by Katie Barnes
Barefoot Running: Bare Your Sole!
Wonder about the appeal of donning thin-soled, five-finger, “foot-gloves” after pounding the pavement in the soft, cushy foam of a running shoe? With organs in the feet meant to feel their place in time and space, studies show they are desensitized by the padded designs. While a soft mid-sole reduces the natural energy return of the lower leg by 40-50%, barefoot movement changes body mechanics, shortening stride and activating deep, natural musculature. This creates better length and strength of tissue, challenges the stability of surrounding joint structures and reduces overall foot cramping. Ease into your new running soles by wearing them daily for a week and only indoors. Progress to short runs on grass or trails for the second week before integrating walking or running on pavement toward the end of a month.
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