Barefoot Running Is Good for Your Knees

A recent study sheds new light on barefoot running. Get-Fit Guy explains the surprising results

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

A recent study entitled "Take your shoes off to reduce patellofemoral joint stress during running" found that running barefoot decreases peak patellofemoral joint stress (AKA knee joint stress) by 12% in comparison to running with shoes on!

If you find that running gives you knee pain, this may be just the ticket for you be able to take advantage of the enormous calorie burning and fitness-boosting benefits of running without beating up your knees.

Here's a practical 5-step way to start running barefoot:

  1. Drive or ride your bicycle to the nearest park or grassy field.
  2. Ensure there are no foot-damaging objects such as sprinkler-heads, sharp rocks, or glass on the ground.
  3. Take off your shoes and run barefoot at an easy pace for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Do 5-10 x 100 yard (about the length of a football field) hard runs or sprints, with full easy recovery walks or jogs between each.
  5. Run at an easy pace again for 5-10 minutes.

Do you run barefoot, or have questions about running barefoot? Leave your comments below, and be sure to visit the related articles in the You May Also Like... section below for even more helpful tips on barefoot and minimalist shoe running.

Barefoot running image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.