These shoes don't have heel cushioning, how is it possible to run in them?
In a typical running shoe, the heel is raised relative to the front of the foot. With our barefoot shoes, the foot is flat on the ground, and there is no air, gel or other magical technology. If while running you land on your heel with a lot of force, you are going to have to change your technique, but this change will be beneficial. The human body did not naturally evolve for a hard heel landing, especially when running. You will easily see this by running barefoot a few meters. It is therefore necessary to evolve towards a stride with a landing on the middle / front of the foot.
In this case, your arch and the foot's natural biomechanical construction, along with the ankle and knee, will take over to function as shock absorbers. The distribution of energy and force becomes more logical and efficient. In short, this is the smart way to walk ...
A word on the concept of amortization
The human body is built on springs and has several natural “shock absorbers”. Here they are, going from head to toe:
Our two feet contain a quarter of all the bones found in the human body. Their arched construction with an arch that crashes with every step. The plantar fascia, tendons, ligaments and muscles allow the foot to be both a rigid and sometimes flexible lever.
The joints which are hinges: ankles, knees, hips Very powerful muscle groups around these joints: the calf for the ankle, the quadriceps for the knee, the buttocks for the hip The spine, S-shaped with "pads" between each vertebra
Our feet contain hundreds of thousands of nerve sensors under the soles that inform our brains about the impact force of our movements. It is very important not to inhibit these sensors. Our body adapts how it works to the information it receives.
Cushioning in the shoes sounds like a good idea, but it will distort the information and therefore alter our stride.
However, if you want to run in shoes with little cushioning, it is important to learn the natural stride and to respect a progression in your evolution.
We advise you to consult our various guides or the books offered on this site, to learn the right stride and know how to progress.
How to change from classic running shoes to minimalist shoes?
The technical change in your stride and the way you run will be important, as you will no longer land on the heel, but on the midfoot. Also, if you wear stiff running shoes (which allow little twist), your feet will have to adjust.
Here are a few tips:
- Learn about the principles of natural running / forefoot. You will find books on this subject on this site and also some articles in the blog.
- If you can, go barefoot as much as possible to strengthen your feet. Do short sessions with a grip on the forefoot, without shoes, or with very light shoes.
- Make a gradual transition to lighter shoes with a sole with little cushioning. Start with 10 minutes, then enhance your usual runnings.
- Reduce the stride distance and increase the pace. Ideally at a pace of 180 steps / minute.
- It is important to focus on the technique of your stride and the way you put your foot down.
Persist, and gradually you will increase the strength and flexibility of your feet and legs. You improve stabilization and propulsion, then gradually you will gain strength and endurance. Always listen to your body and the sensations it is sending back to you.