Running with Minimalist shoes (particularly barefoot running shoes) can change how you run dramatically. Try shortening your step when you run: this will affect where your body hits the ground in the front to the midfoot area. Your muscles will absorb the shock better this way and you will avoid bruising heels as a result. By changing the way you run, you can also change what you hear. If you have enough cushion in your shoes, you will hear less thumps and more gasps for air.
You can test this by running in place and then hearing yourself foot to strike the ground. Listen to the sounds in your ears. If there is a crackling noise when you hit the ground, you will most likely experience a sharp pain in your heel or in the front of your shoe. If you hear a crackling noise but the pain is not severe, chances are good that you have a medial (front) tendon issue. If you experience extreme pain, however, running barefoot can be extremely painful, even if only slightly hindering your forward momentum.
To remedy this problem, most experts recommend adding motion control shoes to your running routine. Motion control shoes help your feet conform to the surface you are running on so you land in the proper position at the end of the run. Since running barefoot allows your feet to absorb shock and apply excessive downward pressure on the ball of your feet, motion-control shoes are ideal for those who enjoy running barefoot.
Proper running shoes help your feet maintain proper alignment. Your feet should rotate smoothly and follow your line of motion. Your toes should be pointed outwards while your heel should be fairly high and your forefoot should contact the ground at a 90-degree angle. While this may sound complicated, it is actually very easy to learn proper running form.
A proper running form consists of your toes rolling in and out. When you feel the natural roll in your feet, your toes should be about a half-inch off of the ground. This allows your foot more time to absorb shock and prevent injury. Many injuries occur as a result of people running barefoot, especially if they fail to pay attention to their form.
Another benefit of using a minimalist shoe is the lack of promotion. A traditional running shoe keeps the foot flat, with the big toe (the big toe closest to the back foot) rolling inward toward the body. A runner who wears a minimalist shoe rolls his or her foot outward, with the big toe moving outward more. This allows the foot more room to roll and absorb shock, which reduces the risk of injury.
The third benefit runners would rather not think about is efficiency. A runner can choose from a variety of different shoe conditions to affect their efficiency. If the surface is soft, runners would prefer shoes with more spring and rebound. Runners with a heavy footprint will typically benefit more from shoes with more durability. The type of terrain underfoot also affects efficiency, as runners who perform well on dirt will have trouble on smooth surfaces.
One last benefit runners will not want to overlook is the benefits of proper cushioning and missile performance. When a shoe’s midsole is placed too deep, the cushioning isn’t optimal. Runners will prefer a shoe with an adequate amount of cushion, as this allows their feet to fully extend during the transition. A solyte lasting longer is also beneficial as its lifespan can increase with proper care.
A good pair of minimalist shoes should have ample cushioning to provide ample support and prevent pronation. Cushioning in the middle will help prevent problems associated with flat feet and will also help a runner reduce the occurrence of “hot spots”. The term hot spots is simply an area of intense stress caused by the irritation of a specific area. A runner experiencing this problem will experience pain and inflammation around the inner side of his or her heel. A solyte should have ample arch support to alleviate this problem and strengthen the calves and hamstrings.
By wearing minimalist shoes, you will be able to strengthen the calves and hamstrings. These two muscles are the main stabilizing muscles of the legs and feet. Wearing a shoe with minimal friction and support will strengthen these muscles, which in turn strengthens the feet muscles. This will make you more efficient when it comes to running and will prevent injuries from occurring.
Another thing to look for in a shoe is the forefoot shock absorption. Most shoes come with a midsole and forefoot area. The purpose of the forefoot area is to act as a cushion between the shins and the bottom of the shoe. When a runner has a hard time wearing the shoe, he or she may notice that the shins are dug in much easier and that the shoe is more uncomfortable than before. A shoe with good cushioning is important to relieve this discomfort and will also help to stabilize the ankle and forefoot.