So-called 'barefoot' shoes restore love of running

Posted by barbara on June 9, 2012


Farewell to my clunky old Nike Air running shoes (right) and welcome to my new lightweight runners on the left!


Instead of heavy built up soles, designed to protect the foot, especially the heel, from the repetitive impact of striking the ground, the soles of the so-called barefoot running shoes are thin and flexible and give a genuine sense of contacting the ground with each stride.


For those of us with big feet for their height, the 'barefoot' runners both look and feel smaller than the same size (now ancient) Nike conventional running shoe, and it's not just the forgiving black colour scheme that assists this process.

The big difference between the old and the new style runners is the much slimmer sole and lack of buffer padding.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. In the 1970s, distance runners wore the equivalent of Dunlop Volleys or 'sandshoes', the kind of footwear worn on a boat or tennis court. Forty years later, the 'protection racket' is rapidly dismantling and in some quarters actively discredited.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the cost of purchasing the less high tech glove style shoe does not reflect the fact that the streamlined end product is a 'lesser beast'.


Just how flexible are 'barefoot' runners? To demonstrate how 'giving' the new breed of shoes can be, my newest favourite shoe can be squeezed in half with one hand.

And how do they feel? For anyone used to running on the balls of their feet, as opposed to heel striking, they feel fantastic, above all light and comfy. One 'taking it easy' run and I'm a fan for life!

Running shoes to live for, as in life enhancing!


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