Course Measurement and race event consultancy took me to Muscat Oman late in 2017, and into the final race build up for the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon in January.
The cool winter weather of January made for great morning runs using a number of surfaces and allowed me the opportunity of working on foot, calf, ankle strength, style, and proprioception with regular runs in the skinner shoe/sock.
This is the closest, safest thing to barefoot running and so assist in stability as one of as close to the ground as you can get.
Although i do not believe that long distances of barefoot running are to be preferred, the mix of surfaces, (grass, tar, hard sand), allowed a 7 or 8km run to be easily handled and this is great for preparing for shorter faster work on the track or short races for which i would use my ‘trusted’ @Puma Speed 100.
As a rule of thumb: – The more of ‘shoe’ the less you are able to use the natural running style and mechanics. The 6mm drop of the Speed 100 is so flexible it has minimal restriction, but the ignite layer provides the cushioning required for a hard and longer workout, and can handle distances to 21km for the vast majority of runners, and even a marathon for those with MBI of around 20 or less.
(perhaps above that a Netfit 400 would be worth consideration or the Saucony Freedom which has an impressive cut away toe-off)
Here is one morning run showing the diversity of surface, the use of Skinners, some running style keys, and the foot impacts in the firmer sand, all in the pristine setting of The Wave / Al Mouj Oman.
The slow-mos are intended to give indication of trying to get everything to move forward: That forward motion comes from driving (pushing) backwards: that a forward lean and activation of the core provides the point of power and drive, and at relaxed running the arms are relatively low.