Barefoot Running

This page is dedicated to my little pet: barefoot running.

Here is my background in the Barefoot Lifestyle:

Well, I started barefoot running in races in October 2009 after noticing that my shoes were not comfortable during a triathlon. I took them off, hid them behind a tree, and carried on with the run portion of the triathlon. Came back to the tree on the way back, picked up the shoes, and ran through the finish line holding my shoes above my head. Everyone was screaming: “wow, barefoot!! barefoot!!” and that was that. Never ran shod since!

I grew up in Canada and always wanted to go around barefoot, except in our cold winters!! Even still, as soon as we got home, we would take off our shoes and walk around the carpeted house barefoot. It would be a long time again before we would see summer and decent weather, so any chance we had, we took off our shoes to remind us of the feel of summer!

Later, I moved to Israel and then spent most of my outdoor time barefoot, climbing mountains, hills, rocks, and cliffs, stepping on shells, pebbles, going to the sea, and running through forests and banana groves in my bare tootsies! I even cycled barefoot most of the time!

My feet were tough from all the outdoor use, but on top of that, I’ve been a gymnast all of my life, so continually barefoot in the gym, often the soles of the feet building up callouses and getting tough so that the routines on bars and beam, floor, etc…did not rip the feet.

I also practiced Martial Arts which inevitably would tear up the skin on your feet, toes, etc…because of all the turning on rubberized mats and wooden floors. When the tears healed, the feet were tougher and never tore again.

When I run barefoot, I feel as if i have a lining or a pad of some sort on the bottom of my foot, cushioning my foot strikes and taking away discomfort from contact with the ground. It’s a beautiful feeling!!

As always, I recommend you give barefoot running a try!

Start by running on grass that does not have any debris or thorns in it. Run not more than a mile. Run even less if you are injured, or have tender tootsies. Concentrate on picking up your feet, not ‘planting them down’.

Then – Stretch, stretch, stretch!!

Your calves will likely feel the most tightness, especially if you are not putting your heel all the way down on each step. The touch-down of your foot should be your forefoot (the ball of the foot) but you ultimately need to let your heel follow and touch ground too. Some people will do the running on their toes (especially on sand – I learned that the hard way) and this results in sore calves for a day or two.

If you want to train you feet to get used to different terrains and debris, then WALK on sidewalks, in fields that are a bit bumpy, and even on rocks on the beach. Watch where you are walking so you can mentally prepare for what comes next. Over time, your natural instinct will be to lift your foot quicker when you step on something unpleasant (a rock’s edge, a small piece of dry grass that is sharp, etc..) so that you don’t apply pressure on the object and prolong the feeling of unpleasantness. Eventually, you will no longer have to look down – your feet will just react automatically to what they feel under them.

Most of all, enjoy the sensation of your foot fully gripping the ground, fully stretching, being completely free and muscles not tightening because of a shoe’s constraining feel.

Here are some articles:

No shoes, no problem…

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New Group created! Barefoot Runners of San Diego Join this Facebook group now!

There are Events, and more…

Inaugural event is this Saturday at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar, CA.

A group run at 3pm for anyone interested in running barefoot. All ages, stages, and levels welcome. All types of minimal footwear invited too!

See you there!!

Organized by the Barefoot Runners of San Diego .

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SOME GOOD WEBSITES TO GET STARTED LEARNING ABOUT BAREFOOT RUNNING AND SOME DISCUSSION FORUMS:

Huaraches
Barefoot Running Society
Original Running Barefoot website
Barefoot Ken Bob – An acquaintance of mine who taught me the basics

Feel free to post more if you know of some good resources too!
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Comments
  1. Well, only one person showed up today for the run but he was an experienced runner so we had a good run going. We went from Powerhouse park up to the street, through Del Mar and up to Via De La Valle street. We ran on the bike path, turned around and came back. Up to the park again, and we walked across the thick grass – what a nice foot massage! Down to the beach for some deep sand walking, a refreshing dip in the ocean to cool the tootsies, and back up to the park. Was definitely worth it. I’ll organize next week’s run a bit sooner and give better instructions of where to meet me in the park!

  2. Jon says:

    I tried barefoot running last weekend (photos are from prev year) i looked up prev year info too and got last years track . last year was some road then bush and forest track .This year (stage 3 , the 1 i did was just up n down the road some seal then gravel (evil gravel) not all gravel is evil but i couldn’t run on this stuff,got a few(small) punctures , as result i got left behind ahem and carried on up onto bush track ( far better than slaving away on hot dusty roads the whole way thou. As result i got back to the ‘woolshed after everyone else was packed up and leaving. (not a good look for barefoot running. Fijian islanders with their thick leathery soles might of managed it but that’d be about it . I was’nt happy at being caught out on such an …an …unsuitable track. i shoulda read the fine print better!!Was thinking cross country i guess. some of the forest bits were great undulating winding through trees . might squirt some patchs over superglue on another time, i’ve tried tracks with gravel before which wern’t too difficult, photos don’t really show the true state of the gravel.From looking at site photos before race it looked okay darn . http://www.manawatustriders.org.nz/photosKClassic2009.htm

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