Barefoot athletic shoes are generally considered to be those athletic shoes that have the most minimal design features as well as materials that you might as well be running without footwear.

The phrase ‘barefoot running shoes’ is somewhat of an oddity since you can not be running barefoot and in running footwear simultaneously, unless you count not putting on hosiery in running shoes as being barefoot inside running shoes!

Having said that, ‘barefoot running shoes’ are “footwear” that are as near as you can to being barefoot while still using shoes. Barefoot running shoes have minimal design features along with minimum materials and next to absolutely nothing for the midsole. They’re only a covering for the foot, probably to safeguard the foot from the ground while still allowing the athletes to be as near to getting barefoot as you possibly can. Concerning if these footwear truly make that happen is without a doubt open to debate and the research evidence is that the running gait from the minimalist barefoot running shoes is somewhat dissimilar to a true barefoot running technique.

You cannot assume all barefoot running shoes could be thought of as being “barefoot” or “minimalist” by advocates of barefoot running as many models and brands of these types of running footwear may have a number of features added such as, for instance, a 5 millimetre sole height for the midsole, which is a good deal less than standard running footwear, yet perhaps not close enough to be looked at as permitting a barefoot running technique. This just shows that over the rather wide assortment of running footwear you will find extremes in the various design characteristics which you can use to match as to what every individual athlete requires. This assortment of design features involves the drop (the difference between the heel to toe size of the midsole), the stack elevation (thickness with the sole), flexibleness, and motion control attributes (inside post as well as rigid back heel counter). At one end of the opposites of each and every of those design features are what would be considered a barefoot running shoe.

In regards to if you need to use or run in barefoot running footwear or otherwise, that’s a different concern. They aren’t without having there concerns and will have a lengthy duration of adaptation to get used to training with them. The advocates of such kinds of running shoes propose that a runner gets less injuries running using the more minimal running shoes, but this is contradicted by the true scientific data. Evidence is always that the overuse injury rates in runners using more minimalist running footwear is the same as those runners who are running with the more cushioned athletic shoes.


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Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth
  • Sandler, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
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