Fashion? From the barefoot

Iván Raña surprised everyone by running barefoot in the European Cup in Madrid


Our collaborator Marian Sánchez tells us in this article what science says about this type of career

For some years now, we have been seeing among the runners some that others look strange because they run with minimalist sneakers o barefoot, and the first thing that is thought is that they will injure themselves running in that way.

It is what we have been sold or made to believe from the marketing of shoe brands. But the controversy or the question of whether this is as bad as they tell us arises when we see this type of tendencies in elite sport as it has happened with Ivan Raña, maybe these things start to change little by little ...


What does science say about all this?

The truth is that all the cushioning technology in shoes in recent years (gel, inner tubes, boost, pronation controls ...) has no solid scientific foundation and, since it appeared, lAs statistics of injuries of athletes who run on foot do not decrease but they do not stop increasing every year, then ... why not run without all this technology in the feet since it seems that it does not cause us to injure ourselves less?

Run barefoot

What we know for sure and is already well documented, is that footwear can change natural biomechanics, It favors the heel attack and increases the impact force of the foot on the ground, which does not happen when we run with shoes that resemble our foot (less drop and less cushioning) or that allow us to run more naturally. So no, it does not matter what we put on our feet to run, it can influence more than we think.

The bad reputation of minimalism does not come because running in that way is bad or harmful, but because being so used to running with cushioned shoes, the transition or change to be able to run more "natural" has to become very progressive, controlled and with patience, giving time to all the structures of our legs to get used to running like this. The problem is that few athletes have the patience to perform this process correctly, our body goes at a pace of adaptation and we want to go to another, so it is very easy to injure yourself.


What are the benefits of running without cushioning?

The reason for which we run like this is not based on achieving a great improvement in performance, but on finding a way to run with better alignment of the body, less harmful in the long term and with better sensations of perception and proprioception at the level of everything the nervous system, that is ... a way to run our body safer.


Minimalist footwear

As Iván Raña said these past days to explain why he ran like this: "Barefoot, you won't run much faster, but I run more comfortable."

In the end, that is what you have to understand, which is a personal choice of each one, and that is a perfectly valid, effective and safe way to run.

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