Running shoes are the one thing every runner talks about needing, but they probably aren’t helping your foot strength and mobility. With tougher tootsies, you’ll find that you have a more powerful foundation for logging miles. Also trail terrain will seem less unstable and stabby.
To help improve toe and foot strength and mobility, we turned to Danny Mackey, coach and manager of the Brooks Beasts Track Club. The former elite runner, who has a master’s in exercise physiology and biomechanics, says there are five areas of focus for the middle-distance runners he coaches: strength, speed, stamina, coordination and suppleness (or flexibility).
The following five foot exercises contribute to all of these. Mackey says, “Some of the strength issues athletes have is due to being overly supported in shoes so we want to reverse engineer this issue.”
Do all of these exercises barefoot, 3–4 days a week before running.