Most Robots wear shoes because all of the other Robots wear them. The only sports that turn them human again are swimming, skim boarding/surfing, beach volley ball, and the like. Unfortunately, most Robots suffer from conformity programming: “imitate other robots”.
Here are three run-time myths that loop through the Robot mind.
Going Barefoot Makes your Feet Stink.
On the contrary, it eliminates foot odor. Your feet smell because shoes provide a party town for bacteria–warm, dark moist area with plenty of dead skin cells to feast on.
Going Barefoot Means your Poor.
The stigma of poverty and barefootedness is alive in some countries. But in America, it’s pretty much dead. Most homeless people wear shoes. In fact, in America barefooted people tend be better educated, healthier, and therefore wealthier than the Robots who think they’re poor.
Going Barefoot Weakens your Arch.
LOL. Shoes weaken your arch by providing a support for it. Going barefoot will strengthen it and completely reshape your feet so they look sexy. So, sexy that creepy dudes will ask you to stomp on grapes, watermelons, or other helpless produce. Probably the only drawback to being a barefooted. But, your feet will plenty strong enough to kick their ass; so, it’s really a benefit.
In the Ludus of barefoot running two rivals emerge, the gladiator with his stylish sandals and the ninja with her sleek Vibram Five Fingers (or the host of similar shoes such as ZEM). Is one better than the other? Should they drench in the sands in blood to appease the Barefoot Running Gods?
A few weeks ago, I would have said that the Gladiator should fight the Ninja, outright. But blood seldom settles disputes well. So, I decided to take a less violent approach and considered the differences between Sandal Runners versus Five Finger Runners.
You’re a Gladiator Sandal Runner if you:
Like to tie your “shoes” differently every once in a while. Sandals allow for a host of different tying methods.
Like to have your feet in the open air. Much less fabric means better exposure to air.
Like or don’t mind people looking at you with confused or surprised expressions. There’s no doubt that running in sandals will draw a little attention to you.
You’re a Ninja Five Finger Runner if you:
Like to have a firm wrap and minor support around your foot as you run. Some people like the snug fit of Vibram Five fingers. One nice thing about the full foot wrap of Five Fingers is the way it prevents pebbles from getting wedged between the sole of your foot and the sole of the shoe.
Like to stomp over rough gravel, rocks, and other abrasive, hard objects with little fear of injury. The extra thick sole of Five Fingers allows for maximum protection when traveling over rough terrain.
Like to look more like a “regular” runner than a crazy barefoot runner. Vibrams look a bit more like traditional running shoes and tend to draw less attention than sandals.
When it comes down to it, it’s just a choice. Some people, like my lovely wife, are ninjas; others like her crazy husband are gladiators. It’s a matter of personal preference. Personally, I think sandals are much better than five fingers, but I already explained that in a video and in another post.
I know that this is NOT a barefoot running related post. But it affects the barefootrunnerlife.com blog.
Unfortunately, Google Adsense has decided to blacklist my account, which means I am banned from including Google Advertisement on this site or on any site I develop in the future. Adsense has NOT given me a reason for banishing my account. I found out when I tried to log-in and was greeted with DENIED access because of “unauthorized” activity. Google rejected my requests for an explanation. I made an appeal, but my appeal was refused; again without any explanation.
I did some research and discovered that other site owners have been victims as well. They suggest that an error in the Adsense Click-fraud algorithm is to blame. If people who visit your site click on ads and don’t buy or stay on the ad page very long, Google flags the click as fake. Apparently there are also software bots that can be sent to a site and which imitate clicks on the ads. This is outrageous!!! First of all, isn’t the whole point of the ads to get clicks? Second of all how is a Website owner supposed to control how his or her visitors use the site? It also makes it child’s play for crazies, criminals, and hackers to revoke other people’s adSense accounts. All they have to do is visit your site and randomly click on ads or send a bot your way. It’s a death-blow because it will get your site banned from Adsense forever!
Worst of all, Google doesn’t offer any warnings. So, if hackers or misguided users target your site, you’re done. Even if you had a chance to see that activity, there’s nothing you can do. You’re at the mercy of the Google tyrants.
Before Google kicked me to the curb, I was happy to use their search, maps, ads, and other products. In fact, I even made a video tutorial about how to plot a running route with Google Maps. Only now do I realize how crooked Google really is. Google had brain-washed me to promote their products for free.
The more I learn about Google, the less I want them taking pictures of my backyard, reading my e-mail, and eavesdropping on my phone calls. Although this Goliath offers convenience, the price is far too high. He can stomp on whom ever he wants.
Vibrams trap your foot inside fabric. Even though the fabric is lightweight and designed to let the air flow through it, it still overheats your foot and keeps moisture on it. Huaraches free your feet from the fabric prison, allowing them to breathe clean open air.
Fewer blisters with Sandals
Because Sandals have fewer points of contact with your skin, there is less potential for blisters. Vibrams fully encase your foot, the frequent contact with fabric and repetitive motion of running leads blisters all over your foot. I got one on the side of my foot, which got infected.
Sandals cost less, can be repaired, and last longer
Vibrams stink, they cannot be fixed if they rip. Sandals can be repaired easily. The materials also cost less and are much more earth friendly.
Barefoot Ted’s Luna’s Rule. I love them. The most comfortable “Shoe” I’ve ever worn. Make sure you get the “Leather Footbed”. You’ll be glad you did, less slippage, and very nice feel on your skin.
Invisible Shoes Seem pretty good too. I haven’t got a pair yet. But I did make my own sandals using similar materials and they worked great. These are much more cost effective alternative to Ted’s Sandals, which are pretty spendy.
Barefoot Running Tip:
Tie your sandals “Gladiator Style” or the “Traditional Tarahumara Way”. The slip on method of tying the sandals is great for walking around and short runs, but for running longer distances or for short sprints, it’s best to tie them up gladiator style. It makes a huge difference. The extra effort is worth it.
Shoes stifle your foot, pushing it into an unnatural shape. Once released from the tiny prison of fabric, your feet expand and the weak muscles get a much needed workout.
Going Bare Increases Walking, Jogging, and Running Pleasure
You can’t feel the warm, smooth asphalt, the soft wet grass, or the even the fluffy, marshmallow carpet with a barrier of rubber between your feet and the ground. Walking outside bare foot awakens the many nerves of your feet, adding another dimension to running and walking. I am convinced that it also gives you extra energy.
Bare Footing Improves your Balance
As the muscles of your feet strengthen, your balance dramatically improves. I can stand solid and steady on one foot–something I could NOT do when I wore shoes.
Bare Footing Helps Save the Planet
If you do wear shoes, going bare every once in awhile will decrease wear. As a result, your shoes will last longer and will be less likely to end up in a dump where they will take ages to decompose. In a small way, you decrease pollution by going bare.
It Improves your Posture
Since the transfer and distribution of weight is better when your standing or moving in bare feet, your posture automatically improves. The muscles in your legs, waist and back, swing into action. Better posture means, easier breathing, better circulation, and an overall mood boost.
I just got back from a barefoot walk jog. I was sick of the rat-race treadmill.
Walking straight barefoot on snow and ice makes my feet laugh. It is NOT that painful when done in short spurts. I love sliding along the frosty, wet surface. It reminds of running through puddles at Willow Park when I was a kid. Why in the HELL did I ever stop? It thrilled me then as much as thrills me today.
Walking around the neighborhood without shoes in this frigid winter is a revelation. I feel twenty years younger. It’s hilarious to see the other adults scowl at me. I can hear their thoughts, “Grown man should know better than expose himself to the chill like that. Why he’ll catch a cold.” They usually just say, “Put some shoes on!”, I tell them shoes are for weak feet. I think that such people secretly they wish they had the infinitesimal amount of courage it takes to do it themselves. I seriously wonder how many people live an die without walking barefoot in the snow? It’s tragic.
One drawback, the roads are full of the pyramid of pain pebbles. These things are 3-d arrow heads that spike into your foot. Anyway you flip them, leaves a sharp point waiting to bite into your luscious feet. I wonder if the road feeds on bare-footers every now and then. Luckily, I spotted most of them. Plus, my feet are getting tougher. It’s pretty cool, I can walk firmly on rough sidewalks that used to give me grief. I’m super stoked. Barefooting RULES.
The snow actually feels pretty nice with bare feet. It’s like walking on a cold cloud, which isn’t far from truth. The snow did fall from the sky after all.
I was surprised by how long it took my feet to become uncomfortable. I made half way down the driveway before I felt the pain kick in. By the time I got to the mailbox, my toes were getting numb. I probably could have a run .25 mile, but didn’t want to risk it. The snow was wet and deep. And I don’t like numbness. I do my best to listen to my body. When it shuts down sensation in an area, I don’t mess around. Frostbite is serious.
When I stepped back inside, I was greeted with an unexpected pleasure. My barefoot romp in the snow brought an exhilarating rush of blood to my feet. A delightful tingle, which treated my toes to a world of new sensations.
But this post isn’t about getting out of the snow, it’s about being in the snow. So,the question stands: should you run barefoot in the snow?
Yes, you can run bare in snow, but you should take some precautions. Stay close to a vehicle or your home–probably not more than .25 mile and pay attention to your feet. If they go numb or turn blue. It’s time to stop. I don’t think longer distances are a good idea, especially if you’re alone. Every year people freeze to death. In fact the storm that gave us 4 inches of snow in a matter of hours came in from nowhere. It was raining just a half an hour before it struck. The mountain weather is unpredictable; you must respect Mother Nature. Snow also hides shards of glass, rusty nails, and other sharp objects. Running on ploughed roads isn’t any better. Their rough surface, pitted gravel, and metal debris will chew up your feet.
But there are some people who have strengthened their feet to a remarkable point. Take a look at this video:
The point of running barefoot is enhancing the joy of running, the footage above doesn’t seem entirely sane, but who am I to judge? Maybe running barefoot through icy water is fun. The runner in this video doesn’t seemed phased by it.
A Barefoot Runner Walks into a bar and asks the bartender to serve him up three beers. At first the bartender is taken aback, but he soon relents and serves up three frosty brews for the bare-footer. The bare-footer smiles, thanks the bartender, and then takes a sip from each mug of beer. The bartender says, “Why are drinking like that? You know, you can drink from one mug, and I can just refill it.”
The bare-footer says, “No, no. It’s a family tradition, I have two brothers in other countries. We made a pact, whenever we enter a bar, we always order a beer for other two. Drinking like that brings us together.” The bartender nods in approval. “It’s a nice tradition,” he says.
A few months go by. One day, the bare-footer only orders two mugs of beer. The bartender lowers his head. He very ceremoniously presents the bare-footer with the two mugs of beer. When the Bare-footer is finished drinking, the bartender says, “I know about your tradition, and I just want to extend my condolences and let you know that I’m deeply sorry that one of your brothers passed away.”
Surprised, the bare-footer looks up at the bartender. “My brothers are fine. I’m the one. I finally decided to stop drinking.”
Since I’ve given everything else a shot, I thought I’d try my hand at some barefoot comedy writing. Unlike funny jokes, my jokes require explaination. Here we go:
A recent study showed that running reduces high blood pressure. That’s good news for debtors and creditors. It’s funny because the creditors are chasing the debtors. Both get healthy exercise.
Barefoot running is better for your knees than running with shoes. That’s good news for debtors, BAD news for creditors. It’s funny because the debtors can’t afford shoes.
Another recent study showed that barefoot running doesn’t reduce your monthly bills. That’s good news for creditors, BAD news for debtors. It’s funny because you can’t outrun your bills. OK that’s not funny at all.
These might get better with time–at least that’s what I hope happens.