The topic of barefoot running has come up quite a bit recently, so I'll address a few key points in today's brief article.
1. Barefoot running is not a technique. It's just running with no shoes on. You can run in your bare feet poorly, or properly. Running in bare feet on certain surfaces may help facilitate better learning of proper technique for several reasons, but it's certainly no guarantee that you'll learn to run properly simply by taking your shoes off. Learning how to run properly will take a lot more than that for the majority of people.
2. Barefoot running, or any kind of running for that matter, is a very bad way to try and lose weight. This is for many reasons, not the least of which is that if you're overweight, your feet, tendons, ligaments, and so on are probably not prepared to withstand the repeated stress caused on them by running. There are much more intelligent, effective, efficient, and safer ways to lose weight.
3. Barefoot running is not about what part of your foot you land on. Actually, where you're landing shouldn't be your focus. The focus should be on the pulling action, not the landing action. There's more to it but it's beyond the scope of this brief article.
4. Just because a shoe is marketed as a barefoot or minimalist shoe, it doesn't mean the shoe is good for your feet. There are many terrible 'barefoot/minimalist' shoes on the market. Make sure you understand what to look for in a shoe, and don't just follow the hype/trends.
5. If you're an injured runner (it's reported that over 80% of runners are injured), the most important thing for you to do if you want to enjoy pain-free running is learn to run properly, and prepare your body accordingly. Not therapy. Not finding artificial ways to cushion the pain. If you truly love running and you respect running and your body, learn to run properly. You will benefit from enjoying pain-free running and better performance.
Note: If you're living in the Guelph, Ontario area, you can contact me to set up private running lessons which includes learning the skill through a variety of drills, and preparing the body to be able to run properly.
That's it for now, in the interest of keeping this relatively brief.
Respect your body. Respect running.
Run better. Move better. Live better.