Podcast Episode 140: Barefoot Running with Steven Sashen

Podcast Episode 140: Barefoot Running with Steven Sashen

November 1, 2023 | 84 minutes, 44 seconds

In This Article

Podcast Show Notes

In this episode of the Ayurveda Meets Modern Science podcast, host John Douillard, D.C., C.A.P., interviews Steven Sashen about barefoot running and his company Xero Shoes, which provides high-quality minimalist running shoes and sandals that help you access barefoot benefits while protecting you from the elements. Steven is a Masters All-American sprinter and former All-American gymnast.

How to Begin Running in Xero Shoes or Barefoot? Act Like You Are Learning to Run For The First Time

  • Start Slow: Start as slow as just wearing the shoes while walking around on a typical day
  • Land with your feet as close to under your body as possible while walking or running
  • You will need to wake up the neural pathways from your feet to your brain
  • Build your strength
  • Run on a smooth, hard surface
  • Start with 20-second runs and add a little bit more each time
  • Remember: it is natural and your body will adjust

See also Unlock Your Potential with Functional Breathing: The Significance of Nasal Breathing for Physical + Mental Wellbeing

Channel your Inner Child or Fox

Running is something that is natural and should be fun. Running should not be painful or a form of punishment. Think of how happy and free a child looks when running. That is how running should always feel. Dr. Douillard discusses “fox running” biomechanics for efficient, injury-free running.

See also 6 Strategies for More Efficient Running                 

The Energy Loss in Foam Running

Thick maximalist shoes suck energy out of the body’s system for most people. The only people that it may benefit are those who run at a constant speed and weigh a specific, light amount.

Foam absorbs the energy and does not give it back, which results in less energy return. Imagine doing jumping jacks on a memory foam mattress versus doing jumping jacks on the ground or carpet. While the foam feels comfortable, it actually spreads the impact pressure out instead of getting rid of the pressure. This can move the pressure to other places of the body such as the ankles, knees, hips, and back. 

What Could Running Barefoot or in Xero Shoes Help With?

  • Performance
  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Dynamic Stability
  • Strength Building
  • Plantar Fasciitis

Resources Mentioned in Podcast

Ayurveda Meets Modern Science is hosted by Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, founder of LifeSpa and author of seven health books (including bestselling Eat Wheat and The 3-Season Diet), seven online courses (including Yoga Journal courses Ayurveda 101 and 201), and numerous free eBooks.

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