Junior runs barefoot
His feet are blackened, they are covered in cuts, and he can feel the track digging into his foot. He steps off the track into the infield and the moist grass presses against the soles of his feet as he lays down to rest. Junior Will Horn has just crossed the finish line and finished his race barefoot.
The average runner would not feel all these sensations on their feet but Horn can because he runs barefoot.
Horn is a runner on the cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track teams (click here to see how the track team ended their season). He has been running barefoot since his sophomore season of track though he wears shoes for races usually. Horn originally ran barefoot because he kept forgetting to bring his shoes to practice. Horn said, “I forgot my shoes for a week and I liked the way it [barefoot running] felt.”
Horn has a lot of reasons to like barefoot running. Horn said that he dropped a minute in Cross Country, which is a five kilometer race. He also did twelve seconds better in his 800 meter race. Horn said he likes barefoot running because, “I think it feels better and it is a nice change.”
“I like barefoot running, because I like to feel the ground when I run.”
Horn also uses Vibram Five Finger shoes to run in. According to Vibram, their shoes are meant to encourage a more natural running form in runners and replicate barefoot running while protecting the feet. Horn originally began running in Vibrams when he cut his feet badly in a race and wanted to protect his feet.
Horn has partaken in a lot of different types of races in his Vibram shoes. Apart from races on the track, Horn ran in the Warrior Dash which is a five kilometer race filled with obstacles such as mud pits, fire, and crawling under barbed wire. Horn said that, “It was amazing and it is different from cross country. It’s a nice change of pace.”
Track and field Coach Robert Torres said, “It [barefoot running] can help to strengthen ankles.” Torres also said, “Don’t jump into it and build up.” Cross country coach Michael Monoghan said, “Barefoot running is good for running, but it shouldn’t be an all the time thing.”
Horn does recommend barefoot running to people for something new to try. Horn says he does not know of many other people who run barefoot however, he does know other runners who use Vibram shoes. Horn said the transition period is not too bad and, “It only took a day or two to get used to it.” Horn also said, “I think it is for a select group of people.”