Is Barefoot Running “Paleo”?

Heck yes!  Think about it- moving- as in walking or running without shoes could certainly be viewed as being a completely Paleo activity.  

I recognize and accept that there is a school of thought which views what I do, my beloved sport of Ironman Triathlon,  as NOT being Paleo, BUT that's not going to keep me from continuing to race!

I've not, personally, taken to barefoot running, with the exception of an occasional run at the beach in the sand, but I agree with the principles.  I do think that if you're about to begin running in this manner, though, that you keep a few things in mind:

  • DON'T jump right into ALL your running barefoot, or in Vibrams or whichever other brands are coming out with their own models.  EASE into it.  It is a BIG difference to go from padded, cushy trainers, even if they are quite minimal like my shoe of choice for open marathons- the Nike Lunar Elite, to nothing.
  • DO keep your eyes peeled.  Be extra cogniscent of stepping on debris; even if you're on the best kept trails, you could still step on a shard of glass or even a sharp pointy rock!
  • THINK about your surface choice.  I was doing a speed workout the other day and for a few miles, I ran on the cement bike path (something, by the way, I hardly ever do as I usually opt for trail, dirt, grass or woodchips WITH shoes) and I passed a woman running barefoot on the cement.  Not dissimilar, there always seems to be the token marathon runner at a race on asphalt that shows up with no shoes.  Yikes!

My overall take is that it makes sense, and if you're interested in making the transition, there's no reason NOT to go for it.  On the other hand, though, if you're running injury free and making good progress in proper trainers that you like, you may not need to.

Either way, the important thing is that you KEEP RUNNING!