In the past few months I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that I had jumped into the minimalist/barefoot running craze thanks to my friends over at TravelCountry.com hooking me up with a pair of Bikila shoes from Vibram. Over the past two months, I’ve been slowly converting over to this style of running, and finding it very refreshing and liberating. I’m currently doing anything under 4 miles in length in my FiveFinger shoes, and anything longer than that I’m still in my traditional running shoes for now.
Today, the Gear Junkie wrote about the barefoot running craze, sharing his thoughts on what he calls one of “the more unexpected recreational trends of our time.” As he puts it, shoe companies have spent millions of dollars developing durable, comfortable, and distinct running shoes, and now many of them are reversing the trend and going with the minimalist style. Vibram isn’t the only company that is doing this, as Innov-8, Newton, IceBug and more.
GJ admits that he’s a convert and I have to agree with his reasoning. He says that for him, the change in stride that you make when you transition to barefoot running results in “a quicker stride cadence, less heel striking, less ankle movement, and a faster pace.” While I’m not positive on the faster pace just yet, I will agree with the rest of his statement, and when he goes on to say that he just plain feels lighter on his feet in these minimalist shoes. That is definitely something that I can relate to in the short time that I’ve been wearing them. I’ve also said it before, but will reiterate it anyway, my shoes make me feel more connected to the Earth while I’m running. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true, and when I run in the rain wearing them, it is a very relaxing experience.
I know that whenever I’ve mentioned minimalist shoes/running in the past I’ve received a number of questions and e-mails. While I’m not quite the convert that the Gear Junkie is just yet, I’m happy to answer anything you’d like to know. Drop me a note if you have a question.
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