Why Barefoot Running? The Harvard Study

February 15, 2011

Did you know that research suggests running barefoot reduces the risk of injury? How can that be? How can anyone run without well-placed cushioned support to protect the body from the impact of striking against unforgiving urban running surfaces of uneven rocky terrain?

The surprise to us shouldn’t be why we didn’t know this sooner; it’s, how did we get it so wrong in the first place? We’re just beginning to understand that the answers to all our questions about running are within our bodies--- not in our shoes.

This video of a recent Harvard research project demonstrates how tradition running shoes force a runner to adopt the heel-first method of running. The heel striking first creates forces that must be absorbed by the body rather than used by body when propelling oneself forward.  


As a Feldenkrais practitioner I’m trained in creating full body experiences to help runners optimize their running style from the inside out. I don’t purport to encourage everyone to go barefoot and not wear shoes. However, I do suggest that in choosing minimalist shoes you also need a fine-tuned ability to monitor your body as you run no matter what the surface.

If you want to run smoother, to run more comfortably, and to just run better I’ll be posting tips for the next few weeks on how to transition from traditional running shoes to more minimalist shoes. Then you can run knowingly, with less risk of injury, and with greater satisfaction.

Stay tuned for coming soon to the internet.

If you have any questions or comments visit me, as feldylady on Twitter or on my Facebook page under Sandra Bradshaw, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner. 

Looking for Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® Lessons that will help you to improve your running style? Click here to check out the “Six Pack” in my store.  


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Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner ™ and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher ™ are certification marks of the Feldenkrais Guild®.