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    Traditional vs. Barefoot vs. Original Running

    June 17, 2014

    Running is a great way to get outside, enjoy nature and test the limits of your own personal insanity. Some people run because they find it relaxing, some run to escape being eaten by a cougar (not a good idea by the way), and some people run because they improve their body image. It doesn't matter why you're running, but if you're going to do it then you need to be conscious of your feet and what you're putting on them. Here is a rundown of a few different running styles and what to wear: Read More ...

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    Literally Running Barefoot

    The original form of running. This is the preferred running style of early man, aboriginal tribes, persistence hunters and bigfoot. Early man didn't have the luxury of wearing trail running shoes, because of that they used what they had: just their feet. Some aboriginal tribes, persistence hunting tribes and hipsters continue on the tradition of running completely barefoot. If you're thinking about literally running barefoot then you've already got all the equipment you'll need, although your feet might not look so pretty or be very clean after you're done.

    Studies have shown that there are benefits to running barefoot as you are more inclined to land on your mid or forefoot. If you plan on trying out running without any protection at all, be sure you take things slowly at first. This will likely hurt a lot at first; if you've been traumatized by stepping on legos then this might not be for you. Give yourself lots of rest at first and allow your muscles to adapt and calices to form. Just remember, persistence hunting has almost died off entirely for a reason, we can just head down to the local grocery store for our food. And don't forget "No shirt, no shoes, no service."

    Minimalist or Barefoot Running

    These shoes only provide minimal support and are meant for mid to forefoot strike running. You'll see the term "drop" quite a bit; this refers to height differential between the heel and toe, most these shoes will have minimal drop. Going from a traditional running shoe to a minimalist shoe can be quite a change, especially if you are used to the heel strike running style or if you're used to gaining some extra height through your shoes. Tall girlfriends and wives may disapprove.

    The other big change in minimalist or barefoot style running shoes is a more natural toe box. In general the toe box is wider and gives your toes more room to spread out on impact. Since you'll be landing on your mid to forefoot you're going to need that extra room to absorb the impact. Because of this, you'll see some shoes that mimic the way the foot is designed and have each toe separated or a few toes grouped together. This gives your toes maximum room and is about as close as you can get to literally running without shoes.

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    Traditional Trail Running

    Shoes. Do you like them? Traditional running shoes are all about comfort and support. These shoes have generous amounts of cushioning through the heel and cater to runners who like to run heel-toe. The traditional style is still the most popular style of running footwear and does a good job of protecting your feet while making running as smooth and comfortable as possible. If you're trail running in rough areas the extra cushion beneath your feet helps you avoid the pain of stepping on jagged rocks, branches or other painful objects. Traditional trail running shoes are also designed to give you good traction when running through loose dirt or sandy terrain. These shoes also work well when you're not running, which is a lot of the time. Since most walking is done in a heel to toe fashion and standing for long periods of time requires some level of cushioning you'll be glad you have some traditional running shoes on.

    All in all, deciding which form of running shoes you wear (or don't wear) is totally up to you. If you plan on changing your running style or are looking into a different shoe style it's a good idea to talk to a podiatrist first as to avoid any injuries which may occur depending on the shape of your foot. Whether you're going to try persistence hunting, want to hit the trail for a few miles or just want to go for a jaunt through the woods be sure you are prepared with the right style of running shoe.


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