I've been running barefoot for almost three years now, slowly building up in running distance per training. In 2017 I ran 2052 kilometers, of which about 30% barefoot, 30% on Vibram Five Fingers and 40% on traditional shoes. A year without any (stress) injuries and lots of great training sessions. Maximum distance on bare foot per training now is some 12-13 km.
I just love running barefoot, and here's why...
- ... makes my running more playful, skipping and jumping, going through puddles, instead of avoiding them et cetera.
- ... is super rich in feeding the senses, especially because of the different surfaces you're running on and their different temperatures, but also because I seem to use my proprioception senses more intensely.
- ... improves my running technique, not by thinking how to run, but simply by following what feels natural.
- ... leads to stronger and healthier feet (better blood flow!), calves and other parts of my natural shock absorbing system.
- ... leads to the nice feeling of tingling feet all days, especially after training in colder circumstances.
- ... triggers and trains my eye-foot coordination and balance.
- ... is done on feet that start to recover directly after running and are fit and fresh every day (while shoes wear out from the moment you start using them).
- ... is cheap.
- ... is honest when you train too much or the wrong way, while shoes might conceal crucial information your body can give.
- ... makes life easier: you never have to wash your dirty socks or clean your shoes.