I love being barefoot.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my shoes…but when it comes to summertime and sandals…I’d rather be barefoot. [I’ll have to share my new ridiculously cute Gucci flats from DSW another day]
Ever heard of Vibram, the five-fingered shoes? When they first hit the market in 2007 I read a lot of reviews, I thought they sounded fun and cute…in the ugly way that they are. Time listed them as one of the best inventions in 2007! Everyone I knew thought I was crazy for wanting a pair…so just to prove them all wrong I had to go buy a pair.
While I don’t run barefoot (yet) I was interested in the theory behind the shoes. Up until the 1970s we didn’t have the modern cushioned shoes we now all run around in…and there are many people who live all around the world who don’t have shoes. If we weren’t already biologically designed to need them, why do we? Of course we weren’t designed with boxy wooden toes to stand on either but I did most my life…so the argument of need doesn’t hold much weight. Still, I like to think about these kinds of things. Would we be better off running around barefoot, assuming we had a safe ground to run on?
Nature has published an article in Jan 2010 titled, Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners, that found that running barefoot may help reduce impact-related stress injuries.
I’ve had my fair share of impact-injuries so I’ll take the benefits to my joints where I can!
….but quite simply, I just wanted to try them!
It was love at first wear. I enjoy feeling the ground beneath me. I enjoy the slight movements in my ankle to navigate around different textures. As a past dancer, connecting my world through my feet has always been important. I don’t think I’ve ever made it throughout a day wearing them though when someone doesn’t come up to me and say, “what are you wearing!?” or “I’ve heard about those…do you like them?”
It can be a bit tricky getting your toes in them, but with my past dancing I don’t have trouble spreading them out to slip them right in. And if you did at first, you’ll get the hang of it. I haven’t run in them yet…nor do I really plan to– I have a very hard time keeping my feet in line without turning out after years of dancing. Trying to keep my big toe in line is hard enough when I’m jogging– but you could!
I just enjoy walking around in them. I have kayaked in them…great because they get wet and dry quickly without being heavy. I go hiking in them and love the natural feel. I really enjoy lifting weights in the gym with them and doing Bosu or balancing exercises are great because they give you the added challenge of truly feeling the ground and supporting yourself. A lot of my past ballet training taught me to channel my energy down through my feet into the floor, grounded me and lengthening my axis from which to move. It’s hard to do that in shoes if you can’t feel the ground and imagine your weight dispersing to areas.
Brad thought that they were ridiculous for the longest time. Gentle nudging, or just getting used to them (still not sure what), convinced him to try a pair. He is hooked. He bought his first pair, a newer KSOTrek and then a month later got the TREKSPORT…hoping it would encourage him to pick up jogging more frequently. (did it work??) I think I may be in for a new pair–I was amazed to see how many styles they now have! When I got mine they only sold the classic and my drawstring tie in the back has been broken for a while. Since I don’t really run in them, I think maybe I’ll save up for the Champagne Smartwool or another classic pair (love the new color options!)
Do you enjoy being barefoot?