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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why I Live Barefoot

Throughout our lives we learn different things from a lot of different people.  In 9th grade I had to take chemistry.  I HATED chemistry.  I don't remember one ounce of chemistry from that class.  I still don't understand what a mole is?  To me it's a furry rodent.

I must have been very frustrating for my chemistry teacher, Mr. Bourne (sp?).  He must have thought nothing he was teaching was getting through.  But he did teach me one very important thing.  Something I have done my entire life.  He taught me to be skeptical.  Not to believe everything I hear, but question everything.

This skepticism is what lead me to toss aside the common athletic sneaker.  Everybody tells you to wear sneakers.  "The heal cushioning will protect your joints", "the arch support will protect your feet".  You are told if you don't wear sneakers your feet will fall off and you will develop leprosy.

Well, this didn't really make sense to me.  First of all, I grew up barefoot.  I would go outside and run around all day with no shoes.  The worse injury I ever had was stepping on a bee.  That stung a little bit (pun intended).

It was in middle school and high school that I started wearing sneakers all the time, because I was told I had to when playing sports.  During this time I developed a mild case of plantar fasciitis and my knees would ache after a long bout of running.  I didn't know at the time, but the shoes were causing this problem.  My running mechanics changed due to the cushioning of the shoe and my arch was becoming weak due to the constant arch support.  Instead of protecting my joints, the sneakers were making my feet weaker and more prone to injury.

It took me a few years to realize it, but wearing sneakers was hurting me.  I discovered the Vibram Fivefingers shoes and haven't looked back. 
I now do all my training barefoot, or in minimal footwear.  I have no lower leg injuries, aches or pains.  And the great thing is other people are starting to catch on!  More and more people are realizing the benefits of being barefoot.  Now I'm not the only dork with no shoes on!


people just need to try it and then they wont want to wear "sneakers" ever again. I feel clunky when I wear sneakers now and its not good.

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