Best shoes for beach running (2022): No Bull, Xero Shoes, Vibram, Hoka

Beth Baker, a running coach in Seattle, Washington, ranked surfaces in a hierarchy: Concrete was the worst, followed by asphalt. Running on hard dirt is ideal, as it’s just enough to reduce bumps to your poor knee. On softer surfaces than that, it gets tough. In some ways, running in the sand is easier for the body and more difficult for others. The immediate impact of slamming your foot against a hard rock will lessen, but then you’re pushing away from an unstable, moving surface.

“You can absolutely move in the sand,” says Baker. “There is more chance of injury because your muscles are lengthening faster. The older you get, it turns out, your body doesn’t like it anymore.”

Take it slow but sure Baker says when you first start running on the beach. Try to start near the water where the sand is harder, then work your way up to loosen the sand.

“If you’re just throwing the ball against the wall on loose sand, it’s not going to be comfortable,” says Baker. “You have to go a lot slower and better with yourself, because it won’t be the same.”

Also, while it may be more obvious on some beaches than others, the surface of your run should definitely lean slightly towards the water. That means your gait will be slightly different, with each foot at a slightly different height. Baker recommends redoing your steps on a beach run to even experience. So if you’re running one way up the beach, plan on doing a round trip. And if you only see a set of footprints, that’s when i hold you.

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