What we can learn about running from barefoot running: an evolutionary medical perspective

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2012 Apr;40(2):63-72. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e31824ab210.


Barefoot running, which was how people ran for millions of years, provides an opportunity to study how natural selection adapted the human body to run. Because humans evolved to run barefoot, a barefoot running style that minimizes impact peaks and provides increased proprioception and foot strength, is hypothesized to help avoid injury, regardless of whether one is wearing shoes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Proprioception
  • Running / injuries*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Shoes*