Thursday, May 7, 2009

Running Barefoot

Since I claimed to be over my running biases, it's time to admit that I still hold onto one...I like minimalist shoes. I think they are better for your feet and they are more inclined to keep you injury free. The more the shoe allows your foot to "do its natural thing," the more you are in tune with nature and are allowing your mind and body to adapt to the terrain. You won't sprain an ankle running with low to the ground shoes. You definitely won't sprain an ankle running barefoot. Yep, some people actually run barefoot...all the time! On roads...in marathons...on trails...in ultras. Around town. Crazy folks out there. And I want to be more like them. You won't catch me running my next 100 miler sans shoes, but you may see me at the Mahomet trails doing a couple miles barefoot in the grass.

In case you don't believe me, here are a few good barefoot web sites:

Running Barefoot
Barefoot Runner
Barefoot Ted
Society for Barefoot Living

Would you run in high heels? Of course not! Then why run in shoes with built up heels? Try some barefoot running. You might enjoy it. If the idea of unshod feet frightens you, then try a pair of minimalist shoes (Vibram 5-Finger, any racing flat, running sandal, etc).

4 comments:

surpassinglimits said...

Chris - I have not been following your blog for very long (4 months or so), but I must admit that I am really starting to appreciate your "natural" approach to living, thinking, and therefore running. It's great to feel in touch with nature.

The other thing that I was impressed by was your recent ASPCA support. I recently ran ran and raised money for my local shelter. The amount of pain those animals go through can never be compared to any ultra, regardless of distance. So, thank you for that awesome support. I feel like people usually run for human health reasons, and rarely do I see someone doing it for the neglected animals.

Keep up the great work and maintaining that natural lifestyle.

-Mircea

Chris said...

I appreciate your comments. I'm a big animal rights/animal welfare guy. I belong to a lot of the main animal groups (PETA, Best Friends, Farm Sanctuary, ASPCA, USHS, Defenders of Wildlife, etc). Plus, I am a vegetarian (should be vegan, but I'm not there yet)--mainly for ethical reasons, although it's good for the environment and my health too. It's nice to combine running with a good cause.

Andy said...

I was out yesterday barefoot on the buffalo trails of Mahomet. I was surprised how desolate it was. I usually get at least one or two quizzical glances, though I often forget I'm barefoot. Only thing, I step a little lighter when I'm close to one of those thorny locust trees and in the high grass with snakes. I guess that adds to the excitement. My favorite is to stand in the stream and cool off at the end of a run.

Chris said...

Those thorns are NASTY! I had one go through my Nike Free shoe into my foot. I usually stay on the north section of trail where it is just dirt/grass and no trees. I can go out 1.25 miles and then back for a 2.5 mile barefoot run. I usually just want 1-2 miles barefoot anyway after a 5 mile loop with shoes.