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A skeptic tries barefoot running

Posted by macgdon on Jul 1, 2011 9:08:54 PM

I had been reading articles, and discussion posting about barefoot running, and "minimalist shoewear".  My reaction to the concept was that it was F.A.D.- Fucked And Dangerous.  One needs some cushioning from the pounding one takes while running.  Why increase the damage to bones and joints by running barefoot.  Oh yes, did my ancestors run barefoot while chasing down elk or moose?  Hell no.  They were Scottish, and before that they were Celts from Ireland.  It's cold up there, so they probably found something to wrap their feet in. It may not have had the cushioning of the New Balance shoes I wear, but it kept the feet warm.

On the other hand, I tend to run upright.  I don't do the heel strike- I land on the midfoot.  Why not try a mile around a track?

Today, I went to the Irving Park Y track.  It's a hard surface.  32 laps equals a mile, so that's what I'd do.  Before taking my shoes off, I inspected the track for any extraneous objects.  Inspection done, I took off shoes and socks to chug around for a mile.

I found myself being extra careful NOT to land to far back on the foot, and to use a short stride.  I don't think it was more than 13 inches.

I did a mile in 11 min 17 seconds.  It's to early to see what I'll feel like.  That's what tomorrow's for.


I'm still skeptical about laying out a lot of money for minimalist shoes. If you want something minimalist, why not buy a pair of addidas Sambas, or some other indoor soccer shoe? They're close to the ground, and the heel isn't extensively cushioned.  Why not buy a pair of Converse canvas low tops?


I bought a pair of New Balance 373's from DSW.  They fit well and are $30.00 cheaper than the minimalist stuff New Balance is coming out now.  Other websites have described them as "lifestyle/running" shoes.  I'll see how many miles I can put on them before they go kaput.

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Member since: Nov 27, 2010

A 50- plus year old newcommer's journey into running, plus occasional musings on the conflicts between Ambition and Reality. Hint: While Ambition picks out the running shoes, Reality pays for the ice bags.

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