Running barefoot proved different than I expected!
Ironically, I am convinced it is the best way to avoid running injuries, while at the same time I was unable to condition my bare feet to run without getting injured. (Or maybe I was just unwilling to be patient enough after two months.)
The most important factor in all of this was changing my running form – from landing on my heels to landing on my forefoot. That is the biggest factor and the one that I think everyone who runs should know.
Learning to run barefoot is the key to learning good running form!
These are some marks of good running form, all achieved by learning to run barefoot.
- Plant your foot towards the ball of your foot to lessen impact and braking.
- Keep your back and midsection straight with a slight tilt from the ankles, not the waist.
- Don’t let your arms cross your midsection. That creates side to side movement, not forward movement.
After learning to run barefoot and changing my running form, I decided I wanted something under my foot after all. The water shoes worked pretty well but were not breathable, so I decided they wouldn’t work for any distance longer than about 3 miles.
So yesterday I got these racing flats. They have very little padding, so you can feel your foot hit the ground as it’s landing (and respond by having your foot and calf absorb the impact). They have no heel on them, so you have more room to ‘catch’ the impact and spread it across your foot. They seem fairly breathable, too, but they could be better in this area. And they cost $50, less than any other pair of running shoes I have purchased. If they last 250 or more miles, they will also be the best value.
I ran 5 miles in them, and they worked great! I think I’ll continue running in them for now.