I’m amazed how I can go from not knowing something exists to knowing I can’t exist without that something within a few weeks. Such is the case as I’ve talked with friends and read articles surrounding the concept of barefoot running. Actually, the first time I heard of this was a few years ago, before I was interested in running, and therefore was incapable of desiring anything that would make me run faster. The only time I was interested in getting anywhere faster under my own locomotion was when I was moving from the frozen treat aisle of the grocery store towards the checkout lane. But sometime during my fat years I stumbled onto something about Nike Free, a shoe that simulated running with bare feet, purportedly invented because running in bare feet was better for you. Nike didn’t go so far as to actually recommend running in bare feet, since that would be anathema to their business model, plus it makes it hard to stop in at McDonalds for a Big Mac and shake if you’re out on a training run and get the hankerin’.
My interest in running in bare feet was piqued more recently when my coach recommended, or commanded, that I start running on my toes. Then my friend posted about the Vibram Five Fingers “shoes” he had gotten, and at a later day he told me he loved them. Then Te Koi told me how much he loves Newtons and sent me this link reviewing Newton shoes. And finally today I read this LA Times article on the merits of running, not with any special shoe that simulates barefoot running, but actually running in bare feet.
Te Koi has loaned me a pair of his old Newton’s, which I’m very excited to try on, although my excitement lacks follow through seeing as how they’ve been in my house for over a week and I haven’t done anything with them. I think that will probably be a good starting point for me. I’m definitely not sold on running barefoot, mostly because I’m afraid of glass, rocks, twigs, nails, roadkill, dog poo, etc. I’m also not sure if I’m ready to jump into the Vibram Five Fingers yet (although if they want to send me a pair to review, I’d love to try them out, but I doubt they need my help as apparently they’re selling like hotcakes already, and you know how hotcakes sell). So trying out the Newtons and the Nike Free will probably be the first step for me (no pun intended, but feel free to enjoy it if you like…or not, whatever).