Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why I Run In "Barefoot" Shoes

First, I'll say it again. I am very disappointed that the phrase "barefoot shoes" has caught on. Barefoot means roughly "not wearing shoes" so barefoot shoes would be the shoes one wears when not wearing shoes.

I guess I need to get over it.

This line of thinking got back in my head after talking to a few different runners who don't think minimal shoes are good for running. I tend to discuss this subject mostly with other people who run either barefoot or nearly barefoot, so I forget how weird it still seems to others.

I never intended to join the barefoot/minimalist running craze. In fact I didn't even know there was one when I got my first pair of VFFs. As I was checking out with my Bikilas, someone else in the store asked me, "So do you do barefoot running?" I was confused. How could my purchase of a pair of shoes lead someone to think I'd be running barefoot? He quickly followed his first question with, "What do you expect to accomplish in shoes like that?" I was still confused, I was very new to running and had not been indoctrinated into believing that I needed shoes with a medial post, or that running in traditional running shoes would cause me to go blind from too much heel striking. I just knew that when I ran in the shoes I was running in it felt bad, and running in these shoes felt good.

Looking back on it a year and half later I can say this.

With no running training whatsoever, I was a sloppy runner. The less shoe I wear, the less sloppy my running. The less sloppy my running the less I hurt. The less I hurt the more I run. That is why I wear weird looking toe shoes, moccasins, and sandals to run.

And here is the evidence.

Me running in shoes.

Me running in much less shoe.