Can I Run Barefoot On A Treadmill – Barefoot Running

Can I Run Barefoot On A Treadmill1
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Unlike running outdoors, using a treadmill provides a stable and safe running surface. You’ll probably need to change your running technique and the treadmill’s settings in order to run barefoot on a treadmill safely. The act of wearing no shoes while using a treadmill should not hurt; if it does, stop using it until you have spoken with your doctor.

Benefits Of Barefoot Running On A Treadmill

As I’ve already mentioned, websites have been created specifically to promote this natural running. You can maintain a better balance while running barefoot. As you run, the muscles in your feet get stronger to support your new stance as well as the ground beneath you. They refer to it as running shod-free.

Because the Achilles tendon doesn’t have shoes that encourage a heel strike, the calf muscles in particular get a good workout. This means that running barefoot has been shown to have a lower impact peak than treadmill running, which is better for your knees and other joints.

Run Barefoot on a Treadmill

In order to increase endurance and stamina during a workout, one can use the front of the foot arches, which naturally serve as a shock absorber. Additionally, there is a noticeable improvement in strength and impulses due to the lower oxygen consumption compared to running in shoes.

Muscle Strengthening

Without any running shoes, your feet make direct contact with the ground, which causes your muscles to work harder and reach their maximum capacity. The tissues are greatly supported by the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and other foot ligaments, which are stretched and activated. Running on a treadmill without shoes improves muscle strength without putting undue strain on the joints. As a result, the knee muscles and joints are less vulnerable to harm.

Efficient and Smooth Running

It’s crucial to keep in mind that getting used to running barefoot on a treadmill will take time. Landing on the midsole and balls of the foot rather than the heel when you aren’t wearing shoes is normal. Shorter strides and a soft landing minimize the force on the heel while maintaining continuous and effective running on the treadmill.

Balance and Proprioception

With each step you take on the treadmill, you’ll feel more conscious of how to keep your body balanced and in good posture. As your feet expand to support your weight and your leg movements, the body is better supported.

This style of running enhances the mind’s reception for coordination, stability, and balance by focusing on the muscles rather than the joints or the heel. Therefore, by maximizing efficiency with lighter steps while running barefoot on a treadmill, you can maintain your natural, primitive running style.

Can I Run Barefoot On A Treadmill

Disadvantages Of Barefoot Running

The opposite of the advantages is true of many disadvantages. The impact on the joints is greater for runners who wear running shoes than for those who run barefoot. This is so because the running gait makes up for the shoes’ encouragement of a heel strike. Because they aren’t used as much when running barefoot as when wearing running shoes, the muscles necessary for the support of the feet may atrophy.

Running in shoes allows you to run on any surface without worrying about getting hurt by the glass or other sharp objects. You don’t have to keep looking down to make sure you won’t land on anything when you do. Running shoes provide protection for your feet in extremely cold weather. You won’t step on the ice, and you won’t get frostbite or have your feet freeze.

The skin on the bottom of our feet is quite delicate because we’re accustomed to wearing shoes every day. Running on hard surfaces with only our skin in contact is not something we are used to. As a result, you might experience some blisters while running barefoot at first until calluses form. Until your feet get used to it, it is advised to only run occasionally in bare feet at first.

Treadmill Drawbacks

A treadmill belt has some significant drawbacks that cannot be overlooked in addition to the abrupt changes in running style. On a treadmill, the belt hurls towards you, driving the impact through your feet, as opposed to when you’re running on the ground, where the impact is made by your feet to move your body forward. Another issue with treadmills is that you have to walk in a more constrained space because you have to take shorter steps to keep your feet from scuffing up the plastic or straying from the belt.

Even though treadmill belts have excellent grip and traction, taking off your shoes removes a protective layer from your feet, and this can lead to foot burns on the lower side. Treadmill belts also tend to heat up quickly. The good news is that you can make some changes to your gait to prevent these treadmill injuries.

Muscle Damage and Foot Injuries

Running continuously on a flat surface works the same muscles repeatedly without any variations in elevation, ground medium, or inclination angle, even though having a smooth belt surface protects your feet from stones and dirt.

Running barefoot puts more strain on the muscles in your soles than running with shoes on, which leads to overuse injuries to the tendons and muscles. Without a heel lift, you should pay close attention to the medical conditions of Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and calf tendinitis.

3 Possible Injuries From Running Barefoot On A Treadmill

Our lives are largely spent in shoes. The muscles in our feet and feet as a whole have adjusted to it. Exercise without shoes could put us at risk for certain injuries. By gradually incorporating barefoot running into our routines, we can relieve a lot of these. Before attempting your new treadmill workout, you might want to speak with a podiatrist.

1. Bone damage – In a small subset of runners who started out wearing no shoes, bone damage was discovered to occur. Stress fractures were almost brought on by it. Running experts were the subjects of the study. The study came to the conclusion that runners who wanted to run barefoot should transition gradually and lightly.

2. Achilles tendinitis – The ankle tendon at the back has been injured due to overuse. A slight ache at the back of the lower leg is how it initially presents itself. Running barefoot puts more strain on the tendon than running in shoes, though running shoes can still cause problems. The recommendation is to begin gradually and get medical attention if the pain is severe.

3. Calf strain – Running shoes can also lead to another injury. There will be pain where the calf is because there has been a muscle tear. Running puts a lot of strain on the muscle, especially when you’re barefoot. Depending on how severe the tear is, the treatment is to stop running for a number of weeks. To get this one diagnosed, consult a specialist.

The suggestion is to begin gradually and with low intensity for each of the issues I’ve listed above. In this manner, starting barefoot running on a treadmill should be simple. At first, try running barefoot for 10 minutes, then increase your distance. As a result, your feet will adjust and grow stronger. The heat and friction that the belt produces will also become accustomed to by your soles.

The Importance Of Foot Support

When running, especially on a treadmill, proper foot support is crucial for a variety of reasons. Running is a high-impact exercise, so if the right safety measures aren’t taken, it could result in serious and long-lasting injuries. Lack of proper foot support from a good pair of tennis shoes may cause problems that one might not even anticipate. For instance, according to the Podiatry Center, inadequate foot support can result in physiological and emotional issues, fatigue, blood sugar issues, and headaches or stomachaches. Incorrect foot support can also cause pain in other body joints. Hip, shoulder, or even neck pain can result from poor foot support. The importance of foot support should not be questioned, given its wide-ranging effects on the body.

Tennis shoe purchases should be made with proper arch and heel support in mind. Shoes with the potential to hurt you include those that are too loose, too tight, or do not conform to the shape of your foot. Due to this, it is crucial to seek the advice of a specialist before making a shoe purchase. A gel insert may also be suggested by a specialist to offer even more support. It’s important to think about more overt injury-preventing features of the shoe, like shorter laces to prevent tripping, in addition to having the proper support from the shoes.

Overall, treadmills are made to be used by people who are wearing appropriate footwear. Although running barefoot on a treadmill is technically possible, it is safer to wear shoes when using one.


If you want to run outside but can’t for one reason or another, you might want to think about getting a treadmill and running inside. Although NordicTrack does not advise going barefoot while using a treadmill, zero-drop shoes are a great substitute that closely resembles barefoot running.

Running on a treadmill offers the same health benefits as running outside but indoors, and because of the tactile connection between your feet and the treadmill, you can still improve your memory as a result. You can get the necessary exercise more readily in a number of ways. Your home treadmill makes it simpler for you to engage in long-distance running while removing common road hazards like gravel, potholes, and traffic. By the time you’re done, you’ll also be more intelligent. It seems to be a win-win situation all around!

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