One of the many benefits of barefoot running is that it can dramatically influence arch strength, height and function! This is because when you run barefoot, the sensory stimulation to the sole of the barefoot has been found to be incredibly effective in increasing widespread muscle activation and muscle tone in the foot which are prerequisites for strengthening the muscles in the mid-foot that uphold the arch. Not only that, when you run barefoot, you also land with a forefoot strike, like many elite runners, in which the arch undergoes greater compression and extension which has proved effective in improving arch-height profile and may enable the arches to store richer elastic power and secure safer foot pronation (foot motions during stance). This is why adopting the forefoot running technique, especially when barefoot may be a sufficient starting point in transforming weak, flat feet into strongly-arched, more spring-load, healthy feet that can better handle more mileage on any terrain. Read more here on how barefoot running may fix fleet flat and how standard cushy running shoes keeps your feet flat, weak and painful.
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.