Barefoot Running Experience – Back In Shoes With Arch Supports, For Now At Least


Hi Folks!

I started barefoot running about a year ago, mainly on the beach or grass, with some time spent on the roads. I tried the Vibram shoes and could not enjoy using them, however much I tried. I then decided to use Nike Free shoes on the road, but with a barefoot style of foot mechanics. My barefoot training led to plantar fasciitis with chronic heel and calf pain. It would appear that I am not alone in this experience of barefoot running-induced injury. I tried everything I could think of to get rid of these problems, to no avail. Finally, I bought a new pair of light running shoes with plenty of heel support, and inserted arch supports, and – hey presto! – within a week my plantar fasciitis and calf pain had melted away.

On the positive side, I clearly run more lightly on my feet as my arch support system has been greatly strengthened by this experience. I plan to continue using barefoot on grass and sand when available, but on the road I’m back in regular old running shoes. I suspect that the incorporation of barefoot running into your training is a great idea, but it has to be done very slowly, or at least at a rate that works for you.

That was interesting!

-k @FitOldDog



  1. I was running with regular running shoes and I was in terrible pain. Not only were my knees killing me, but my whole body was sore. I switched to barefoot shoes and was instantly pain-free.
    Everybody has a different stride and barefoot shoes may not be everyone. If someone runs in regular running shoes and there are no problems, then there would be no reason to switch to barefoot shoes. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you have pain in regular running shoes, it is probably because you are striking the ground wrong (landing on your heels instead of the balls of your feet) and there is a good chance that the barefoot shoes will correct this and your pain will go away.

    • Hi Richard,
      Glad you had better luck than I with barefoot. I really enjoyed it, especially the lightness of my feet, but it came with repeated calf and foot tendon strains, however slowly I approached the change. I’ll have another go when all is fixed. I did try for one year. I guess it all depends on arch strength. Basically I’m jealous, as I really loved barefoot, and it makes complete sense.
      Enjoy and encourage others, but going really slow is critical – I am not sure that I can actually go slow enough. A gentle year seems slow to me.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Kevin @FitOldDog

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.