04/11/10

Barefoot Running Shoes or "Selling Ice to Eskimos"

image I've been running barefoot for a little while now - and beside the fact that I injured my Achilles tendon pretty badly while running barefoot a few weeks ago (which to be fair was my own fault - the typical "too much, too soon" problem) -- I enjoy it greatly! It's simply a tremendously good feeling, it's good for your feet and ankles (if you're not doing "too much, too soon") and it might help you find better running form. One thing which always bugged me is the idea of barefoot running shoes (which is pretty much an oxymoron) and more importantly - their price. It started with Vibram's Five Fingers which are the tool of choice for a lot of barefoot runners - priced at $85 for a fancy piece of molded rubber. But hey - if it makes you run barefoot, I guess $85 are a fair price (I for one bought a pair a little while ago). And as Barefoot Ted points out - they are the perfect example of a trojan horse, getting people to run barefoot who would never dream of running truly shod-less. Lately TerraPlana get's a lot of press for their Evo barefoot running shoe - which is again basically a thin piece of molded rubber with a minimalist upper.  The fun part about the Evos - they set you back $160! One-hundred-sixty dollars? Seriously? For an un-shoe, a shoe which only exists to protect me from some sharp objects which I might encounter on my barefoot runs? And probably more importantly - a shoe which pretty much resembles my old ASICS Onisuka Tigers, which I can still buy for about $50 a pair. So here's the thing - if you want to run barefoot, by all means: try it out! It's great. But do it, as nature intended you to run barefoot - barefoot! Don't spend $160 (which can buy you some wonderful things in life) and don't let anyone sell you ice if you're an Eskimo.