Archive for April 2010

Gimme a break…I hope it’s not a fracture!

April 27, 2010

I’m really hoping it’s not a fracture, but my left foot is certainly bothering me.

After my first run with the new Bikilas, my foot was slightly sore on top. I thought I might have had the strap a little tight. I hardly dwelled on it until the next day when I put the shoe back on. I made sure the strap was loose for that run. The next day, I went back to barefoot and remember some mild soreness. Having totaled 16 miles in 4 days, substantially more than I’d done since starting barefoot in January, I took a few days off.

On Sunday, I had one of the most delightful 6 mile runs ever. (My previous blog said 5.5 miles, but I re-checked.)  I was pain free (more…)


Podiatrists just have it backwards

April 25, 2010

Advice from doctors, typically goes something like this: Modern shoes are advisable, but if you don’t like them go for minimalist shoes, and if must run barefoot, do it on grass or trails. This view also comes out in their attempts to debunk the argument about our ancient ancestors running barefoot: They ran through fields and woods, not on modern roads. That’s just backwards. Bare feet work great on smooth hard surfaces; trails are tough.

I did my favorite 5.5 mile loop today for the first time since I started barefoot in January. The loop is a mix of woods, fields and roads. Trails through the woods are challenge the feet. Generally hard packed dirt is fine. Cover it with leaves and pine needles, even better. But with pine needles come pine cones. They aren’t too bad on the feet, but they exude sap which is (more…)

Birthday Shoes does a very comprehensive Bikila review

April 25, 2010

Here’s a very comprehensive review of the Bikila. Justin, of Birthday Shoes, talks through all aspects of the design and provides a couple dozen pictures. If you want all this ins and outs, check it out.

I’m still going barefoot, but my Bikilas rock!

April 20, 2010

After a 4 mile run today in my new Vibram Five Finger Bikilas, my quick take is: They rock! I expect most of my running before winter to be barefoot, but Bikilas are a great compromise between barefoot and sole protection.

As far as I know, it is still the case that City Sports on Boylston Street is the only place in the world to get Bikilas. It was great fun to head into Boston, on my birthday, hours after the Marathon to a store located a block from the finish. The place was bustling with spectators and marathoners.

First, they look great with the sort of swoshy styling that runners expect. Everyone I’ve shown them to, mostly when I was parading around work today, thought they were way cool. They also feel good in your hand. Nice and (more…)

What does Nike have to do with barefoot running?

April 17, 2010

I totally don’t get it. Wired Magazine reviewed the Nike Free Run+. First of all, what the hell does Wired know or have to do with running? Fine, I’m sure someone there runs. But let’s talk about the review. WTF do these shoes have to do with barefoot running?

I seriously don’t get it. The review claims that the shoes “simulate barefoot conditions.” How? Your feet aren’t bare, the soles are thick, the heels are muh higher than the ball.  Nike explains, “Deep cuts in the outsole mean your feet flex and move the way they would if you were barefoot.” What does that mean? I suppose I should try ’em before knocking, but the claim seems so outlandish, I’m not even inclined to try. I would love someone to explain this to me.

Another shot of Bikila

April 16, 2010

Vibram’s playing it low key, I guess, but the long awaited Bikila seems finally to be hitting the market. So far you’ll still find nothing on the Vibram site. But Birthday Shoes (a site dedicated to Vibram Five Fingers, but not associated with Vibram) reports that City Sports in Boston got a small shipment yesterday.

According the a comment from a guy who’d just bought a pair and taken them for a short run, “They are definitely a step closer to a traditional shoe than any other VFFs.” He describes that the soles are stiffer and thicker than other VFFs. Though I’m not completely put off, I was hoping this would not be the case; my complaint about my Flows is the lack of toe flex. Still all very exciting.

There’s asphalt and then there’s asphalt

April 13, 2010

I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to surfaces I run on, and I’m amending my position on asphalt my heretofore favorite surface. I’ve found all along that poorly maintained roads that are breaking apart can be lousy surfaces, full of loose rocks, but I’m not finding that even new surfaces are not always optimal.

Tellman Knudson, a VT entrepreneur who is in the process of running barefoot across the US, blogged recently about the best and worst surfaces to run on and he doesn’t really mention asphalt per se. He does talk about “old word pavement” as being good.

I really like new, smooth asphalt for running. It’s my favorite surface. But running this weekend in my home away from hometown, Cotuit on Cape Cod, I noticed differences in asphalt, some of which were not so great. (more…)