As a way to move through Virtual Reality, “running in place” doesn’t feel natural.
Or does it?
I think the clear truth is that it will feel more natural than just pressing a thumbstick, but not as natural as actually moving your feet along the ground, like you do when you’re really moving or when you’re on a treadmill.
“Mods” to try for a more natural gait:
1. Tape on your shoes
The first, and easiest thing to do is simply put tape over the front half of the soles of your shoes. This usually will allow your feet to slide a little bit, but not so much that you will be off balance and fall over.
It might be wise to put a rubber mat with grips on for the inner circle, so that your feet don’t slip when you are not in the outer ring.
2. Low friction surface
For the outer ring, you could use a low friction surface such as what’s used on the Virtuix Omni or the Cyberith Virtualizer.
3. Outer treadmill
Here’s the idea that I’m most excited about. What if the outer ring was like this?
As you run outward, your feet slide along the wheels.
4. Rollers on the bottom-front of your shoes
I have a design in mind for this too, but I’m not as enthusiastic about it.