5 Reasons I Love Barefoot Shoes and 1 Reason I Hate Them

5 Reasons I Love Barefoot Shoes and 1 Reason I Hate Them

Let me begin by saying, I truly do love barefoot shoes.

There is however a fly in the soup.

Decide for yourself whether you should wear them or not :)

Let's Start With The Things I Love...

1. They fixed me when I was broken.

About a year before I started barefoot running I hit some loose gravel on my bike, and quickly turned into Joe Biden for a moment (minus the secret service agents to pick me back up).

After I lost the wrestling match with my bike, I couldn't run over a mile without significant pain, and I started saying phrases like "my bad hip is actin' up again" ...and ..."Storms a comin'..."

Being 30ish at the time, I figured I'd better find a way to stay out of an assisted living facility for a couple more years.

I started doing CrossFit instead of running, and somewhere in there I read the book Born To Run.

My main takeaway from Born To Run was the idea that a midfoot strike (as opposed to a heel strike) took much of the impact out of running...

I'm not a Dr. and I don't have any studies to verify how much impact is, or is not created by heel striking.

However, anecdotally I can tell you that without a padded heel, I naturally began to find a mid-foot strike and I was able to start running in barefoot shoes without any pain.

2. They Made Me Fast(er)...

Barefoot shoes led me into a world of weight training, speed work, and pose running which allowed me to develop a faster turnover.

I started timing myself with a stopwatch instead of a sundial.

I could no longer watch crops grow while I ran past farms.

Old ladies with walkers could only keep up with me for a mile or two.

Was I fast? Not really. Did I cut 17 minutes off my half marathon PR?  Yes.

3. Barefoot Shoes Make Me Marvel At My Brain...

The older I get, the dumber I feel, so when my brain does something remarkable I'm always pleasantly surprised and excited about the experience.

Trail running in barefoot shoes is one of those remarkable experiences.

My brain knows where I should set my foot down, the angle of the ground under me, how high I need to lift my toes to miss rocks, and how fast I can do all of this without passing out or puking.

For someone who leaves the TV remote in the microwave, noticing how brilliant my brain is every once in a while is very comforting.

4.  I don't twist my ankles.

I'm not saying that twisting an ankle is impossible in a barefoot shoe, but most of my sprains happened when I would slide off the side of an elevated heel.

In the same way you can't fall off a ladder while you're still standing on the ground, you can't fall off a traditional running shoe without climbing on top of a pair.

5. They Help With Body Position...

I won't get too technical about barbells, body position, and lifting heavy things, but let's just say it's good to keep your heels on the ground at the gym.

Without a giant pile of foam under my feet, I can get more feedback from the ground and perform things like deadlifts and squats with better posture and more power.

Now...the moment we've all been waiting for.

The 1 Thing I Hate About Barefoot Shoes...

They're ugly.

Sooooo ugly.

I've owned weird looking toe-shoes, shoes with a WILDLY exaggerated toe-box, and "minimalist" shoes with a futuristic design that looked like they stepped off the set of Space Jam.

Long story short? 

I love barefoot shoes, but I do not love being the weird guy in wacky shoes when I go to the grocery store.

So what did I do?

I started a shoe company.

And when I did, I found other people who liked the idea of a barefoot shoe with a classic sneaker look.

I wear them to run, I wear them at the office, and I wear them at the gym.

But most importantly...

I wear them to the supermarket and nobody says..."Hey, where'd you get those crazy shoes?!"

'Cause...well...they just look like shoes. 🤷‍♂️

I hope you love them as much as I do...



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