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4 Reasons NOT to Run Barefoot

Posted by | Posted in Barefoot Running, Barefoot Running Shoes, Huaraches, Training for Running | Posted on 29-12-2011

[This post is guest-authored by our friend Rob Raux from www.shodless.com]

Being barefoot and running barefoot is a blissful and consciousness-expanding endeavor. The feedback supplied from the ground is powerful enough to force even experienced runners to try it for only a mile or so, if they make it that far. Barefoot running, however wonderful, should not be subscribed to dogmatically.

There are myriad resources available expounding on the benefits of being barefoot. Most of their reasons, methods, and warnings have merit. Unfortunately many of them sway to heavily towards the one-size-fits-all solution.

Experiencing life unshod isn’t always the best option. Putting on a pair of huaraches or other minimalist shoes can serve a number of beneficial purposes:

  1. Technical Trail Running.
    Many people worry that the rocks, twigs, and roots on a trail make barefoot trail running impossible. Not true. First, you use your eyes and avoid what worries you. Second, your feet aren’t rigid and can grab and grip and mold around many “obstacles.”

    That said, while there’s nothing better than feeling the grass beneath your feet, having your heel land on an embedded rock leaves something to be desired. To be more specific, it could leave behind a bruise that will take at least a week to heal.

    That doesn’t include the chance of damaging the fatty tissue which protects your heel bone from impacting the ground. If any of this sounds painful, trust me, it’s worse than you’re picturing.

    A trail has hazards which you may not wish to risk if you’re still an inexperienced barefooter. When a single false step means a week of no running, it’s just not worth it to be ideological about keeping yourself unshod.

  2. Additional mileage
    Your body may be able to take additional mileage, but the bottoms of your feet may not be ready to support it yet barefoot. Now, if you’re looking to become a better barefoot runner, this is good news — when your skin tells you to stop… STOP! Over time it’ll adapt (not callous) and you’ll be able to put in more miles.

    Until then, there’s nothing wrong with protecting your precious footsies, but only if you know your form is correct. If you are transitioning from shoes to barefoot and have yet to perfect the change from heel strike to mid foot strike or a forefoot strike, don’t ask for trouble by adding more miles in a minimalist shoe. You’ll find yourself injured promptly and thoroughly.

    If you are comfortable in your stride, you will find that your feet hit a natural point where further barefoot running may only lead to blisters (that usually means your form has broken down and you’re pulling/pushing the ground, instead of placing/lifting). In these cases, adding a protective covering will give you the opportunity to add those additional miles you crave.

  3. Racing
    A foot covering increases your margin for error while running. Proponents of barefoot running tout the pain feedback loop as a beneficial aspect. Any foot covering blocks the pain receptors, which allow you to cause more damage to your body.

    In a race, this can be a necessary evil. A reduced pain feedback loop allows you to run a longer duration of more intensity. The covering may also absorb some of the mistakes you may have made barefoot (stepping on that rock in your mental fatigue).

    There’s obviously a very fine line to be ridden here, and one that you can certainly go too far with. Go with the least amount of covering possible and you should be able to dampen and absorb just the minimal amount of error to improve your results.

    I’d love to say, “If you’re not comfortable running that distance, don’t race that distance.” But I know how some of us… I mean, YOU… can be ;-)

  4. The bitter cold
    Mother nature yields to no man. Don’t even think about getting the best of father winter.

    If you live in a climate that has a true winter, you know what frostbite feels like. Now try running barefoot.

    Amazingly, there are folks who do it, and enjoy it. And check out Steven shoveling snow in his huaraches. Frankly, I’ve tried it and even I think that’s crazy. Most people are going to need something to keep their feet protected from the elements (wind, snow, slush, etc.). Each person has a different tolerance, which will adapt as they get more comfortable with the colder weather.

    When dealing with the elements it’s best to be safer than pull up limp 3 miles from your house and walk the rest of the way home.

Bare feet are not just for running

Posted by | Posted in Barefoot Running | Posted on 21-11-2011

If you thought being barefoot was just about running… HA!

And if you worry about things you might step on… HA! HA!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to US!

Posted by | Posted in Barefoot Running, Barefoot Running Shoes, Running Sandals | Posted on 20-11-2011

We’re Two!

At the moment I’m writing this post, it was 1 year and 362 days ago that Lena and I launched our barefoot running shoes store

I want to tell you the story of how it happened, because it’s a fun one. But first, let me tell you how we’re celebrating:

Save 25% on EVERYTHING in the store until midnight November 28th!

That’s 25% off on laces, kits and custom-made Invisible Shoes with our exclusive FeelTrue™ outsoles (which are ALREADY discounted), our Classic Vibram Cherry kits, the limited edition Colored Vibram Cherry, laces, and all the decorative add-ons.

Now’s the perfect time to get that extra pair you’ve been thinking of, a few laces to have around, a cute charm… and, of course, it’s a great time for gifts. Not sure what to get someone, no worries, because we now also have:

Invisible Shoes Gift Certificates

 

These aren’t discounted, of course (it’s a math thing). Find gift certificates in the store (scroll down the page), or click here to get one (that link will open a new page).

One other cool thing for our Anniversary week:

Get Answers To Your Barefoot Running and Invisible Shoes Questions

On Sunday, November 27th, I’ll be hosting a live webinar where you can get answers to any questions you have about barefoot running or Invisible Shoes. There are only a limited number of spaces on the call, so sign up early. You can join the call on your computer, or by phone, whichever is easiest. Hopefully, I’ll get these recorded, too… so if the time doesn’t work for you, sign up anyway and listen to the recorded version.

Sunday, November 27th, 10pm Eastern Time — click here to sign up

Okay, here’s the story I promised:

The story of how an argument started Invisible Shoes

Two years and a couple months ago, I made a pair of Invisible Shoes for Michael Sandler, the author of Barefoot Running. After I laced up his huaraches on him, he said, “You should do this as a business and not just a hobby.”

Up until that point, I had made a couple dozen pairs of sandals, and I was busy with a lot of other things, so I said, “Well, that’s a fine idea, but probably not something I have time for.”

“Well,” he added, “I have this book I’m writing, and if you had a website, I’d put you in the book.”

“Oh… well, why didn’t you say so?!”

When I got home, I shared this brilliant idea with Lena. “How would you like to be in the shoe business?” I asked, and then told her about my conversation with Michael.

“Umm, I think it’s just another one of your distractions and it’s a horrible idea. We’ve got a lot of things that we’re working on, that are almost done, and this is just going to take away from everything you should be doing.”

Okay, maybe her completely accurate assessment isn’t an “argument” per se, but you get the gist.

“You’re right,” I told her… and then I waited until she went to bed and built a website.

;-)

Actually, it took about 2 weeks to launch. And the day after it did, we made our first sale. Within 3 months, this was our full-time job. Three months after that, we have some former lead designers from Nike and Reebok giving us business advice and helping us design our new products.

A year-and-change after that, we’ve sold thousands and thousands of pairs of Invisible Shoes to people from ages 6-86 in over 65 countries. And we’ve also got to give back, contributing thousands of dollars to the Tarahumara Childrens Hospital Fund.

And we have a LOT of new things in the works (as someone who can’t keep secrets, it pains me that I can’t tell you what they are yet).

But, most importantly, we have are so grateful for all of our “Barefoot… PLUS!” customers (many of whom have become friends) and for all the emails we get every day from people telling us how much they enjoying being able to…

Feel The World!

Thank you SOOO much!

Now click here and enjoy the celebration sale! ;-)