A recent trend in the running world is a return to basics: running barefoot. With the trend sparked largely by the publication of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, runners across the country have begun to embrace the trend of running without shoes. The book highlights groups of people that ran for thousands of years without the benefits of modern-day shoes. In particular, the Tarahumara people of Mexico’s Cooper Canyons are highlighted. Apparently, thin-soled, canvas shoes have much lower rates of injury than normal jogging shoes. 

So should you ditch the shoes for good? The short answer is “it depends” on who you listen to. One Harvard University professor touted the benefits of barefoot running, claiming he runs through Cambridge at least once a week without shoes.  Other doctors are more skeptical, claiming the number of running-related injuries has increased dramatically as their clients lose the shoes in favor of barefoot running.

Another columnist found a more practical reason standing in her way. She opted against running through streets barefoot, instead trying a local park. However, the number of dogs and homeless people led her to question what she might step in and she’s scaled back her running barefoot.

As with most trends, there is profound disagreement about the benefits of running barefoot. Still, if you’re up for an extreme challenge, this might be just the ticket.

Whatever your choice, running a Spartan Race requires training, so get to it!

Picure credit: CNN,  runmyroute.


2 Responses

  1. avatar

    Just like anything your body is not accustomed to doing: ease into it. Your feet are not used to the stress(well…partially due to the ‘comfort’ of modern shoes) of running barefoot. Much like anything else you must build up the resistance to withstand such stress on your body. Being a strong advocate of five fingers I still have my personal doubts about running on concrete.

  2. avatar

    I ran the Malibu 12/1 Spartan race and in the very beginning, I lost my shoes to the swamps. Tragic. I had no choice but to carry on in my socks. The mountainous terrain and rocks quickly cut in those and soon I was left with my worst fear – go barefoot. I was not thinking of quitting yet but soon I was crowned as the ‘Man with no shoes’. That sure served as a great motivation and kept me going. I did not plan for this but what matters is, I completed the race. Have a few major cuts on my feet which will take some time to heal but again, I have a sense of pride in accomplishing something.

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