Barefoot walking on pavement is the best way to strengthen your foot muscles and improve nerve function in your feet. Barefoot running on pavement is the best way to accelerate foot strength and develop a perfect forefoot strike. Here is an easy, gradual training plan to get started on using barefoot running to help you run forefoot, even if you choose to run in shoes.
For the shod runner, I recommend doing these barefoot walking/running activities just before you run in your shoes.
Easy Guide to Barefoot Running on Pavement
All barefoot walking/running activities should be done on a really smooth road, sidewalk or track, NOT GRASS (just yet).
Monday and Tuesday:
Walk barefoot for 10 mins. Next, 6 X running barefoot for 1 min + walking barefoot for 1 min.
Wednesday and Thursday:
Walk barefoot for 10 mins. Next, 8 X running barefoot for 2 mins + walking barefoot for 1 min.
Friday and Saturday:
Walk barefoot for 8 mins. Next, 10 X running barefoot for 3 mins + walking barefoot for 1 min.
Walk barefoot for 6 mins. Next, 12 X running barefoot for 4 mins + walking barefoot for 2 mins.
If at anytime you feel sore, don’t panic, rather use the feeling of soreness to help you refine your forefoot strike landing –i.e. pick-up your feet more rapidly or land lighter on the ground.
Unsure what a forefoot strike looks like? Click here to see how you should land on your foot when you run.
Unsure why you should be forefoot running in the first place? Check out what research says about heel strike running (the most common, yet injurious running style in shod runners). For comparison, see how forefoot running and heel strike running differ mechanically, kinematically and energetically.
More Benefits of Going Barefoot:
Hate the idea of going barefoot? The only alternative is shoes that feel as if you were almost barefoot. Here are my recommendations of barefoot-like running shoes for forefoot runners.
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.