Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Barefoot Running Update

So the barefoot running has been going really well. I ended up rolling my ankle (unrelated to the whole barefoot running training business) and I wasn't able to really run well for a couple weeks, but I have felt better and am getting back in to it in the last couple of weeks. Yesterday I ran 4.5 miles completely barefoot and today I ran 2.5 miles wearing my Huaraches. The furthest I have run yet so far completely barefoot is about 7.5 miles. I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and look forward to adding on more miles in the near future.

As of right now, my wife and I are training to run the Top of Utah half marathon at the end of August. Although the training is going really well, I don't anticipate doing it completely barefoot. The first 8 miles are in the canyon on the side of the road, it is pretty rocky and sandy and I just don't think I am quite ready to do 13.1 miles completely barefoot yet, I would probably end up with some pretty raw blistered feet. With that being said, I will NOT be wearing regular running shoes, so stop your worrying. I am planning as of right now to run in my Huaraches. So far they are the closest I have been able to find to barefoot, but still offering me the protection I need on those tough surfaces. I can't wait to see how it goes!

Monday, July 30, 2012

You think I am crazy? This is why I run barefoot.

If you are on the fence about barefoot running and aren't sure why you should take the dive into the unshod world, take a look at this great article that I found this morning. It gives a lot of reasons and research that support barefoot running and why us crazies decide to kick off the shoes never to look back at the world of conventional running shoes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rubber Watch Shop Coupon Code!

This week only Rubber Watch Shop is giving my readers $10 off a watch
if you insert the coupon code: gobarefoot upon checking out

I personally own two of these watches and they are awesome, they are super light weight, the faces and bands are all interchangeable so you can pick your colors to match whatever you want it to! Go buy yours today and take advantage of this amazing offer, usually $29.99 now just $19.99 for being such awesome readers!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vibram Fivefingers Review

A while back Vibram sent me some Fivefingers to try out and review. I got a pair of the Bikilas and a pair of the Spyridon LS's. Of course, like many others, I was really excited to try them out so I put them on first thing and started wearing them around the house. It took FOREVER to get them on the first time, but they fit nice and snug once they were on (and after wearing them a couple of time, they slip on a lot easier, it is just a matter of figuring it out).

I decided to go out on a run around town to see how the Bikilas felt. Almost immediately I realized how different they are than any other shoe I have ever worn, but after about a half mile, they bottom outside edge of both feet started to hurt pretty bad. I figured it would probably go away, but it didn't, so I finished the run barefoot with the shoes in my hands. I decided to try the Spyridon LS's the next day but the same thing happened. I contacted the guy at Vibram asking his advice to see if maybe this is something that happens a lot and will go away, or what was going on. He suggested trying the next size up.

After about 2 days the new shoes arrived in the mail and again I threw them on immediately and went out for a run. I tried out the Bikilas again first. The larger size made a world of difference. The pain in my foot was no longer there and the run went great.

If you are thinking about getting a pair, make a few laps around the store and make sure they fit right. Make sure your toes are not tight up against the front of the shoe and that your foot feels snug but not too snug in the shoes.

One thing that I really love about Fivefingers so far is the freedom that it allows your toes. While running your toes can spread out and feel the ground, whereas in a normal running shoe, you cannot do that. These shoes allow your feet to be close to the ground, as close as they can be without being barefoot, and still allow your feet to work like they should.

Honestly I usually go out running in them and have them off by about the halfway point in my run, not because I don't like them, just because I enjoy running barefoot a lot, but they really are awesome. They are especially nice when I run later in the afternoon when the asphalt is extremely hot, or when I run on a gravely road or trail.

The Spyridon LS's are incredible for hiking. The bottom of the shoe has a very sharp treads and is extremely grippy. I find that it is better than a hiking shoe (for me) because you can feel where you are stepping still and feel how good of a grip you have on whatever you are stepping on, but they are not heavy and hot like a big boot. Now obviously you won't get the protection you get from a hiking boot, but this is a great alternative. They are awesome for trail running, you won't feel unstable at all. Ever.

The Bikilas are a really good road running shoe. They have a really smooth sole that is extremely thin allowing you to feel the road, but not really be affected by gravel, glass and other obstacles. The tops of the shoes breathe fairly well allowing your feet to cool and not get too hot. I think personally I would like something even a little thinner to try out like the SeeYas or the KSO's, but these are great road running shoes. They are incredibly comfortable and a lot of fun to run in.

I will still always prefer barefoot running to minimalist, but if I am going to run in anything, it is going to be my Huaraches or my Fivefingers. If you are looking for something more minimalist but don't quite want to go 100% barefoot yet, then I really recommend getting a pair of Vibram Fivefingers, You will love them and you will love the attention they bring you as you run.

Also, it is fun when you look down and see what you have been able to pick up on the way like this...
Let me know if you have any questions!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Barefoot running at its finest

On Saturday, my wife and I had the rare opportunity to sleep in...oh wait...no we didn't. Our little one wanted to get up bright and early to play! After laying around for a little while we decided we had better get up and go out for a run before it got too hot. Honestly, neither of us really wanted to go, but we went anyway. Since we run at different paces, I decided to take the car down with the baby and the stroller and pick up the trail and run 3 miles and she would run from our house to the trail and meet me at our favorite quaint little breakfast place.

I started out running in my new Vibram Fivefinger Bikilas. I finally got the right size and they are now incredibly comfortable (which I didn't quite expect). But after about a mile, I was feeling very constricted, so I decided to take them off and go barefoot, I was hot, I didn't feel very good and I felt tired so I was unsure that I would even make it three today. After about two miles I was feeling incredible. It was weird how much happier and energized I felt after I took off my shoes. I don't know if it was the shoes (or lack thereof) or if I was just getting warmed up, but whatever it was made me feel amazing so I kept running, I ran past the 1.5 mile turn-around point. Then I ran past the 2 miler. Then the 3. Then I got to about 3.5 miles and my baby girl woke up from her nap, so I figured I better not be out too long or she might get hungry, also I didn't want to scare my wife with being out for too long when she was supposed to meet me back in town, so I turned around and headed back. She ended up meeting me part way up the trail when she decided I must have gone further, so we ran the last 3/4 of a mile together. 

Upon finishing the seven miles I can honestly say I have never felt so good after a run of that distance; I still felt energized, my soles felt good, I had no blisters and it was overall such a great experience. That was the first run where I truly felt like I was officially a barefoot runner, I feel like I have graduated from the training phase to just being a normal barefoot runner. I hope that you can all be inspired to start running barefoot! I promise you awesome results as long as you take things slow and focus on doing it right rather than fast. You will slow down from your normal pace at first and it won't seem completely natural in the beginning, but it will come quickly and before you know it you will be tossing those old running shoes out the window! I can't see myself running in conventional running shoes ever again! Good luck and please let me know how your journey is going!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

6mm Contact vs. 4mm Connect - Invisible Shoes

A little while back, Steven Sashen from invisible shoes sent me a pair of huaraches to try out for him. I already had a pair of the 6mm Contacts so he sent me some 4mm Connects to compare the two of them.

Just to put the thicknesses into a more american-friendly form for those of us that are not very good at trying to envision anything in the metric system 4mm = ~ 1/6 inch and 6mm = ~ 1/4 inch (a little less).

When you order your sandals from invisible shoe, they come in a kit, so you have to decide where you want to put the hole between your toes which allows you to make it custom to your feet. You may need to trim some of the rubber from the sides if you have more narrow feet, I didn't, because my feet are boats. Next, follow the instructions found on the site to tie them up to your feet, or you can just make up your own ways to tie them, it really doesn't matter as long as they are comfortable. Take your time to make sure that they fit the way you want them to and are comfortable, it is worth it when you are out on the trail.

Anyway, after taking some time to try out the 4mm Connects, I have a few things to say. Since the sole is significantly thinner than the 6mm huaraches, it is more floppy. I find that it slaps around on the ground a lot more as I am running, this may be due to it being a little too loose on my foot which I am going to try and change this week and give you guys an update. It is harder to keep it from folding under and staying close to your foot. I really love the 6mm Contacts because of the way that they form to your foot and stay there. When running in them, I almost feel like I am running completely barefoot because they stay put so well on my feet that I hardly notice them, where the 4mm's were more floppy and harder to manage. As far as the 6mm being more "padded" or offering more protection against the ground than the 4mm's, I really didn't notice a difference. I think that both are thin enough that they truly don't offer any cushion (which is good), and are very comparable in the amount of protection that they offer. I HIGHLY recommend the 6mm Contacts for any barefoot runner looking for a little protection on those gravely, glassy or hot roads. I really love mine and wear them often. As I have said before, I love to take them on a barefoot run with me in my hands and when I encounter areas that are tough on the feet, I throw them on so I don't tear my feet up. I mostly do this because of a couple bad experiences with glass/slivers/tiny sharp objects while running on the side of a busy road or an old wooden bridge.

Now it's time to go order some of your own! You won't regret it!