If you consider yourself a regular runner then you may have found it difficult to avoid the current trend of “barefoot running” equipment. You may have even invested in the latest pair of Vibram FiveFinger barefoot trainers already, finding that they work really well with your running style and that you’re seeing true results.
However, there are many runners out there that haven’t taken the plunge just yet for various reasons. Some people are questioning the comfort, whilst others feel that the style doesn’t quite suit them. It may be a good idea for you to consider some alternatives.
Barefoot vs Traditional
“Barefoot running” has quickly established itself as the alternative “correct” way of running, with people ditching their standard running trainers in favour of traditional running trainers. However, some runners find the appeal of running barefoot a little discomforting, with all the dirt and blisters you’re expected to get with using such trainers.
Past medical research believed that runners taking part in long distances were better off wearing supportive, cushioned trainers which encourage the feet to land heel first. Newer research has demonstrated how striking the floor forefoot first (or the ball of your foot) for a more fluid movement allows the runner to cover longer distances quickly, with a decreased chance of injury.
It seems that runner’s around the world like the appeal of barefoot running, but aren’t too happy with the comfort of current models available. Current manufacturers seem to have answered this calling in the best manner, by offering a new generation of running trainer that appear to fill the gap. A running shoe which works with the natural movement of your legs, whilst providing the sensation of running bare foot with a more substantial sole.
Some current “barefoot trainers” simply feel like thick plastic socks – This new generation of trainers offer more protection without inhibiting the wearer’s running style.
As with any fitness equipment, don’t think you can just jump into any new model and expect comfort and results. Running with barefoot style trainers requires significantly stronger lower legs. In order to avoid any long term injury, be sure to break yourself into them slowly – I’m sure bruised ankles don’t appeal to anyone!
We’ll be doing a large review feature on some of the best running trainers available on the market next week – Be sure to check back when you have a moment.