Running barefoot is associated with a substantially lower prevalence of acute injuries of the ankle and chronic injuries of the lower leg. Laboratory studies show that the energy cost of running is reduced by about 4% when running without shoes. In spite of these apparent benefits, nowadays barefoot running is rare in training and competition.
BAREFOOT RUNNING REDUCES OXYGEN CONSUMPTION Research shows running in bare feet reduces oxygen consumption by a few percent. Competitive running performances should therefore improve by a similar amount, but there has been no published research comparing the effect of barefoot running on simulated or real competitive running performance. Research is needed to establish why runners choose not to run barefoot but broken glass and lack of safe outdoor running surfaces are most likely the culprit.
ABEBE BIKILA – BAREFOOT RUNNING LEGEND Many well-known international athletes hace successfully competed barefoot, most notably the late 1960 & 1964 Olympic Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila from Ethiopia. In the past running in bare feet in long distance events was not a barrier to performance, even at world class events.