Consumers spend hundreds of dollars a year on a good running shoe, when they might just be better off running barefoot! Unfortunately people are skeptical about running barefoot because of the vulnerability of the foot. Many people believe there is far worse of an impact on the foot when there is no protection from impact shock and the pads of the feet. Vibram came up with a solution to this problem by creating their five finger footwear. With just a thin layer of rubber to protect your foot from the elements, the shoes slide over your foot like a sock and allows you run like you had no shoes on at all.
Five finger footwear are thought to be the future of running footwear. Running barefoot or with these toe shoes actually strengthens smaller tendons and ligaments in our feet that become weak over time from the artificial support we get from sneakers. The artificial support regular shoes provide can deform our natural arches along with weaken stabilizer muscles in our legs, calves, and feet.
Once runners remove their sneakers, their running style completely changes. When you wear regular running sneakers you hit the ground with your heel, which is bad for the body; if you run without shoes you hit the ground with the front of the foot, which is better for your body. Your foot contracts to reduce impact when landing on the forefront of the foot. This is one of the many reasons barefoot running is believed to be healthier and safer than sneaker running. While maintaining a complete barefoot experience, five finger footwear offers a means to protect the pads of your feet and a better running experience.
When wearing sneakers, a runners typical impact point is their heel. This is why the modern running sneaker design has a huge cushioned area on the heel of the shoes that helps to absorb this impact. Running like this may be the reason that such a high number of runners get injured. Stress upon the back, legs and joints, with-in the body, can lead to constant pain if one continues to stress their joints from this impact.
The studies are there, along with the science that shows how our body adapts to barefoot running. Not only is it a healthy alternative, but the money you save from running barefoot or grabbing a pair of five finger footwear is worth the while.