Barefoot Running Form

Barefoot Ted at Boston Marathon

In partnership with Lee Saxby, "The World's Best Running Coach", Vivobarefoot has developed an app and video that will help teach you proper barefoot running form. The right form, along with the right barefoot-inspired shoes (for those of you who prefer something on your feet), will decrease your likelihood of getting injured while increasing how much fun you have when running.

Check out the 3 general types of running forms below, and determine which fits your personal style the best:

3 General Types of Running Forms


A slow, heel-striking run that is only possible in fat cushioned shoes. A recent Harvard study shows that heel strikers are 2x more likely to get injured than runners who forefoot strike.

  1. Posture: Bent at hip, upper body forward lean.
  2. Rhythm: Long, slow strides.
  3. Relaxation: Tense upper body.
  4. Foot Strike: Heel-striking.

If you're a jogger, take your time to transition into proper barefoot running form.  Be patient!  Your feet and legs will need time to strengthen.  The amount of time is different for everyone, but it could take up to a year for some people.

Unskilled Barefoot Running

Many people who have plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis try minimalist shoes but still have pain. Why? Because their form is only slightly better than jogging. The main difference is usually the foot strike.

  1. Posture: Same as jogging.
  2. Rhythm: Same as jogging.
  3. Relaxation: Same as jogging.
  4. Foot Strike: Mid or forefoot strike ahead of hips.

Skilled Barefoot Running

Moving without injury and with joy. It will take time to transition to running with this form, and there may be some associated soreness in your calves and ankles as they get stronger, but if you do this right, you too will realize that humans were born to run!

  1. Posture: Upright with chest leading the way and head looking towards the horizon.
  2. Rhythm: Short strides with quick cadence at about 180 beat per minute. Elbows should match stride rate.
  3. Relaxation: Upper body, shoulders, wrists, hands, feet and ankles are all relaxed.
  4. Foot Strike: Mid or forefoot strike directly underneath hip, in line with center of gravity.

For a clear demonstration of the differences between the different running form types, watch the video below and download the Vivobarefoot app to begin your transition to barefoot-inspired footwear:

Download App Here