Barefoot and Minimalist Running–Really?

Komodo Sport-M3648-heroIt has been some time since I first saw someone running barefoot.  At first it was a shock since this person was running through our neighborhood on the roads, and crazily enough – in the dark!  When I first saw him I had read a little bit here and there, but really never thought too much about it.  I thought of barefoot or any type of minimalist running as something that only a special breed of runners did, runners that were both much more dedicated, and honestly a bit crazy.


I honestly have to say that I never thought I would be saying this but I have been getting more an more intrigued  over the past few months.  I am not sure I am ready to scuff the bottom of my feet up by heading out on the road sans shoes, but I may be ready to dip my big toe in so to speak and see how the water is.


barefoot-runningWhile barefoot running seems to be all the rage, there’s not a lack of minimalist shoes out there from countless manufactures, all with varying degrees of minimalism.  Even before seeing my first barefoot runner, I saw some people both running in and just wearing the Vibram FiveFingers.  They were both cool looking and somewhat mysterious.  I have wanted to try a pair, but have not had the courage (or the money) to give them a run…. or even a walk.


I hadn’t done much research about Vibram FiveFingers so I was really under-educated about them.  What I did know was from what someone who was wearing them was telling me.  I was recently contacted by a PR firm talking about the new line they were coming out with for the spring, and I was inquisitive to say the least.


They had the very cool looking Komodo Sport that was designed for the more athletic person.  They were designed for the most active fitness enthusiasts with a seamless insole to reduce friction and improve comfort – sounds like the right pair for a runner since we are all rugged and need a tough shoe right? :)


BikilaHero_M343One of the other pairs they were releasing were a bit more reserved in their coloring and design.  The Bikila LS are just like their predecessor in that they are designed for a more natural and healthier foot strike.  I have heard a lot about foot strike lately, and I know this minimalist movement has been a big player in getting people to look more into how they are treating their priceless commodities – their feet.


So what is a runner to do?  With so many new things being talked about and so many conflicting views, is it safer to keep doing what we are comfortable with or should we venture off into the new territory and see what all the hype is about?


I don’t remember where I got the clip from, but it is a good listen.  It is a quick interview the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running, Thomas Hollowell and really gives a good quick view on barefoot and minimalist running.  I was supposed to be getting a copy of this book and I am still hoping it shows up soon :) 


mp3 download


What are your thoughts?  I know I have plenty of different viewpoints represented who are loyal readers, why don’t you try to convince me and our readers why it is good, or not good to pursue or not pursue minimalist or barefoot running?