John Basedow: If you've seen runners on the trail without shoes on, you might have thought, they were crazy, but they could have the right idea. See if barefoot running is right for you. The experts have yet to decide if barefoot running is better for the body or shoes are really the way to go. While a sneaker protects feet from cuts and bruises, it also forces your foot to strike the ground heel first, which can cause damage after years of repetitive running. Barefoot running allows your foot to strike the ground on the ball of your foot instead which advocates believe causes less damage and maximizes energy use.
No matter what others say, you'll never know if barefoot running is for until you try it. Start out slow to build up your foot strength. Begin with indoor running to get used to the activity or practice on sand or dirt. Run a little further each day and before you know it, you'll be used to a new running technique.
If running barefoot seems too unsafe, you can buy a shoe that simulates the gate of barefoot running. Known as finger shoes or minimalist shoes, these styles protect the bottom of your feet, but lack the bulky padding of traditional running shoes. These can be great option for anyone not sure about running without shoes or act as a segway to barefoot running.
Follow these tips about barefoot running and your feet will get used to the change in no time.