I’ve been wanting to do a post about running barefoot for a long time, ever since reading “Born to Run” last fall, in fact. Yesterday, NPR played an interesting segment on All Things Considered that addresses barefoot running and even includes a video on their website showing various running techniques. The book “Born to Run” is a pretty interesting story about the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico and their connections to endurance running. Much of the book reads more like a combination of this National Geographic article about the Tarahumara and UVM Professor Bernd Heinrich’s book “Why We Run” (did you know that hummingbirds have the highest VOmax of all animals, somewhere above 40o?). At any rate, if you’re interested in barefoot running, these are some solid resources to start with.
Personally, I’ve been barefoot running since my high school running coach Ed Bauman had our team doing barefoot speeds everyday after practice. I think it’s a good tool to help improve running technique, not to mention it feels pretty good to run barefoot over a field a thick grass or along a sandy beach.
If you’re not into running barefoot, but want a shoe that simulates barefoot running, I’m a big fan of the Salomon Speedcross. They’ve got way better traction than my barefeet, but feel just as light and maneuverable.
At any rate, next time you’re out for a run, try kicking off your shoes and ripping around barefoot for a change.