Monday, August 24, 2009

We Barefootin'!

So, back in June, I bought me a pair of the freakish-looking Vibram FiveFinger KSOs:

I got them in black because I figured that color would be the least noticeable. (And because the other ones looked like they'd been used to run through a field of Smurfs.) Sadly, when contrasted with the blinding white of my calves, these shoes are still pretty hard to miss.

Plus, they make my feet look like Mickey Mouse's, which doesn't help.

Anyway, the main reason I bought them is because I really believe in the benefits of running without shoes. That's why I'm doing this post. (Also, I want to show my younger brother that I'm not making this stuff up.)

Here's an article from the Boulder Daily Camera which, I swear, is an actual news source:

Barefoot running: enthusiasts swear by weird-looking shoes:
"McDougall, who now runs exclusively in Five Fingers and other low-support shoes, shined a light on scientific research that, in his words, shows that “running shoes may be the most destructive force to ever hit the human foot.” In fact, he writes, modern running shoes actually cause all those persistent running injuries, from plantar fasciitis to bum knees. Essentially, they make wimps of runners’ feet."
(updated link here)

Also, aside from all the potential benefits of running essentially barefooted, you'll also often have this song stuck in your head, which I consider a bonus.

Here's a video of McDougall talking about his book "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" on The Daily Show:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Christopher McDougall
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I really liked "Born to Run" but I'm glad I read it before seeing this interview. Not sure how far I could have gotten if I had to hear Christopher McDougall's pronunciation every time I read the word "Tarahumara".

Now please stop picking on my shoes, Ken.


Valarie said...

Love this post! I've not seen these shoes before, and I have to say even if they are goofy looking, it's still probably something that I would wear. I HATE wearing shoes... although I do not run very often. Ok, ok, I never run unless chased, but that's neither here nor there.

Matt Herold said...

Thanks Valarie! As silly as they look, they're really great for just walking around in. (And if you start getting chased, bonus!)

My girlfriend just got a pair and she's starting to wear them when she teaches. She says they're changing her life! (Naturally, I'm going to take full credit for that.)

Alice Ronald said...

How does your girlfriend find them for standing for long periods? I have high arches & find that if I'm barefoot & moving I'm fine, but if I stand for long periods my arches get sore. I've tried running barefoot & liked it, but dodging detritus messed up my stride, so I've been considering these for a few months.

Matt Herold said...

Thanks for the comment, Alice! I just asked my girlfriend your question and, direct quote here: "I LOVE standing in them for hours, if I have to be standing for hours...." So there you have it!

As for the running, I still hit the occasional pebble but, in the Vibrams, I don't have to actively avoid things. If you've got a shop nearby that carries them, I recommend trying them on and wearing them around the store a bit. Something about how they feel just makes sense (if that makes sense).