure it's something that an adult can train to do - the human body is amazing.

Way back when man started he didn't have shoes and was running around hunting, but I'm sure he wasn't running the marathon! :d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Owain said:
I can't imagine running in barefeet. I find it hard enough to walk across a road without going "Ouch!" due to a stone spiking me in the foot....imagaine running along and then standing on something hard like that! That got to smart!
Feet really do toughen up and get used to a surprising amount of roughness. I potter about at home without shoes on all the time, including outside (except in winter), and we have a very rough and pitted concrete driveway. I find that in the spring when I first venture outside barefoot, after a winter of thick socks and shoes/boots, walking on that driveway hurts like hell. After a few weeks, though, it doesn't hurt at all.

It's still got to hurt when you step on a sharp stone or broken shell, though, and that's before we even think about broken glass or needles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Interesting topic

The skin on the feet is tough as old boots. You can walk through burning coals (quickly) without any major problems although i dont recommend trying this at your next family BBQ after a bottle or wine!

Its amazing how quickly the skin of the hands adapt to heavy lifting with no gloves (builder for example) so i imagine the skin of the feet would adapt just as fast if not faster to barefoot.

The issue would probably be with the deterioration of joints at a much faster rate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
943 Posts
richardsimkiss said:
last year @ uni I stepped on a drawing pin whilst barefoot - the head of the pin was flush with the skin - I don't think I've ever shouted so loud!

:eek: <- accurate photographic reenactment
Reminds me of Christmas at home - you could guarantee I'd find all of the drawing pins from the decorations which went missing! :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Ask me at the end of summer when I've been walking around in flip flops/bare feet how solid the skin on my feet is... well actually, it won't get that bad because as a lady I feel the need to take care of my feet, so I moisturise etc... they are beautiful :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,654 Posts
almost_no_specifics said:
Ask me at the end of summer when I've been walking around in flip flops/bare feet how solid the skin on my feet is... well actually, it won't get that bad because as a lady I feel the need to take care of my feet, so I moisturise etc... they are beautiful :p

Show us a pic then...we need proof!!:d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
I would but then at the moment the middle toe-nails are a weeeee bit bruised from sunday... must remember to cut toe nails before long distance runs...

One day... one day...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,463 Posts
this has just reminded me I used to run in the distant past. A group of us use to run on the beach after the night shift and I used to run barefoot then. Did wonders for my feet what with the sand rubbing and the salt water. Never had a problem with scaly skin or athletes foot, unlike now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
team-lewis.co.uk said:
We adapted to barefoot running when running on grass, but running on roads forget it. We are not meant to run on tarmac!
From your avatar, I'd suggest you're well suited for the road!
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top