Barefoot running on a treadmill has been a recent trend among people. Whether you have done this before or just want to start, there are a few things that you need to know about barefoot running before you can find the answer to the question: can you run barefoot on a treadmill.
To get straight to the point, yes, walking barefoot on treadmill is okay if you are careful enough. There’s also a decent number of advantages that come with running barefoot on a treadmill.
You need to take it slow as normal barefoot running and barefoot running on treadmills are different as momentum and traction are different due to the running belt. To master this, you need to understand a few factors.
Types of Treadmills
Not all treadmills are the same, and depending on your treadmills structure, your running style, speed, timing should be managed. There are four types of treadmills out there:
This is the most common type of treadmills out there. These are powered by electricity, and you have the option to configure the speed and the power that your treadmill puts out for your running or walking sessions.
Treadmills that come with one or more additional equipment like treadmills with an added stair climber for muscle durability training.
This type of treadmills is fairly new to the market but is one of the best options out there. They function completely on your body’s input of work. Depending on your work rate, this treadmill will work, and it doesn’t require any electricity to function.
More prone to walking, these treadmills are made so recovering patients can have easy exercises; thus, it lacks a lot of functionality but is more comfortable and safer.
Note: For walking barefoot on treadmills, we recommend using a medical treadmill or a hybrid one. But if you want to all out and have extreme running sessions, manual treadmills are a very good option for you. Treadmills that provide good shock absorption are the best.
Things You Need to Consider Before Running Barefoot on Treadmill
There are the features of your treadmill you need to consider before you get started.
Running Deck Features
Apart from the type of treadmill, one of the most important parts you need to look out for before going into barefoot running is the treadmill’s running deck’s features. The running deck is the wooden structure that you stand upon when you are on the treadmill. It is located just under the running belt.
The common width of a running deck is 64 inches, and depending on your running style, you can either short it down or make it longer. If you are going with walking barefoot on the treadmill, then a standard or a shorted width is preferred.
Now the standard width of a running deck is 28 inches and which is perfect for most cases. But if you have trouble keeping steady footwork, then getting a few more inches will help you to walk or run barefoot without worrying about unpredictable injuries.
The Texture of Running Belt
Maybe the most important feature that you need to keep in mind when going barefoot is the texture of the running belt, as it was built for having shoes on top of them. So, they can be harsh on your foot.
Also, if you use public treadmills or gym treadmills, then most of the time, it won’t be clean of the mud or dirt that the other users brought along with their shoes. If you are not careful enough, you might face infections and other injuries.
Pros & Cons of Running Barefoot on Treadmills
Barefoot running or walking has both benefits and drawbacks. The advantages that come with barefoot running on a treadmill are:
As your muscles are in direct contact with the treadmills, your leg muscles have to endure and work more, which leads to significant growth in your muscle’s strength and endurance.
Smooth & Efficient Running Traits
As you need to have a controlled running style for maximum performance, running barefoot will help you to gain an efficient style of running.
Balance & Agility
Walking or running barefoot on treadmills means you need to have control over your posture, running style, and with the practice of these two, you’ll achieve great balance and agility for yourself.
There are a few issues that come with barefoot running too.
Barefoot Treadmill Blisters
As the sole of our foot is soft, direct contact with the rubber will lead to having abrasion.
Injuries & Muscle Damage
Barefoot running will lead to more stress over your muscles which can later lead to injuries and muscle damage.
Relevant Query: Can You Walk on Treadmill with Socks?
Yes, but it’ll lead to sock damage and will be very uncomfortable.
Running or walking barefoot on treadmillis difficult but at the same time rewarding. If you are considering it, then start slowly and carefully. Just because it sounds easy doesn’t mean it really is. So, be careful, and best of luck practicing!