Beyond Barefoot Running

by Owen Marcus on May 3, 2010

A Clovis point, made via pressure flaking
Image via Wikipedia

Barefoot runners are not just taking off their shoes – they’re taking off as a movement.

Ted McDonald, aka Barefoot Ted, was written up recently in a Seattle Times article. As a leading evangelist of running barefoot, his flock continues to grow. Sick of constant injuries, tired of spending $100 for new shoes every 3 to 6 months, or hundreds of dollars on orthodontics, and frustrated by their decreasing times, runners are looking for a solution.

“Our problem,” said McDonald, “is that since the 1970s, we started thinking we could do a better job with the feet than evolution could.”

We are re-discovering that technology is not, in fact, smarter than Nature. A few decades of running technology is NOT better than hundreds of thousands of years of walking and running barefoot, or with minimal protection on our feet.

Another Choice

When you run barefoot, you really CAN’T do it wrong. If you are “heel-striking” (the typical, knee-destroying form you see today) without shoes, you know it instantly. Because it HURTS. So you immediately adopt the natural form of running.

With Chi Running, Evolution Running and Running Flow™ runners are unlearning bad form to learn a natural form–barefoot running form.

Go for it

I encourage you to find a coach or some way to learn how to run naturally. Clinics are springing up all over the country. If you’re in the Inland Northwest, check out Running Flow. If you’re in the Southeast, check out Evolution Running. Chi Running is available in the Northeast. And Barefoot Ted gives clinics in Seattle.

If you end up running barefoot, great; if you run with shoes, but naturally, that works. BUT, know this: if you don’t change your form back to what comes naturally, you are destined to decrease your speed, decrease your enjoyment of running, and increase your injuries.

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