Barefoot Runners


Switching Over (Read 447 times)


    I've been reading quite a bit about changing from shod running to BF, and one thing I've noticed is that there doesn't seem to be a consensus on whether to completely throw away the running shoes from day one.


    I'm in two minds really - i can't decide whether to a) completely stop running in shoes and start from a very low mileage and slowly build it up or b) carry on running in shoes but slowly increase the amount of my mileage I do BF. The latter's much more tempting as, for obvious reasons, I don't want to almost completely stop running, but I'm willing to do so if it's the best way of changing over. Anyway, I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on this.



    Half Fanatic #846

      I didn't have a choice really. Especially since I wanted to keep up my mileage, I opted for your solution "b" and will be transitioning over the course of maybe a year. Actually, I want to end up being able to do at least half my mileage BF and up to a half marathon BF.  I don't yet know if I'll ever want to do ALL of my running BF or not. My feet develop blisters if I do too much, so I'm unable to do a lot of my running unshod yet.


      Had I been coming back from a layoff from running, I would have been tempted to start rebuilding by BF instead - your "a" scenario. There are apparently a few here who have ditched the shoes and gone quickly to BF running, but they are a lot tougher than I am.  Maybe one or two will see your post and respond.


      I think the jury is still out on the "best" way, so that's why it's important to experiment and see what works best for you.

      Good luck - let us know how it goes for you!



      "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.                          Run like the winded

       I ran half my last race on my left foot!                   "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt"


        Thanks for the input Bill. I think i'm going to try barefooting on the tarmac at the end of my run today and see how that goes. Maybe after I've tried running BF a few times I'll have a better idea of what will work for me.

          If your form between running barefoot, and running with sneakers is too different, I think you will have trouble trying to do both.


          For example, if you are a heel striker in shoes, that is a big stride change when you move to some barefoot running.


          I know of several people who have tried to make the switch while maintaining mileage. Each person was a heel striker, and each person failed, including myself.


          I know of one person who tried to make the switch, who already landed on the midfoot, and succeeded.


          As is written all over here, and other running sites, we are an experiment of one, so your experimenting is surely best.

          Creator of RunForth@robraux |

            For anyone who has done option B here, I would like to expand the question.


            First, is it best to do some BF running during EVERY run, or to maybe just have 2 days a week where you run ONLY barefoot?


            And if you do some BF every day, is it best to do it before, in the middle, or at teh end of the shod running?


            I have been debating over the best way to change myself.  I had done some pretty good BF running last Fall, but wimped out during the winter and want to get back into it.  I just dont know if it's best to just throw a half mile in during my daily runs (I run every day) or to say, start off making monday and thursday my BF days and  build those days up to a decent running amount.


            I also still struggle with how much is too much.  I dont get blisters typically, but have had the top of foot pain a few times and had to back from that as well.


            With the nice weather here now, I am hoping to be back to some BF running soon.

              I had orginally thought about switching slowly from running shoes to BF, or in my case VFF. However I found after about a month of both that I was really uncomfortable in shoes. Since that point I've been pure VFF.  I think Sumdeus is right, if your form is really different from BF to shoes it will be hard to do both.