Minimalist & Barefoot Running

Discover your natural potential

Barefoot Running Blog
Our videos will help you transition, learn, and enjoy barefooting even more.
Our top-notch barefoot running blog offers insightful articles teaching you how to enhance your fitness, naturally.
Barefoot Running Apparel
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Go bare in style! Check out our line of barefoot running gear and apparel that helps to support our writers!
Minimalist Gear & Reviews
We review barefoot shoes, along with other minimalist running shoes.
We thoroughly review and list minimalist running shoes that will help you meet your natural goals.
The Ultimate Resource to Run More Naturally
running barefoot book

Welcome to the revolution in running! From the best-selling series comes the running barefoot book that will teach you how to perfect your form, strengthen your body, lessen injury, and have more fun by running barefoot and in minimalist shoes. Connect with the Earth and run the way Mother Nature intended!

"You've read about barefoot running in Born to Run, now learn how!" - Kigo

"Take your shoes off and spring again like a child. This excellent book will show you how!" - John Bryant

Latest Features from our Barefoot Running Blog
Barefoot Running FAQs
What is barefoot running?
Barefoot running is both form and function. It is a return to our roots, and for many, a new way of thinking about the sport. The foot is a complex structure containing 7200 nerve endings, 26 bones and 150 ligaments. At its essence, connecting the foot to the ground brings about various benefits for runners of all types. Free from shoes, the foot is able to flex and respond to the environment, sending messages throughout the nervous system, promoting balance and a healthy posture, and strengthening the entire body from the ground up. It is the ideal way to develop proper, efficient natural running form. This natural movement can prevent and alleviate injury, as well as gradually improve performance.

For many who give it a try, training without shoes can become the preferred method of choice. For others, it is a part of their overall program or a way they transition to minimalist running. No matter how it is used, it is a way to teach the body to run naturally without the bulk, motion-control, and structural limitations of traditional athletic footwear.

Regardless of where you are in your barefoot journey, incorporating bare routines into your training will benefit you in many ways. One of those is in the feedback you'll receive. When bare, you'll immediately adjust landing and notice right away if you do something wrong. Discomfort and pain are good indicators that you should stop before an injurious setback occurs. A heavily shod foot does not sense pain to the same degree as a bare one-it actually tends to mask it, thereby creating a greater risk of an overuse injury.

The benefits of natural running is not limited to a simple bettering of form. The process of learning to run barefoot involves walking and exercising on various surfaces, from carpet to cement to trail. Before attempting minimalist running, where ultra light, flexible footwear that allow the feet to move as naturally as possible are used, athletes should first take the time to increase their foot and lower-leg strength, build up strong pads, hone proprioception, perfect their natural running form, and be able to reliably listen to the body's signals. A realization of the benefits of choosing minimalist endeavors can often lead to an increase of daily shoeless activities, from walking barefoot to living a minimalist and barefoot lifestyle.
What do I need to learn?
A wonderful, cerebral approach to the sport, barefoot running requires patience, attentiveness and even a degree of anatomical understanding. Despite it being a ‘back to basics’ or natural approach to movement, simply removing your footwear and heading out the door will only result in pain and possible injury. The learning process is an investment of time, energy, and patience. And, it is rewarding. The community of individuals embracing and adopting barefoot, minimalist, and natural running is encouraging, healthy, supportive – and most importantly, fun!

Nearly all the key points to learn alongside a step-by-step approach can be found in "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running," including:

What barefoot running is really about - science, form, technique
How to get your feet used to the ground
How gait, stride, and foot landing play an important role
Developing the natural skills to handle nearly any terrain
How to understand and treat injury
The steps to reach your personal and racing goals
What will it do to my body or feet?
This is a common question from many beginning barefoot and minimalist runners. Going without shoes will increase the ability to be mindful of your body, its signals, along with your surroundings. By improving proprioception (the body’s ability to sense its place in the environment) through engaging the nerves in the feet, the entire nervous system is strengthened, engaged and improved, creating a more aware, healthier you.

From a physiological standpoint, the foot will strengthen and the padding will thicken, making the bottoms more durable and able to handle various surfaces. It may widen the feet, and will certainly make them stronger and firmer. The bottoms will not become rough or mangled. They will actually develop a nice sheen that will be impervious to most debris, whether sticks or stones. None of these changes affect the appearance of the feet, but they will likely alleviate pain from fallen arches or issues like plantar fasciitis, runner's knee, shin splints, and more.

The heightened awareness to foot health often encourages a holistic improvement of lifestyle and nutrition to your program too. Knowing what foods and supplements are good for the body in general, and the feet in specific, will aid you in becoming a proficient, stronger, and healthier runner.
Where will it fit with my training and lifestyle?
Whether you are a runner, a walker, an outdoor enthusiast, a yogi, or all the above, there is a place in your routine for barefoot and minimalist training. At the most basic, allowing your feet to be natural and free is an ideal way to develop good posture and heightened sensory engagement. Like anything, barefoot running is a spectrum – on one end, it is part of training. On the other, it is an entire lifestyle. For many, it is somewhere in the middle. Embracing the benefits of natural running and movement, along with realizing the benefits of connecting to the Earth and its various surfaces is positive no matter the pursuit.

Again, once learned, barefoot running form and natural technique can be applied to going minimal too. This extends the benefits of going barefoot to virtually any environment, as minimalist running is something that a greater amount of runners are willing to accept since they are able to wear something that can protect their feet and seems more socially acceptable.
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