Posts tagged shoes
Barefoot running has become a hot fitness trend thanks to evidence that it can reduce injuries and strengthen feet. But ironically, many “barefooters” prefer to keep their feet covered. Fear of injuries from broken glass, rocks and other sharp objects inspired the invention of the “minimalist” running shoe, whose essential feature is a thin, tactile and flat bottom that lacks the elevated heel cushion typically found on running shoes. This category — pioneered by Vibram’s popular FiveFingers individual-toed shoe-glove four years ago — now includes styles that enclose all five toes together. Hard-core barefooters will scoff at any shoe, even these stripped-down alternatives to traditional running shoes with generously padded soles. But for those who want the benefits of barefooting with some protection, the minimalists have you covered.
If running 26.2 miles in a couple of hours seems daunting, imagine doing it barefoot.
Barefoot runners are still a tiny number of the more than 43,000 expected to race in the New York City Marathon on Sunday, but organizers say they have seen an increase in runners who are interested in the trend.
“I feel like I get asked at least weekly, if not more,” said Mary Wittenberg, chief executive of the New York Road Runners, which organizes the marathon and other races throughout the year.
Barefoot runners are not new to marathon courses — Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia won the marathon in bare feet at the 1960 Rome Olympics — but their ranks have grown in recent years, prompted in part by a bestselling book that promotes the practice and the arrival on the market of several lightweight, thin-soled shoes designed to mimic the feel of running barefoot. The Barefoot Runners Society, a national club for unshod runners, claims 1,345 members, nearly double the 680 members it had in November 2009, when it was founded.
(May 14) — Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton might not be the fastest runner on the road, but he never has to stop to tie his shoes.
The California jogger is one of the leaders of the barefoot running movement, a small but growing niche of runners who say they feel better — and healthier — without their sneakers.
“Shoes are deceptively comfortable,” said Barefoot Ken Bob, who after completing 77 marathons — one with shoes and 76 without — is considered the grandfather of the shoeless running community.