Barefoot girl on the roadThere is a trend among runners that is growing quickly and taking the Internet over by storm. Many know this trend as barefoot running, and it is something many professional runners swear by as being the best way to run. As many people aim to workout more, they will research various ways to run, and many will come across this exercise; just what is barefoot running? What are the pros and cons of this exercise? This blog is going to explore these to provide you with the best information possible. 

What Is Barefoot Running?

It is exactly what it sounds like; barefoot running is running without shoes. Many runners do this for health reasons, and some will use shoes that will protect their feet from sharp objects, but the shoes still act as if the person is running without shoes. It is a growing fad and one that is surrounded by many questions. Many runners will not run with shoes because it supposedly breaks down the tendons, ligaments, and arches. There is not enough research to prove this and many podiatrists do point out that if going barefoot helped with foot conditions, they’d suggest it more often. Regardless of what experts are saying, runners are still doing this form of exercise.

Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of barefoot running. 

Pros Of Barefoot Running

While research is not conclusive, there have been noticeable pros for many runners when running barefoot. Some of these are as follows:


  • Runners find that they can develop a more natural gait when running barefoot.
  • People have noticed that their feet become much stronger after several times of barefoot running.
  • Removing certain elements of a running shoe will likely keep injuries such as calf pulls or tendonitis down. Many running shoes come with a heel lift that puts pressure on the Achilles tendon in a way to can cause more injury. (Though barefoot running can increase the probability of these very injuries, as well. It seems to depend on the runner.)
  • Barefoot running has proven to benefit balance for runners both when they are running and when walking. This is because the small muscles in your feet can do the work they are not able to do when you wear shoes. 

Cons Of Barefoot Running

The above pros are things that many runners want when running, but some will only see the pros and not realize that there are a few cons to barefoot running. Some of the cons are as follows:

  • You will have hardly any foot protection when barefoot running. Of course, there are shoes that are available that make it seem like you are running barefoot, but even those do not protect you like a regular running shoe.
  • Barefoot running might increase pain in the plantar fascia, which can lead to plantar fasciitis. This will mean that you will have to wear shoes for awhile in order to heal the problem, and might have to stop running barefoot in the future.
  • You will get blisters when you run barefoot. Your feet are used to being covered and protected in shoes, meaning the bottom part of your feet are very soft, with little to no calluses. Once you start running without shoes, you will develop painful blisters that will eventually turn into calluses. 

Before you start a running program such as barefoot running, always check with your doctor and podiatrist. They might suggest that you run with orthotic running shoes, which will provide your feet with the support they need. This will keep your feet pain-free, as well as your ankles, knees, hips, and back. The Orthotic Shop provides excellent orthopedic running shoes that you will greatly enjoy! Take a look around to find something perfect for you.