Originally Posted by Povl Carstensen
This keeps being put forward by people who have not tried it (I believe). I more or less have to look up a hard court and give it a try. What is the definition of a hard court, concrete, cement?
For running barefoot, pavement does not rank very high in difficulty, compared to fx gravel.
When most people are talking hard courts, they mean concrete courts with a surface. The tradition in the US used to be a surface on top of the concrete painted red and green.
There is no difficulty running barefoot on a concrete surface, as I've found myself, but the difficulty will be the quick stops and changes of direction. That can develop a lot of friction, and some of the top pros (Djokovic, Monfils) are sliding all over the hard courts. I'd definitely want some rubber under my foot for that.
I still contend that I could move very rapidly on a hard court surface in a shoe that had that tough outsole material with no midsole or insole. I'd still be off the court, but my foot would ride much closer to the court. Bruising of the heel would be an issue until I adjusted my foot impact, but I think it is highly doable.