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Barefoot shoes for running, walking, working and exploring

4 January 2016

How to Work on your Running Form

by Jae Gruenke, GCFP When a runner comes to me for help with their form, one of the questions I ask before looking at how they run is, “Is there anything you’re trying to do with your form when you run?” Honestly, even though as a running technique teacher I’m of course very vigorously in […]

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25 March 2015

Form vs. Running Shoes –Why Minimalism Went Flat, Part Two

by Jim Hixson, CSCS     Minimalism isn’t going away. Too many runners have discovered for the first time what it’s like to run injury-free. They have awakened to the joy of a midfoot strike instead of heels hitting first, something that conventional running shoes with stiff, outsized crash pads pretty much guaranteed. But in the […]

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23 February 2015

Original Strength for Runners: Go, Baby, Go

by Sarah Young We were born to run. We were also made to move. Our birthright is movement in all its forms.  As babies, we began laying the building blocks to be runners by doing such seemingly mundane things as lifting and controlling our big heads (which weighed about 1/3 of our baby bodyweight). As […]

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15 January 2014

Danny Dreyer, Chi Running: “Be a Minimalist Walker or Runner, Regardless of the Shoes You Wear”

For tips on how to make 2014 a better running year, let’s turn to my friend Danny Dreyer, the founder of Chi Running. Running shoes have gone from thick to thin to thick and to everything in between since 2006, several years after Danny first started writing and teaching that the keys to healthy, enjoyable […]

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26 November 2013

“1-2-3 Run” Form Skills

I recently posted a Dr. Mark’s desk piece outlining “5 Tips on How To Improve Your Running Form.” As a followup to that instructional article, here is a short, helpful video as part of the United States Air Force Efficient Running Project. As you focus on form, not speed, here are 3 steps to get […]

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27 August 2013

Gait 101: Learning to Run More Naturally

by Dr. Phil Maffetone.  Many beginning runners remark about how much they enjoy the new experience. They care little about the nuances regarding form, technique, or proper gait. As long as they are moving, accumulating mileage over a sustained period of time, they feel content and satisfied. But at the advanced and elite level of […]

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6 May 2013

Dr. Mark’s “The Principles of Natural Running”

Over 800,000 YouTube Views! For the past 12 years, I have dissected and modified hundreds of pairs of shoes, taught running form clinics around the country, opened a minimalist store in my home town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, directed races (from 5K fun runs to marathons), got local children excited about running, and most importantly listened […]

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8 February 2013

Beware of Footstrike Studies Focusing on Only One Variable

A recent study of less than 40 East African tribesman showed that most  land on their heels while running at a slow pace on a compliant surface (not pavement) and when they sped up most changed their pattern to midfoot landing.  Some in the media then grabbed onto this small sample and somehow arrived at […]

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27 January 2013

Body Asymmetries: How Past Injuries Can Affect a Runner’s Gait

What is meant by “body asymmetry?”  The term is used to describe when both parts of the body don’t line up or appear in sync.  It could be as simple as having a left foot slightly longer or wider than your right one. For runners, body asymmetry can mean a drooping right shoulder or outward-turning […]

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29 October 2012

15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

by Jim Hixson. 1. There is no correct way to run. There is no perfect way to hit a forehand in tennis, or to drive a golf ball, or to kick a soccer ball, but the degree of divergence from the accepted norm in each of these activities is relatively small.  When you look at […]

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24 October 2012

New Dr. Mark Video: “Going for a Run”

One of life’s simplest pleasures is going for a run outside. The late Dr. George Sheehan summed it up best: “Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.” So once in a while let’s forget about footwear, performance standards, and high-tech gadgetry — and instead simply let your […]

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8 August 2012

Harvard’s Dan Lieberman’s Short Tutorial Video on ‪How To Run: Do’s and Don’ts

Thank you, Barefoot Professor for this amazingly lucid, totally great video about proper running form. Harvard professor of evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman gives five simple pointers on how he thinks you can run long distances better and injury-free. First of all, don’t overstride….

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21 June 2012

Walking vs. Running: Why These Gaits Are Not the Same

by Dr. Phil Maffetone. Walking is associated with first striking the heel, whereas a running gait involves landing farther forward on the foot—a midfoot strike in most cases with more forefoot landing as running speed increases. Making contact with the ground imparts impact forces—the foot literally collides with the earth on each step. While impact […]

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18 May 2012

Facts on Foot Strike– Does It Matter If You Run with a Heel or Forefoot Strike?

The minimalist movement of the last few years has gotten runners focused on their feet. Many now know what research has shown: Foot-strike patterns are variable, and the specific interaction between the foot and the ground is influenced by multiple factors like speed, surface and footwear. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s […]

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11 March 2012

What Can We Learn from Watching Children Run?

The Natural Running Center is privileged to republish this article, “What Can We Learn from Watching Children Run?”,  by Dr. Irene Davis, which originally appeared in the Fall 2011 Journal of the American Medical Athletic Association. Dr. Davis is one of the world’s leading experts on running mechanics, running injury, and research. Dr. Davis and […]

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5 March 2012

Learning Good Barefoot Running Style

Mark Cucuzzella, MD, and director of the Natural Running Center regularly runs unshod as a way to strengthen his feet and legs, as well as improve form, cadence, and posture. This short training segment was filmed on location at the Antietam National Park.

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11 February 2012

New Study Examined Forefoot Striking vs. Heel Striking (Guess Which Runners Get Injured More Often?)

On a regular basis, health and fitness journalist Gretchen Reynolds, who contributes to the Well Blog of the New York Times, has done a stellar job writing about the information, studies, and reports emerging rom the frontlines of exercise research. The topics are timely, and she is able to expertly highlight the salient facts. Best […]

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2 February 2012

Dr. Mark Hits One Outta the Park in Trail Runner Nation Podcast

Trail Runner Nation is a community-centric website that’s supported by aficionados of the off-road. Their motto is “Run Strong and Run Long. They recently invited Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, our fearless leader of the Natural Running Center, to share his views in a podcast. It’s a fun, informative and doozy of an interview. Listen here if […]

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24 December 2011

Healthy Running Comes from the Arms and Head Connection

 A month ago, running form guru Jae Gruenke was kind enough to email me with some of her learning and observations from years of experience teaching and developing a program now called The Balanced Runner. She has taught hundreds of runners at her clinics in New York City.  She has also helped three-time Olympian Jen Rhines. From […]

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4 December 2011

Heel-strike Experiment: Are You a Brake-Tapper?

by Jason Robillard. Go to any road race.  Stand at some random spot along the course.  Watch as the runners pass.  Count how many land with a heavy over-striding heel strike. It’s obvious this style of running is still extremely popular.  Hell, it’s even advertised for products that are supposed to be designed for midfoot […]

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29 November 2011

Use Your Head: Quick Tip to Smooth Out Your Running Form

In this brief video by Danny Abshire of Newton Running, he focuses on the need to balance the head while running. This keeps the body balanced along with it.

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19 November 2011

Gait Analysis of Lead Pack at 2011 New York City Marathon

The Natural Running Center asked us — The Gait Guys — to comment on this striking photo of the lead male pack that was taken at the recent NYC Marathon (with the beautiful Manhattan skyline in the background). We, as always, were glad to oblige. Please keep in mind, we were sent a still photograph […]

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15 November 2011

Take the 100-Up Exercise Challenge

As readers of Chris McDougall’s article on natural running two weeks ago in the New York Times know, the secret of good, injury-free running form is rooted in the past — going barefoot or doing this simple drill called the 100-Up Exercise that was invented in the late 19th century by a very fast miler […]

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2 November 2011

New York Times Feature Article on Injury-Free, Natural Running by Who Else…Chris McDougall

The timing is perfect. And intentional. The New York City marathon is taking place this weekend. And in the New York Times Sunday magazine, Chris McDougall has written a wonderful article on natural, injury-free running with this rather emphatic headline: “The Once and Future Way to Run.” It’s available online here. It begins with an […]

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6 October 2011

“It’s Tough to Re-learn How to Run” (for Some People)

Pete Larson, aka Runblogger and  Natural Running Center science advisor, has recently written an essay that he calls “a giant brain dump” on Vibram Fivefingers, barefoot running, shoes, heel strikes, loading rates, and injury risk. Most of that article is reposted here. Thanks Pete for allowing our readers access into your big scientific brain. –NRC […]

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