Runners may benefit from barefoot running in large part because of improved proprioception (awareness of joint and limb position and the forces acting on them) as compared with thickly cushioned running shoes. What goes massively unrealized is low-impact, mechanically effective running starts in the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) which has the power to enable and engage safer stride parameters and lighter landings. But to achieve this, running barefoot is most key because of the high amount of sensory and tactile sensory inputs received from the feet switches on the body’s own built-in impact-avoidance behavior reflex more fully which encourages footfall of significantly less damaging forms of impacts. Read more here about how improved proprioception via running barefoot can make you a more mechanically effective shod (shoe) runner.
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.