Runners take to the streets on naked feet in Grand Rapids

Aug 26, 2011

The Naked Foot 5-K run is this Sunday. Runners are encouraged to wear no shoes or very minimal shoes.

Barefoot running has been catching on because of potential health benefits. Barefoot runners tend to land on the front of their feet, not their heels. The lower impact of the landing tends to minimize injuries. There other hazards to look out for though, like rocks or glass.

Ryan Hall is a personal trainer in Freeland. He says it takes time to get used to running barefoot.

 “To me its nicer when you’re running off-road because it’s a lot more, it’s a like you’re running on carpet – because it’s a lot softer. But I mean running on concrete, once your feet get used to it I mean it doesn’t hurt or anything at all.”

Hall like barefoot running, but opts for thin rubber soled shoes with toes instead. He wears them every day.

“You definitely get weird looks,” Hall chuckles, “My wife hates them but, oh well.”

Hall says people with foot and ankle problems should consult a doctor before making barefoot running a regular part of their exercise routine.

The Naked Foot 5-K is making several stops across the country this summer. This is the only stop in Michigan. Runners are asked to donate their tennis shoes to charity.