03 August 2011

Going Barefoot Week

Part II:  But How?

Barefoot running, for me, began with a book.  Born To Run by Christopher McDougall.  It's not a book on running mechanics.  It's a true adventure story, along the lines of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.
It's about this guy who wondered why his feet and knees hurt when he ran, so he started investigating.  He traced the spike in running related injuries to the invention of the modern running shoe.  And then he found these people who live in caves in Mexico who run for days on end with nothing but a piece of old tire rubber strapped to their feet, and they don't have all these injuries like **modern society**.  It's an excellent book, a real can't-put-it-down if you like adventure stories.

Anyway, that book intrigued me.  But things were going fine in my regular pronation correction shoes, so I didn't need a change.

And then I did.  Plantar fascists in my left foot set in while I was training for my first half marathon.  Ouch.  If you have ever had it, you know it's hard to describe to someone who hasn't.  And you also know there isn't much in the way of treatment.  So, rather than give up the dream, I switched my shoes.  I had nothing to lose.

I ran in a combination for a while…barefoot style shoes for short runs, "real" shoes for long runs.  But eventually, the real shoes bothered me.  And the barefoot shoes didn't.  Plantar fascitis disappeared.  As well as all my other ankle, hip, and knee pain.

That was a year and a half ago, and I will never go back.


  1. I've heard similar stories before, but haven't tried going barefoot yet, but I am intrigued, too. :)

  2. I'm curious about barefoot running but not enough to try it. Just can't wrap my brain around the concept. Even after reading BTR.

  3. Pretty cool. The barefoot running idea is intriguing.