Running barefoot on a treadmill can harm a runner’s soles and increase the risk of injury from unintended impact. The lack of a protective layer on the feet and the possibility of muscular injury or injuries to the feet while barefoot treadmill running can also be detrimental.

Benefits of barefoot running on a treadmill

As previously stated, natural running is become so popular that entire websites have sprung up to promote it. Running barefoot allows you to maintain a better sense of balance. As you run, the muscles in your feet are activated to help you maintain your new posture and the ground under you. Running barefoot is referred to as this (without shoes).

The achilles tendon is stretched because of the lack of shoes that stimulate a heel strike, which benefits the calf muscles in particular. As a result, jogging barefoot on a treadmill has been proven to have a lower peak impact force (source). As a result, your knees and other joints will thank you.

Sole Abrasion

If you’re not careful, your feet have an open invitation to damage if they’re exposed to the ground or the treadmill belt. Repetitive frictional forces can cause abrasions, scrapes or burns on the soles of the feet when jogging barefoot. Because of the foot’s sensitive sole, this type of running might erode the sole over time.

Treadmill Drawbacks

Additionally, a treadmill belt has a number of serious drawbacks that must be overlooked. Although your feet contact the ground when jogging outside, the belt on a treadmill throws you forward and forces the impact into your feet. To avoid your feet touching the plastic or straying away from the treadmill belt, treadmills have a constrained region that requires short steps.

In addition to removing a layer of protection from your feet, removing your shoes also removes a layer of protection from the lower half of your body, which can lead to foot burns. There are, however, ways to avoid treadmill injuries by making minor adjustments to your walking technique.

Muscle Damage and Foot Injuries

A smooth belt surface protects your feet from stones and dirt, but repeated running on a flat surface works the same muscles over and over without any elevation, ground medium, or inclination angle.

Running barefoot puts additional strain on your sole muscles without engaging your heels, resulting in strained and stiff muscles and tendons. Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and calf tendinitis are all conditions to be wary of if you don’t have a heel lift.

Disadvantages of barefoot running

As a rule, the negatives outweigh the positives. Running barefoot reduces the impact on the joints, but wearing running shoes increases the impact. Shoes encourage a heel strike and this is compensated for by a running gait. Because barefoot running doesn’t require as much usage of the muscles that support the feet, they may atrophy.

With shoes, you’ll be able to run on any surface without fear of being injured or damaged by rocks or glass. In order to avoid crashing into anything, you don’t need to keep an eye on the ground. When it’s bitterly cold outside, wearing running shoes keeps your toes warm. You won’t slip on ice, and you won’t have frostbite on your toes.

The flesh on the bottom of our feet is quite delicate since we spend so much time in shoes. Running on solely our skin-to-skin contact is a novel experience for most of us. As a result, blisters are possible in the first stages of barefoot running until calluses are formed. To get your feet adapted to running barefoot, it’s recommended that you only do it occasionally at first.


Doubts and confusions are common after reading a variety of articles and perspectives. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and the best research we could find to provide you with solid answers. Before you start barefoot running, be sure you’re aware of the potential dangers.

Does Running Barefoot on a Treadmill Have Risks?

Running barefoot, especially on a treadmill, does pose some risks, especially because of the treadmill’s moving belt. When running barefoot, you run the danger of developing muscular discomfort from repeatedly contacting the same parts of the foot on the ground.

Additionally, jogging barefoot on a treadmill causes blisters and sole abrasion because of the friction. The risks can be avoided, however, if one pays attention and adheres to the right procedures.

How Can Treadmill Injuries Be Prevented?

Always land lightly with shorter steps when running barefoot on a treadmill. This will help you jump off your toes faster. Taking it easy at the beginning can lessen the strain on your feet. Variability is always a plus, so feel free to keep adjusting the inclination angles and speed controls.

Leg speed and stride length adjustments to keep your treadmill steps at a distance can provoke complaints of a crowded environment. You don’t want to strain your muscles or inflame your tendons, so take it easy. If you see any redness, discomfort, or pain while jogging, stop immediately and see a doctor or physiotherapist.

Can One Run with Socks on a Treadmill?

Wearing socks when working out on a treadmill has no known negative effects aside from the possibility of accelerated sock degradation due to friction and heat. In addition to causing holes in the soles, this can cause discomfort and even suffocation in the feet. As a result, it’s preferable to either run in supportive footwear or go barefoot to get the most out of your muscles.

Can You Wear Flip Flops on a Treadmill?

While aqua socks and flip flops are permitted in the gym’s showers and locker rooms, they are not permitted in the gym’s training areas or on the treadmills. It is the goal of this law to keep gyms from being held liable for any accidents or damages. In the end, whether you like to run in flip flops, it’s up to you, so long as you pay additional attention to your workout.

Can Running Barefoot on a Treadmill Cause Blisters?

Running barefoot on a treadmill can cause blisters if you’re an inexperienced runner. Because the muscles and skin of the sole have been accustomed to running and walking in shoes over time, a sudden change in gait can be very taxing on them.

Blisters and redness can form if you rub your hands on the conveyor belt while it’s running. When this happens, it’s best to stop jogging altogether until your feet are used to going barefoot and your wounds have healed properly. To avoid blisters, sores, or burns on the soles of your feet, give your feet a break and inspect them after each run.