Things that make you scream shiok! #7 Running Bare-Foot

 3rd May 2011. #7 Running Bare-foot

Do you suffer from arthritis, knee pain, back pain when you run? Does your feet ache and become pain when you run longer distances?

With shoes or without shoes?

But aren’t you already wearing those comfortable running shoes with thick soles and paddings?

Well, then perhaps it’s time to re-look and try to remove the shoes . . .

Running without shoes or to run barefoot, is an age-old art that many of us have conveniently forgotten. Just look at the Kenyans and the people in the Kalahari desert. They haven’t forgotten the joys of running without shoes, and the Kenyans are world beaters at distance running.

And all of them continue to run even when they are silver-haired, free from the injuries that most of us with high-tech shoes, training innovations and sports medicine suffer from.

Running without shoes doesn’t really mean running barefoot and it actually refers to the way we land, and that is on the middle of our feet and using our bodies as shock absorbers. Some also land on the balls of their feet as they keep their heads up, shoulders back and eyes peering towards the horizon. Their hips are leaned forward until they almost fall, and then they would strike the ground with the balls of their feet, their heels only kissing the ground. It’s like running on hot molten lava because they lift their feet off the ground fast, while keeping their feet, hips and head aligned. Check out how Michael Johnson runs, and you would be able to see this technique.

When I read about this technique, I told a running buddy that I would try it, albeit for four hundred metres. Surprisingly, it was a good feeling as I felt the ground when I ran, for the first time. I have played bare foot soccer on the tiled ground before, and it wasn’t a pleasant side when I kicked my friend’s toes or when I clipped my feet against the sharp tiles.

However this was different and the only word I could use to describe the feeling was, “Freedom”.

Now, advertising by big shoe companies had over the years, introduced shoes with padded heels, and thick soles. However, many runners stop running owing to injury resulting from wear and tear. Even with all the cushioning systems that these big shoe companies have designed and developed, Achilles tendon injuries have risen. The damage to your back, and knees and ankles, that these “shock absorbers” running shoes could do is quite unbelievable.

However, please don’t go about jumping off your sofa, and throwing away your shoes because of this post. Do your own research, and decide for yourself, or even if your doctor, if that knee pain that you are feeling is really because of your shoes, or the way you walk, and perhaps even the food you eat. If your feet aches and your knee is pain, you might want to try good supplements containing glucosamine sulphate. Nonetheless, it might take time for you to adjust and while you can start with good glucosamine supplements, you could also try running with shoes that fit you.

Shoes that fit your feet like gloves, like the Vibram FiveFingers made in Australia, or the Vivo Barefoot Evo rom UK’s Terra Plana. Nike’s Free Run is also the latest major sports brand that has jumped in the bandwagon, not to mention New Balance.

These running shoes would help protect you like an extra layer of protective material wrapped around the foot like a glove. And they could help you start off re-educating your feet and calves muscles again.

So go on, try it. Unleash the child in you, and remove the inhibitions, and perhaps just like me, you might be able to experience, “Freedom” in your running once again.

Because running bare-foot is . . .

Simply Shiok!

Chew Mark, Basic PLUS Author

One Response to “Things that make you scream shiok! #7 Running Bare-Foot”
  1. espresso says:

    Great post. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..

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