Running without socks has been practiced since the start of humankind. Running shoes were just recent discoveries for runners and athletes. But nowadays, barefoot running has become well-known again. However, how are you going to run barefoot without getting hurt? Find out how it is possible to run sockless without getting injured in this article.
Advantages Of Running Barefoot
#1 It Creates More Ventilation
The thing about running without socks is that the ventilation it creates for your feet. If you want to sprint for a short period during a hot and humid day, your feet may feel the heat very rapidly when you put on socks. As you run sockless, your feet become more ventilated and comfortable.
#2 It Makes You Feel Your Connection To Nature
Moreover, you will notice that each time you run without protection that you can feel the ground better than before. It somewhat brings you closer to nature. Also, you will realize that by doing so, you can always assess the ground and your running technique.
#3 It Allows You to Be Free
It is often hard to put into words, but as a minimalist runner, running without socks will make you feel the sense of “freeness.” It somewhat makes you more alive, more authentic, and more inclined with your surroundings.
Disadvantages Of Running Sockless
However, running without socks also has downfalls. One is that when you sprint sockless, your running shoes will tend to have a strong smell. Also, as it will take some time to toughen the skin of your feet, you will often get a few blisters for the first months. It will even get worse when you try on your new running shoes. But, when you get your feet get used to the friction of the ground, the blisters will disappear pretty soon.
Tips of Sock-Free Running
Running socks are pretty challenging to wear on your wet feet. Also, it is a struggle sticking them away. Leaving your socks away from your feet will make a difficult yet faster change. There are a lot of runners who prefer not to use socks when racing and don’t get injured. So, what is their trick for running sockless?
#1 Applying Lubricants, Powder, and Antiperspirants
There are primary strategies to fight blisters. These include putting oils and powder. We have found out that rubbing the moisture of your skin creates too much friction that rubbing a super wet or dry skin.It is where lubricants play an important role in decreasing the resistance.
It keeps the skin-to-shoe or skin-to-skin areas slick and moist. Also, antiperspirants and powders can help alleviate the friction by keeping your feet dry all day long.
#2 Keeping Your Body Hydrated
As you allow your body to be fully hydrated, you will achieve homeostasis to stop the swelling of your feet. If ever you are over-hydrated and you consume too much sodium, the fluid in your body retains. So, it causes the swelling of your feet.
On the other hand, if you dehydrate and shed away too much sodium through sweating, the fluid will remain in your lower extremities. That’s when you will realize how vital it is to balance your fluid intake.
#3 Taping Your Feet
Some runners also swear that using duct tape through taping is also efficient when it comes to keeping your feet intact. Some athletes just don’t like putting lubricants and powders on their feet, so they use duct tapes instead.
There are other tapes available on the market. However, duct tapes are pretty convenient when applying because of its slick surface. Also, before running, you must use an adhesive to make the duct tape stick more. After putting tape on your feet, make sure that you put some powder on the edges of the duct tape to avoid any rocks from getting into the borders.
Taping your feet before running may seem challenging because the sticky cloth may loosen. Also, dirt and sand may get in easily. For a sticky material that’s too tight, it will leave your feet swollen and painful when running.
Many athletes choose to put the tape on the inside of the shoes. They apply the duct tape atop and on each side of the shoes, the insole, heel area, and footwear interface.
Foot Strikes Without Socks
Here’s what you need to know about the basics of foot strike in sockless sprinting:
#1 Heel Strike
Your heel should hit the ground first. Then, your lower leg should stop during an impact as your body tries to move across your knee. A lot of athletes who prefer wearing basic running shoes are heel strikers. When you hit an impact, your heel can absorb three times your bodyweight.
#2 Midfoot Strike
The runner should hit the ground using the ball of his or her foot. It should land under the hip, and the heel should not brush the ground. The impact on the surface of your foot lessens the force, and the knees can work as shock absorbers.
#3 Forefoot Strike
It is like the midfoot strike. However, you allow the ball of your foot to hit the ground under the fifth and fourth metatarsal. Then, your feet may or may not touch the ground. Your body should stop the impact. However, you start to bounce, and the impact should radiate to your hips, knees, and back.
How To Begin A Sockless Running
Anyone can try running without socks. However, not everyone will be able to execute this successfully. For example, if you have tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions or hammertoes, and flat feet, you may not want to worsen your situation. So, you should seek the advice of your physician first.
You should take note that the key to barefoot running is to begin gradually. The first thing to do to adapt is to start standing on gravel. Then, you need to create sturdiness of the soles of your feet. Begin walking initially.
You may start working on your runs with a new stride. Also, you may consider running short distances first on a smooth surface. After doing so, you may now practice your proper body mechanics. Try to land using the midfoot than your heel. Do not worry when you allow your heel to hit the ground. However, focus on hitting the floor with your midfoot first.
Let your foot become parallel to the ground just below the center of your body. Be cautious when you move. Some of your muscles may still be weak. So, you need to use up the strength of your calf muscles.
Remember that your Achilles tendon may also get stiff. Also, do not overstride. You may utilize short strides and a rapid cadence using your midfoot. As you begin with a new pace, lift your foot quickly off the ground rather than trying to push it off. Your landing should be relaxed and gentle.
Skipping socks when running can be a challenging yet liberating thing to do. Moreover, a lot of runners think that wearing shoes without socks or just running barefoot is “freeing.” Not only that it changes the way you feel when taking short or long distance runs, but it can also modify the way you handle yourself when sprinting.
Although many athletes are getting used to running without socks, it is still up to you which practice you think is more comfortable and empowering.