Barefoot Training

by joe ray |   Date Released : 20 Aug 2010
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joe ray

About the author: joe ray

Joel Raether is the Education Coordinator for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He earned his BA and MAEd from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Exercise Science Physiology. He is the former Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Denver and also the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Colorado Mammoth. Joel has done dietary and supplemental research and published numerous articles and books in the area of sports performance.

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Comments (6)

Maritz, Mark | 08 May 2013, 20:38 PM

A simple understanding of calcaneal eversion should be enough to omit shoes from almost all walking activities, unless a client has deconditioned the ankle mortis and plantar fascia to a point where the simplest of progressions are needed. This article does a great job simplifying some of the passive (gravity does the work) mechanisms present in the foot during gait with a beautiful comparison to a bow and arrow. Great article.

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Lionel, Leonard | 08 May 2013, 07:29 AM

Is barefoot training suitable for all body types or for those that are currently active and/or anotomically?

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Vorster, Derick | 18 Nov 2012, 17:39 PM

It would be nice to see an actual anatomical picture of the foot somewhere in this article. Good info however, thanks.

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Bloomquist, Caroline | 03 Aug 2012, 19:11 PM

Being my first to barefoot training article; I would agree that barefoot walking would be a good way to build a base before "training". I would have liked a description of warm up & drills. "inch worm"??

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Gil, Alessandra | 05 Apr 2011, 13:02 PM

I am a true believer that the running shoes and other cross training shoes made our feet dumb! So yes to barefoot or simple light shoes for running. What did it take so long for us to realize this though?? It is like when functional training started to take off, nothing was new, but all made sense when we started to exercise that way. I know we get smarter every day by studying, reading, sharing researches, etc. So why still to this day we miss what is obvious and right un front of us?

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Hoolihan, Charlie | 02 Sep 2010, 12:28 PM

Great article summing up all the advantages of barefoot training and fairly good progression of intensity but proper alignment and firing patterns of the foot should be emphasized and stressed prior and during the training. Barefoot training on feet that stay in eversion may be better than no barefoot training on everted feet but barefoot is great to emphasize the proprioception of lateral to medial foot dynamics during gait. Additionally - before starting the program, simple barefoot walking for a couple of weeks should be initiated as a "base" prioir to more dynamic and moderate impact activities.

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