Barefoot or Not?

If you read my book review on Born to Run, you already know that I’ve been debating on taking the leap to barefoot running.  What I’ve found online isn’t very helpful.  I’ve tried doing true research into the benefits and drawbacks of running but it seems that everyone is biased out there.  Either they are 100% supportive of barefoot running or they swear its just going to cause problems.  There is really not much unbiased, neutral information on it (that is easy to find via google searches anyway).  So from what I’ve read previously and what I read in Born to Run, I’ve decided to take the leap and try barefoot running!


But I can’t stand the thought of going completely naked on my toes.  The thought of cuts and little stones and calluses is just not appealing at all to me.  So I want to find another option.  Of course, a lot of companies like Nike, Adidas, and Rebok and jumping on the barefoot running bandwagon, all coming out with their own version of the perfect shoe that is “barely there”.  I’ve tried on the Nike Free but found that the part around the toes got in the way.  Like it was flopping around and messing with my stride.  It still felt like a shoe!

I want something that feels like I’m barefoot (that’s the whole point right?).  I want to be able to feel the ground and allow my feet to move like they are supposed to.  I want to feel like I’m not wearing shoes!!!

I’ve tried them on before.  Those crazy looking Vibram Five Fingers.  The ones that when you see someone in them, you think “what in the heck is on his feet?!”  The first time I tried them on, they were “unisex” and didn’t fit well (the toes were too wide, I prefer my pinkie toe to remain attached, thanks).  The second time, they were women’s and were much better, almost comfy!  I almost bought them that time but was still unsure and left without them.  I’ve decided to go ahead finally and get myself a pair of Vibrams (thinking of it as a Happy Birthday to me which is next month).  Now the tricky part is deciding which ones to get.  Apparently there are all different kinds!  I am thinking I should get ones with at least some traction because I do love trail running, but then again I do a lot of street running (most of my running is on pavement).  Oh decisions.

So I guess my point of this blog is to ask a few questions of my fellow runners.

emoticonHave you ever tried barefoot running?  Do you have any tips or suggestions?
emoticonDo you have any information on the benefits of running barefoot verses the benefits of wearing shoes?
emoticonIf you use Vibrams, what do you use them for?  Have you tried endurance running in them?  How do they feel after long mileage?
emoticonHave you every thought about going barefoot too?
emoticonIf you have Vibrams, which do you have?  Which do you recommend?

Can’t wait to hear your suggestions and answers!  Very excited to give this a go once I pick the pair I want.  I know to start off slow, with 1/4 mile at a time.  I plan on rotating them in on short runs for a while.  I probably won’t be ready to wear them in September for my half.

Oh!  Another thing I almost forgot.  A lot of talk about barefoot running talks about transitioning from heel strike to mid-foot/forefoot strike.  I already hit mid to forefoot so should the transition be easier for me?  Excited to hear your answers!

PS. These seem interesting though too.  I wonder if the Fleet Feet near me might have them?

3 thoughts on “Barefoot or Not?

  1. I'm curious to hear the answers to your questions, too! I don't have any opinions or info for you, though! Sorry!!!

  2. I bought Vibrams today! However, I plan to use mine for lifting, not running. I tried on a few different pairs and I found the Bikila LSs to be the most comfortable and the cutest. 🙂

    I have a friend who actually did some damage to his feet while running with vibrams. But he didn't gradually break into them like you plan on. I have another friend who uses them for lifting and running and really likes them.

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