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Minimal footwear – A road block to barefoot running?

Just by personal observation from various barefoot running forums there seems to be a lot of people who are in extreme doubt, and in a struggle converting to barefoot running.  Their transition consists of multiple minimal footwear, still pondering to go bare. If you want to run barefoot, skip all minimal footwear.  I went from wearing Asic Kayano’s (the biggest marshmallow shoe you can buy), donating them to goodwill, and every running shoe i had, leaving me no choice but to run barefoot.  It was fun, (still is fun), a challenge, and all worth it. Stop second guessing yourself folks,  just do it.

I think the massive rise of minimal footwear has soften people’s ambitions to barefoot running, it’s like purgatory.  They are stuck in the middle.   The profusion of minimal footwear,  the excess of internet information about barefoot running has given people too much information to think about.  People are forgetting how to do things by themselves.  I had no clue about “technique” when i started.  Running barefoot taught me those techniques, instead of a book, or the internet.  My transition was far from glorious, i had my share of injuries, and setbacks, it comes with the territory and it’s perfectly normal.  In fact, each injury, ache, and pain was learning lesson.

This message is not to downgrade minimal footwear,  though I do think minimal footwear, and “barefoot” running shoes (gotta love that term), is confusing people what barefoot running really means.



5 thoughts on “Minimal footwear – A road block to barefoot running?

  1. I like running barefoot sometimes, but I find it to be more of a novelty than a way of being. I live in New England where 7 months of the year the ground is way too cold or covered in ice, and 2 months it’s so hot it’ll burn your toes off. And when the temperature is right I do find myself shedding my shoes when I’m in the mood, but the constant sharp little rocks sticking to the bottom of my feet is a severe turn-off after a little while. Not to mention there are so many ground surfaces that are just way too shady for me, i.e. gravel, grass (that hides sharp things), etc. Oh and let’s not forget that even in shoes I have a tendency to find every rock to trip on, every sharp piece of glass and every toe-shearing frost heave bump around. So it’s not so much that I disregard the positives of running totally barefoot, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense for me if I want to keep myself from getting hurt all the time.

    Posted by T.R.Leigh | July 29, 2011, 2:30 PM
  2. It’s just a personal observation of mine. The only that matters is do what makes you comfortable. I live in New England as well, last winter was brutal.

    Posted by Barefoot Gentile | July 29, 2011, 8:30 PM
  3. I think that you’re right, although sometimes people live in an area where it’s just not possible. I am stationed in Cairo, Egypt for another year. There is absolutely nowhere here that would be safe to run barefoot. There is trash everywhere, literally. Glass, sticks, feral animal feces, all kinds of things. they don’t have street sweepers or rakes, or trash collection. Not to mention the traffic and the way they drive, it’s not safe anyways. Sometimes I will run barefoot on the treadmill at work gym, but I just can’t bring myself to be barefoot outside in this horrible place, so until I come back to the US, it’s minimalist footwear for me 🙂 (btw, I just got interested in bfr a couple mos ago)

    Posted by Darcey | August 25, 2011, 8:57 AM
    • Hi Darcey,

      I totally understand that people live in places where being barefoot, or running barefoot is not feasible. My point really to this post is go barefoot first, before experiencing with any type of minimal footwear. Thanks for reading! Good luck on your journey with barefoot/minimal running!


      Posted by Barefoot Gentile | August 25, 2011, 5:13 PM
  4. I think that’s the thing- if you are wearing something on your feet, you are not barefoot. I am a minimalist runner. Don’t know if I can go barefoot, but will definitely be trying it at some point down the road….. For me, I think it’s great if people are just out there running. Quit worrying about my feet and just run already! 😉

    Posted by TikkTok | November 3, 2011, 10:08 PM

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Ran the Fairfield CT half marathon this morning. Came in with a time off 1:50:12.  This  was my 8th consecutive year running this race, and barefoot. My training was super light. Maybe 12-15 miles per week with no speed training, or fancy workouts, all runs were slow. I started lifting weights again, and noticed a big difference with running. The weight training is what pulled me through. The best snack/protein bar out there. Definitely no BS.
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