5 Things They Forgot to Tell You... About Getting into Barefoot Running

5 things they forgot to tell you when starting out on your barefoot path:


Michael Sandler coaches beginner barefoot runners some basic drills.

1. Start out on a smooth, hard surface.
A soft surface is great for a little form work in the beginning, but it’s a hard surface that helps you feel the ground, find your balance, and learn to step light. Smooth surfaces are easier on your pads to begin with, you can build up to coarser surfaces as you progress. Just watch for the tiny round stones, they hurt!

2. Go Short.
Start with a few hundred yards to half a mile, EVEN if you’re in Vibram’s or another minimalist shoe. Your feet aren’t used to moving this way, parts need to strengthen, others need to relax. This takes time.

3. Rest & Recover.
Always give a day of rest in-between workouts when you begin.

4. Stay on your toes.
This may go without saying, and it may not. You’re learning to be a toe-runner here…this is another reason to start light. You need to build up achilles and calf strength slowly, or you’ll be quickly sidelined.

5. Stay tall.
Imagine a string pulling up through your head and to the sky. The taller you stand, the more you’ll stay on your toes, keep your core engaged, and be light on your feet.

I'll Catch YOU Barefoot!

~Coach Michael Sandler