Want to Read an Inspiring Story About Barefoot Running?

Isn’t it wonderful when people respond positively to your writing? I always enjoy interacting with readers. Here is a wonderful story I received from a reader. Enjoy.

Jarod runs the NYC half
Barefoot sandals got me running again.

My name is Jarod. And I’m writing to tell you about about how your website and barefoot running changed my life. About five years ago, chronic back, knee, and heel pain was killing me. It got to be so bad that I started to HATE running. My doctor said that I was getting too old for running and that I should take up another sport like swimming or yoga. I quit running cold turkey and did some hot yoga instead. I strained some muscles from the yoga; so I took up swimming. Swimming was OK, but I kept getting ear infections, I ended up riding a bike. I was close to quitting biking because the pain in my ass was almost as bad as pain in my back from running.

Then I read Born to Run. I found your blog while I was searching for barefoot running blogs. I learned a lot about barefoot running and shoes from your posts. And I really enjoyed the section about learning to run without shoes.

I tried running without shoes, but my feet started to hurt all over. Then I took your advice and gave Xero Shoes a try. They were just what I needed. My knee , back, and heel pain are gone.

I just wanted to thank you for the resources your blog provides. It was a real help to me. Thanks.

……

And now I take advantage for a SHAMELESS AD PLUG:

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What Barefoot Dreams May Come?

G.-B. Duchanne de Boulogne, Synoptic plate 4 f...
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“What dreams may come…?” That’s the plot device Shakespeare used to stop Hamlet from ruining the tragedy. Death, Hamlet decides, is too mysterious; why “fly off” to new troubles? Instead, he stays alive and essentially kills everyone he loves.

But the dreams of today are not road blocks to suicide.  Quite the opposite. The dreams of today are the automatic million dollar money machine cash bank, the instant rejuvenating, anti age cream that boosts metabolism while increasing libido and leads to world domination. The dreams of today are incentives.

Marketers sell hope and make desire. How? They speak to the heart, not to the brain. Logic comes AFTER the emotional decision to buy. It’s not good it’s not bad. But it’s the way marketing works. So, they appeal to our feelings, they tell us stories or better, yet they try to get us to tell ourselves stories.

The Barefoot Running Industry is no different. Take this commercial which stars long distance running super star, Anthony Krupicka.


The music, the scenic footage, the “all natural” feel are not accidental. The ad is designed to make you dream of injury free barefoot running. It sells the dream of being an all natural runner.

The reality of barefoot running is that you’ll probably get injured at some point. You’ll step on glass, aggravate your Achilles, stub your toe, or have pain on the top of your foot. The dream of injury free running is there. But the reality is too. There’s nothing wrong with dealing with running injuries. I have had my share from running barefoot.

It seemed that I traded upper body problems for lower leg problems when I started out. I’m still getting over a terrible tear in my right calf. Yet, I’m still running barefoot.

Am I crazy? Maybe a little. Am I glutton for punishment? Maybe a little. Do I secretly hate myself? Maybe a little less. But I carry on not because I’m chasing some dream of injury free running, but because running barefoot actually makes me ENJOY running. That isn’t a dream. That’s a reality. I look forward to my barefoot runs.

While I do think that many of my lower leg injuries have disappeared, I don’t think they’ll be gone forever. My feet are much stronger than before. But I think that constantly running on hard concrete regularly does test the integrity of the foot.

Maybe injury free running isn’t a dream, maybe this time next year I’ll have a different view. But won’t sell that dream until it’s real.

I’m not barefoot runner because I think it will keep me from being injured. I’m a barefoot runner because I love the way it feels, I like being connected directly to the earth, I enjoy feeling the wet cold asphalt, the squish of moist fallen leaves, and the rough texture of the road; heck, there’s even a part of me that enjoys the glowers from my neighbors.

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The Dirty Truth About Barefoot Shoes and Feet

Is running barefoot in barefoot shoes the same as straight barefoot running? Yes and No. Barefeet shoes do give you a better feel for the road than cushioned shoes, but they don’t automatically stop injuries. In fact, they can increase them.

Shoes such as Vivo, foot gloves and other minimalist shoes will not turn you into Barefoot Ted. To run barefoot is NOT to run naturally. Natural running happens when you’re a child, but once you put on shoes, your stride and body change. Just going shoeless will not save you from bad barefoot running form. In fact, BAREFOOT SHOES and BAD BAREFOOT TECHNIQUE can INCREASE BAREFOOT RUNNING PAIN and can CAUSE BAREFOOT RUNNING INJURIES such as stress fractures, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

The secret of natural running is LISTENING TO YOUR FEET and consciously seeking A LOW IMPACT STRIDE. Barefoot shoes are better than traditional shoes, but they do buffer you from the ground. They do muffle feedback. They also protect the sole of your foot; so, it’s much easier to run faster and further than you should. The skin on the bottom of your feet serves as an automatic distance indicator. If you can’t run a mile straight bare, you SHOULD NOT RUN TWO MILES IN BAREFOOT SHOES.

Natural running requires practice. Cushiony Shoes have altered your natural stride. Even when running in barefeet, it is possible to get injured by running with the same HARD SHOE STRIDE. I suffered a partial Achilles rupture from barefoot running. The injury was the result of a HEAVY IMPACT STRIDE and adding too many hills and miles in a short time. I also ran barefoot sprints, which did NOT help with the injury.

My recovery from the barefoot running injury has been swift, but I’ve discovered that barefoot running pain is usually the result of bad form. When learning to run without shoes, you shouldn’t as run fast as you would in shoes and your SHOULD NOT hear the SLAP of your feet on PAVEMENT when running barefoot. If you do, you’re running with TOO MUCH IMPACT. The beauty of running shoeless is the feedback you get from the ground and your body. The GOAL is TO DIMINISH IMPACT, not break world records. If you’re running at the SAME PACE BAREFOOT AS YOU WERE IN SHOES, YOU’RE RUNNING WAY TOO FAST FOR A BEGINNER.

SLOW & STEADY. If you want to discover how to start barefoot running, read my page about HOW TO LEARN SHOELESS RUNNING. I have videos with barefoot running tips and ways to avoid barefoot running injuries.