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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Running Barefoot

    ...or Chi running, or Pose Method, or whatever the heck you wanna call it. Anybody run this way? I'm finding that I dislike the heel striking that comes from conventional running with shoes on. Going "toe-heel" instead of "heel-toe" has been proving much more comfortable for me (except for the calves).

    I have a pair of running shoes that were sized and chosen from working with a professional at the running store, and they've worked fine for the past four months, before the shin splints started really killing my legs. Of course, I could never quite pick up to a good pace, so I stopped for a while. I tried the barefoot thing yesterday (well, "barefoot style with shoes on"), and it's a lot better. I feel like I am actually running, not "slow jogging" (where I might as well be powerwalking with how fast I go at that pace), and I find I can go farther before I'm out of breath.

    I cannot afford Newtons right now, so anybody have any other shoe recommendations? I'm not going back to that running store because my brother's a barefoot runner and they couldn't find any shoe for him. There's just too much cushioning in the heels of my shoes, so it feels strange when I try to force them into going toe-first.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Thomasdregos's Avatar
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    Give me a good old fashioned flat soled sneaker or tennis shoe any day! No heel cushion to throw my toe-heel running out of whack.

  3. #3
    Take Your Lane MaxBender's Avatar
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    Running barefoot probably cuts the 'ol transition time a bit, and pretty much kills the socks/no socks debate.
    just a sig test !

  4. #4
    I'm a Ninja Hob684's Avatar
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    I wear Nike Free 5.0 ( http://www.nike.com/nikefree/usa/index.jhtml ).. pretty nice.. Supposed to be as close to running barefoot as you can get without.. well.. you know.

    And I never wear socks with them.. No chafing/blisters.


    I also go sockless for cycling.
    Black TREK 1000

  5. #5
    Senior Member StalkerZERO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hob684 View Post
    I wear Nike Free 5.0 ( http://www.nike.com/nikefree/usa/index.jhtml ).. pretty nice.. Supposed to be as close to running barefoot as you can get without.. well.. you know.

    And I never wear socks with them.. No chafing/blisters.


    I also go sockless for cycling.
    Although I'm tempted to respond here I will instead start a seperate thread......about newtonrunning.com.....my 2nd thread on the subject.

  6. #6
    I'm a Ninja Hob684's Avatar
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    ok.. so you like your shoes and i like mine..
    Black TREK 1000

  7. #7
    Senior Member StalkerZERO's Avatar
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    Well, before we prepare for our world ending smackdown fist fight concerning our opinions regarding our shoes I have a question about the no socks thing.
    Is it really better to wear the shoes with no socks in general like some sort of runner's tip or is really user preference? I ask because I'm starting to have blister issues myself.

  8. #8
    I'm a Ninja Hob684's Avatar
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    mine is purely user preference. A lil easier (for me atleast) to get off and on... makes my shoes smell worse though. I just make sure I dry them thoroughly..
    Black TREK 1000

  9. #9
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    "I wear Nike Free 5.0 ....

    And I never wear socks with them.. No chafing/blisters."

    I have a pair. I started using with no socks and blistered after 2 miles. Quit running in them because my arches were always sore. Was planning to pick it back up more gradually. Any advice on the ramp up from your experience?

  10. #10
    Juicy Rowdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctuggle1 View Post
    "I wear Nike Free 5.0 ....

    And I never wear socks with them.. No chafing/blisters."

    I have a pair. I started using with no socks and blistered after 2 miles. Quit running in them because my arches were always sore. Was planning to pick it back up more gradually. Any advice on the ramp up from your experience?
    Your asking your body to use it muscles differenlty so you may feel some pain in different parts of your body initially. Remember not to run as far as you are normally use to doing. It takes time for the muscles to adjust. I run in water shoes on pavement and the first time I did so my calf and hamstring muscles felt like they were on fire. After letting my body adjust I no longer feel that sensation.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Fat Bike Nut: It says you're in Orange County, California. At Huntington Beach you have about 8.5 miles of beach. So that's 17 miles round trip. I recall from days gone by that when we had shin splints, we ran barefoot on the beach's wet sand area. The waves splashing on your feet is really refreshing. Its stiff enough with just enough compliance. Also if you're flat footed, it helps to walk in the dry sand.

    And after the run, you get to walk around Main Street and treat yourself to some Wahoo soft tacos or Jamba Juice.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kmkurdone's Avatar
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    As a former NCAA runner (1/2 year removed) you can take my opinion for what it's worth....It is good to run barefoot - Sometimes. Are you planning on running races barefoot? Depending on your foot structure, you can actually hurt yourself without the correct support that comes from shoes. We used to run barefoot in some of our workouts that were done on grass, but it was only like once every two weeks.

    I just see a potential problem if you always train w/o shoes, and then try to race with them.....ya know?

  13. #13
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    Yoshi (Tsuyoshi Yoshino), a member of the Triathlon Club of San Diego recently completed a masters degree on barefoot running. He used several club members as guinea pigs during the research.

    Here is an article about him and his research that appeared in the New York Times.

    http://www.triclubsandiego.org/stories/5059551.html


    I lived in South Africa for a while (think Zola Budd) where many exceptional runners go without shoes and was impressed with the idea that it is far more natural. I spoke with a few who believed that running shoes remove the ability of the natural arch spring to do its job, causing more pounding to be transferred to the body.

    That said, I wear the flattest shoes I can find as I am lacking the think coating of skin require to protect the bottom of the foot.
    www.VWVagabonds.com
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Bantam's Avatar
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    When I do run (September: in preperation for the USMC Mud Run & the Bike Racing Off-season) I mix in a little barefoot running on soft surfaces (grass) to help strengthen the feet and lower legs. I usually run in a flat because I hate buly heels. I only wear a bulky heeled shoe if I am doing a bit of Parkour as the pounding from dropping 6-8 feet can really start to wear on you.
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  15. #15
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    I always found that article troubling. It lists a bunch of people who didn't ramp up barefoot running properly. Currently I'm up to running 1.5 miles at a time barefoot on a dirt track. The first day I did 7 laps and got 2 blood blisters and really sore foot muscles the next day.

    Additionally, barefoot hiking helped a lot. People need to learn how to walk before they try running. Grass is a good start but try walking 3 or 4 miles barefoot before running. During high school, I often got shin splints and knee pain from running. I picked up running again but found I was developing shin pain again after a couple months. Barefoot running has helped strengthen my legs and taught me better form. It has taken 2 months for my calves to catch up but I'm definitely a stronger runner for it.

    I definitely enjoy hearing the soft pat-pat landing of my feet while cringe at the plodding most people do around the track.

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