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Does Running Barefoot Improve Your Technique?

Posted Jul 08 2010 6:08am

After running for about 5 weeks now barefoot on pavement, I wanted to review the impact of this experiment.  I can say that barefoot running has only partially corrected my technique.  The biggest change is the landing.  To protect itself, the body will naturally adjust to a midfoot or forefoot landing instead of a heel-strike.

As to other aspects of technique (posture, cadence, etc.), it doesn't seem like barefoot running on pavement automatically corrects them.  The main thing it does is stop you from running too far incorrectly.  With improper form, you'll get skin abrasion and your running wil come to a halt.

Therefore, I now see three main options for improving technique:

1)  Continue running barefoot on pavement and hope that the other aspects of technique will somehow be automatically corrected over time.  In other words, give it more time.

2)  Try to consciously alter technique by using Pose, Chi, etc.  Some drawbacks of this approach were discussed earlier .  However, some people have had success with this approach.

3)  Run barefoot on trails.  This follows up on some previous comments as well as the research I posted .

Right now I am leaning towards the third option, and I will explain this in some upcoming posts.

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