For years I’ve knocked the barefoot running movement, convincing myself that my bulky shoes and SuperFeet insoles reduce shock and improve my alignment. After test-driving barefoot running on the beach this month, my perspective on barefoot running has totally shifted and I now understand the hype. My body hasn’t been so sore from a run in a long time, a true testament to the intensity of barefoot running. Here are a few benefits for running barefoot:
Full body workout: Running barefoot, especially on sand, works your entire body. Plyometrics strengthen the tendons in your feet, knees and hips. You’ll also feel a strong core workout as your abs and back muscles help propel you forward.
Nature’s pedicure: Running on sand exfoliates your feet as you dash along the beach. With that exfoliation can come some serious blisters, so pace yourself. If you regularly run 3 miles, start with a mile on the beach and then build up from there.
Sometimes simpler is just better: No socks, no shoes, just do it. Plus, unlike running on pavement, the softer surface of the sand is much kinder on your joints.