Barefoot Beginnings

When I first started running I knew of barefoot running. At the time I couldn’t understand why anyone would do it, so I put it in the back of my mind.

I’ve been running now for over 18 months.  I have hundreds of kilometers in my legs and a lot more knowledge of running in my head.  I’ve read numerous articles news/online/magazine articles, some books, and listened to various podcasts all on running, and have been slowly implementing changes and seeing my running improve.

The more I learn, the more interested/fascinated I became with barefoot running. I totally believe that it has its place, and I think everyone should consider it, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not it’s for you.

The reason I want to try barefoot running is that:

  • 99.9% of evolutionary history we were walking and running around barefoot.  It’s only in the last 30-40 years that running shoes have advanced, and even prior to that, say the last 100 years, running shoes were very minimalistic.
    If it was good for us in our evolution history why isn’t it good for us now?
  • Walking (and eventually running) barefoot strengthens the muscles in your feet and ankles. It helps to improve balance and circulation.
  • Something you may not know about me is that I always have cold feet and cold hands.  So anything that improves my circulation is a bonus.
  • Walking/running barefoot really makes you think about your form. You become more aware of the way your foot strikes the ground.  Improving this, will help my running form and make me a more efficient runner.
    This leads me to:
  • I’m getting blisters on my feet. Blisters eventually turn to callus.  Blisters/Callus are trauma to the feet.  Which links back to form.

So I picked up some Vibrams from Barefootinc for a bargain price, and they arrived 2 days later. Awesome delivery or what?

Barefoot Shoes

Please excuse my ‘fat’ legs, I was using the wide angle lens so it makes it look way bigger.

So I’ve had my Vibrams for a few weeks now.  Little by little of having been wearing them more and more. It did take a while to get used to the ‘toes’ but now they don’t bother me.  It also took a few days for me to splay my toes to get my feet in.  My pinky toe still has drama getting into her slot. She still seems to be a bit slow in that department.

I’ve been mostly wearing them for weight training and yoga, and so far they have helped a lot. I’ve been wearing them more for walking around the house and recreational cycling.

I do get looks and weird comments on my shoes.  Most people say “cool shoes”.  Others wonder why, and when they ask I explain and they get it and understand.

This is just the beginning of my barefoot adventure.  I will post more when I learn more. But if you have any tips or advice, feel free to post your comments.

2022 update

These Vibrams have finally bitten the dust, and I now own a new pair.

To think that I had them for 9 years! Wow, I’m seriously impressed!

I’m happy to do any weight training, yoga, pilates, or HIIT in my Vibrams, but when it comes to running, I do need the extra support and cushioning.

Even though I don’t run in my Vibrams, they are still an item I use regularly.

Yes, I still get weird looks from people at the gym. But then I see people working out in converse, socks, or barefoot. I don’t see how it’s any different.

Yes, people think they are weird, but really they are no different from thongs/flipflops.

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