Barefoot Running A Positive Change For Some

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 26, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM UTC
Jan Hetherington has been running barefoot for three years. Photo: SF Gate

One California resident is happy about her decision to go shoeless.

Barefoot running isn’t for everyone. There is widespread debate as to whether or not taking off the shoes and heading out on the streets or trails to run is good for the body.

Still, this doesn’t mean there aren’t proponents for the natural way.

Three years ago, Oakland, Ca. resident Jan Hetherington, 61, decided to do away with her running shoes. Four days a week, she jogs around Lake Merrit.

“It feels like being a child again,” she says.

Hetherington was influenced by Chris McDougal’s best-selling book, “Born to Run.”

“I wanted to throw my arms in the air because it felt so glorious,” she admits of her first experience without trainers on her feet. “I do strongly believe this is one of the reasons people get running injuries – forces going through the body in the wrong way.”

Ms. Hetherington contends that the only blisters she has gotten were from running shoes.

For More: SF Gate

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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