To wear shoes or not to wear shoes that is the question?


Barefoot running or minimalist running is what everyone is talking about, so if you are still not sure, here are a few things you might want to know

Most importantly, it’s about software not hardware. You can buy any minimalist shoe you want but does not make you a better runner or give you better movement skills. First thing you need to work on is your bodies basic flexibility  mainly in your big toe and ankle making sure you have a good 30 degrees of movement in both. You must be able to lift your big toe 30 degrees away from the floor without rolling your foot and lean your knee over your toes again this should be about 30 degrees of motion.

After ensuring you have the physical ability to run safely, learning the correct postures and balance between body parts is key. Your big toe is your anchor and your driver and all the muscles that control movement in the foot and ankle have control from the front of the foot, meaning that if they are not in contact with the ground you have no ability to change or affect your balance. Keeping your weight on the forefoot, when running, is key, although this does not mean that your heel never touches the ground. During your foot-strike, once your forefoot hits the ground, your heel should go on to kiss the floor before being taken into the next stride, everyone is slightly different, but if you do not allow your heel to kiss the floor, it will be likely that you will accumulate stress injuries to your foot and shin due to the forces you’re putting through them. You might even develop calf strain.

The next element of posture you must learn is to keep your torso upright. You will have a slight natural lean to let gravity aid you in moving forwards but this lean comes from the ankle rather than the hip, so it is generally best for you to keep your upper body tall while allowing your knees and ankles to do all the bending and leaning. This is so your weight is going straight down into the floor to give you greater ability to propel yourself forwards.

Which bring us on to your stride. Each time your foot hits the floor it must strike the ground directly below you and then you should kick your heel back and straight up towards your bum as if to almost kick it. This creates a safe range of motion for the hamstring and calf. In fact, my personal belief is that the reason most runners acquire hamstring and calf injuries is because of this elongated range of motion they strike the floor with while running traditionally, as most are not flexible enough to cope with such strains especially with such high repetitions.


Christian Thomson

Body Transformation Coach & mentor at body core 

Find out how I use physiological and neurological techniques to create pain free powerful bodies