Can I Run Barefoot on the Treadmills?

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Running on a treadmill is an effective alternative for fitness enthusiasts and runners due to safety issues or when it is impossible to run outdoors. Running outside improves your stamina as it forces you to navigate yourself with the changing terrain.

But in the case of a treadmill, it allows you to control your performance level and speed that you may not be able to do so outdoors. Also, the treadmill offers a flat surface to run barefoot.

So can I run barefoot on a treadmill? Yes, but to run barefoot safely on a treadmill, you might need to make little adjustments to the treadmill’s settings and running style. You may not experience much pain when running barefoot on a treadmill, but if you feel a little discomfort while running barefoot on a treadmill, then you must discontinue it and consult a doctor.

What Are the Benefits of Running Barefoot on a Treadmill?

Earlier, people used to walk or run barefoot as there were no running shoes or sports shoes invented. They used to feel and enjoy running in their traditional shoes.

Likewise, regular runners also feel running barefoot on the treadmill is comfortable. Let us figure out some more benefits of walking or running barefoot on a treadmill.

  • It helps improve your balance. Your feet’ muscles remain activated to support your posture while running.
  • As you improve your balance, you will stay more grounded and connected to the running platform. Your foot and toes will get expand and become more rigid to support your every movement.
  • It strengthens your calf muscles, tendons, and foot ligaments.
  • It sharpens your memory.

What Are the Disadvantages of Running Barefoot on the Treadmill?

If you are a regular shoe runner, then a sudden shift to barefoot running might create a shock to the foot. This shift requires very slow adaption. However, you can first start jogging and then switch to running after you get adapted or comfortable.

Despite many advantages, there are many disadvantages too, which are more impactful than the benefits. Let us point out the major disadvantages of running barefoot on a treadmill.

  • Our feet are quite tender and soft. Running without shoes may lead to plantar fasciitis.
  • The sudden shift from shoe to barefoot running may cause blisters and calluses.
  • Running shoes helps protect your feet from nails, glass pieces, small rocks, thorns, etc.
  • Running barefoot may cause discomfort to your feet and legs.
  • You have to limit your running options to the treadmill.
  • Running barefoot is a trend nowadays, but still, it’s an abnormal thing for many. If you run barefoot in gyms, then people will stare at you.

Is It Safe to Run Barefoot on the Treadmill?

Barefoot running on a treadmill is beneficial but might create additional risks, run the possibility of swelling, blisters, tendonitis, and strain on the calves and Achilles tendons.

If you are committed to running barefoot, then it’s better to start slow. That means you must initially start at a low speed with an incline setting of zero.

When your body gets adapted, you can increase your pace. Afterward, if you feel that you are familiar with running barefoot at a normal speed, then start to increase the inclination. But you should keep calm and go easy.

And it’s better to discuss this idea with your gym trainer or doctor first. They will guide you in providing instructions and teach you how to exercise safely.


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