If you’ve run on Town Lake, walked around Whole Foods or paid attention to the footwear of passerby’s, then you have almost certainly seen the peculiarly designed barefoot style running shoes (i.e. Vibram FiveFingers) worn by an increasing amount of people. I for one was curious about where this trend started, if barefoot running really is safe and what are some alternatives to pounding the pavement sans shoes.
In her blog, “Run free? Barefoot running gets harnessed by minimalist shoes,” Erin Renzas dishes on the origins of the current barefoot running craze, and the shoes designed to cater to this running niche.
Barefoot running took off in 2009 after Christopher McDougall published his book, Born to Run. McDougall’s book details his struggle with frequent running injuries and journey to find a better way to run, which, you guessed it—resulted in his turn to barefoot running as the injury cure-all.
“Barefoot running, advocates say, allows the runner to feel the subtle changes in terrain and let the feet, legs and body adjust to better prepare itself for impact. This in turn, leads to more efficient running and less injury,” according to Renzas blog.
Now for some, running barefoot just isn’t a viable option, but the thinking that supports this style of running is an attractive option for those suffering from numerous injuries. Nike offers its Nike Free Run+2 shoe that’s manufactured to be much lighter and simplistic than the average running shoe, while still providing some stability and protection.
View Renzas’ blog to get the scoop on some other shoes that offer this middle ground between barefoot running and the traditional running shoe. And for those of you looking to amp up your running routine in a different way, visit our website to read about how the Hyper Vest PRO can add an additional challenge to any workout routine, or how the Hyper Vest COOL can improve your running by chilling you out!