The barefoot and minimalist movement is getting a lot of press these days. I myself bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, but didn’t like them. They didn’t feel like being barefoot to me and actually hurt my forefoot.
Mind you, this is during walking. I never even ran in them. I get more of a barefoot feeling wearing a pair of $25 sneakers from Payless.
The reality is, there is nothing like being barefoot. Your feet and toes can spread out completely. And all the nerve endings on your feet can actually do their job.
When I’m at home, I’m always barefoot. I also work out at home and work out barefoot. If I’m doing any type of long plyo, like 75 jumping jacks, then I will lay down a workout mat I have. Since I have hard wood floors, it provides a slight amount of cushion.
I’m actually looking at getting some connecting foam pads, to add some more cushion. Gymnasts are known for having really strong feet and toes. That’s because they train and perform barefoot.
If you feel you need a little something on your feet, then you could do what Jack Lalanne did. He wore ballet slippers. Deadlift slippers also look the same.
Some people are getting injured running barefoot. That’s because asphalt and concrete aren’t our natural earth. Have you ever walked barefoot on grass/dirt? Now, have you ever walked barefoot on concrete.
Dirt feels soft and comforting like a pillow. It’s also still cool even on hot summer days. Where as concrete feels hot in the summer and all hard like, well, concrete! Running on one is nothing like running on the other.
Yes, we are born and meant to travel barefoot so if you are an avid bare-footer, stick to natural turf, not the man made kind.
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photo credit: woman walking barefoot on grass