Also known as barefoot running, minimalist running, Chi running and many more terms, the bottom line with this running form is supposed to equal less injury. Some even say this kind of form will lead to faster times like former elite marathon runner and now elite marathon coach Alberto Salazar.
Think about how you run if you have to traverse a pebbled driveway and you’re barefoot. You don’t heel strike like you would in a pair of pillow soft running shoes. You land on the front pad of your foot. You run softly. There’s mounting evidence that this method of landing causes less injury because it uses the natural shock absorption of your muscles (especially your calfs) instead of sending jarring shock through your entire body and joint system (think feet, ankles, knees, hips back).
One important part of the transition from heel striking running to natural running is to make sure you have good form. It takes a while to shake old habits. Natural running is also hell on your calfs at first. It takes a slow build up of use and strength before your calf muscles will stop crying out in pain from your barefoot runs. One way to aid you in building good form is to use what’s called the 100-up.
Via NYTimes Article The Once and Future Way to Run by Born to Run author Christopher McDougall