Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

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veganmaster
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Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#1 Postby veganmaster » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:58 am

I'm currently healing my weak points (left foot, right wrist) with stretching and barefoot walking (though I've been into muscle work for a few years, I was retarded about stretching, until my GF healed her nagging shoulder injuries this year using simple stretches - she's a gardener who always gets plenty of exercise, so it was an epiphany to me that stretching is the foundation of exercise, not the other way around - now I feel like I finally have all aspects of health down :) :)).

Here are two articles that highlight the fact that shoes by definition get in the way of healthy feet, for evolutionary and biomechanical reasons. I really want to get back to playing tennis this summer, and I'm going to do it with barefoot walking/jogging (indoors, cuz I don't fancy running around the neighborhood concrete and asphalt barefoot - though the strange looks might be worth it). ;)

I think the lack of understanding of evolutiion is a prime reason modern people tend to have such poor health. Guess all those Carl Sagan books I read have helped steer me in the right direction, lol! Through the lens of evolution it is easy to understand why a vegan diet and stretching is so powerful. What do you think?

http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/
http://anthropik.com/2007/06/learning-to-walk/
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#2 Postby CollegeB » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:42 pm

I definitely need to stretch some at least, also use good posture.

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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#3 Postby veganmaster » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:14 am

Speaking of shoes, I'm rehabilitating so I'll be back on the tennis court in a month or so, and the shoes I like aren't being made anymore. What is your favorite shoe for tennis (or jogging, biking, etc.)? I found New Blance 338 shoes to be comfortable right off the bat - but I can't even find them on ebay. :) I'm not willing to spend the $150 for the special shoes in that first article, lol, though they sound very cool. I wonder if they'll let me play tennis barefoot, haha, that would sure make for a controlled game lol.
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#4 Postby boisei » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:06 am

I've spent the last couple of years building up my running mileage wearing Vibram Fivefingers. They're sort of a very thin rubber soled toe sock that give the physics and some of the sensation of being barefoot. In April I ran a ultramarathon wearing them, a 35 mile trail run, and broke a couple of PRs. I've been training in them exclusively this year and do a 50 miler this Saturday. We'll see how it scales up! I may need to pick up some more traditional ultralight/minimalist trail running shoes for my longer races later in the season.

My whole approach to the sport is to capitalize on what we're designed for. And we're not designed for Nikes.

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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#5 Postby veganmaster » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:51 am

boisei wrote:I've spent the last couple of years building up my running mileage wearing Vibram Fivefingers. They're sort of a very thin rubber soled toe sock that give the physics and some of the sensation of being barefoot. In April I ran a ultramarathon wearing them, a 35 mile trail run, and broke a couple of PRs. I've been training in them exclusively this year and do a 50 miler this Saturday. We'll see how it scales up! I may need to pick up some more traditional ultralight/minimalist trail running shoes for my longer races later in the season.

My whole approach to the sport is to capitalize on what we're designed for. And we're not designed for Nikes.


Fucking cool! Reminds me of the Tarahumara Indians, the "running indians" who swept in and won some ultramarathon events with their simple "shoes" which were just flat slabs of old tires - they were actually given fancy nike's or whatever, but they quickly switched back to their own shoes. There is a great article about it online somewhere. On a diet of corn liquor, corn and beans, they play a traditional kickball like game which can last for days and go for hundreds of miles! True ambassadors of the power of plant nutrition.

I may have to pick up a pair, looks like they are about $80. Thanks a lot! :)
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#6 Postby markc7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:34 am

I've run up to about 8km barefoot on asphalt. It does take a little while for the skin on the foot to adjust to the different kind of stress. But in terms of how my feet and legs feel, I love going barefoot! Although you do tend to get funny looks when you run along bike paths in bare feet... :D
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#7 Postby boisei » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:38 am

I started my barefoot journey actually running barefoot, but inevitably some little thing would be different one day and I'd get blisters. *shrug*. I always figured that if I did it enough I'd build up thick enough skin to make it work, but I got tired of hoping that my blisters would heal before my next race. Maybe I need to focus on it more in the off season? I don't know. As it is, the Vibrams are a very nice compromise.

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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#8 Postby markc7 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:59 am

I find that building up slowly worked pretty well. My first barefoot runs were only 2-3km. Eventually I was able to run a bit farther and faster. But I have also had problems with blisters when I've stopped barefoot running for a while, then restarted again without the careful buildup.
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#9 Postby RTascajr » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:09 am

I am barefoot most of the time. When I have to go out in the care I put on Birkenstock sandals. When I need to dress up I use a pair of soft loafers from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Dr. Ann Wigmore taught us that there is an electromanetic current in the earth that is part of the whole and which we need to be in contact with. She recommended walking on green grass and pastures and even rocks. The latter stimulate the reflexology points in the feet. The Amercian Indians and other native peoples seemed to understand this intuitively.

Markc7 is correct, when going barefoot, the feet will develop a thicker skin so that comfort is preserved. But I don't like the idea of running on asphalt. Ouch!!!! And it must be hard on the joints as well as the feet.
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#10 Postby veganmaster » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:38 am

Thanks for the discussion, everyone - I just finished a half-hour of barefoot jogging (indoors, cuz I'm a freak). I've been going barefoot as much as possible, and it is definitely buildling tougher feet. My left foot is still not 100% and ready to play serious tennis, but I'm so excited that I've finally come to a deep understanding of how to best exercise. I now do stretches daily, and like I mentioned have begun light jogging barefoot (on our hardwood floors). It feels really great when I finish! I always thought that the key to health is respecting and following our superb evolutionary design, but I hadn't applied it to shoes. It really pays health dividends to look at things through the lens of biological adaptation. Thus, my arguments supporting our herbivorous digestive tract, designed for processing whole plants. And the other pillar of health seems to be performing stretching and exercise, whiile NOT getting in the way of our natural biomechanics. I know years of playing tennis without adequate warm-up and with shoes that impede my natural gait are what caused my foot injury. Ditto with my right hand, though the computer is the culprit this time. Luckily, once I learn a deep lesson, I apply it 100%. You barefoot runners are an inspiration to me. And now it makes so much sense to me why Africans create such world class runners - I read that they train by running barefoot on dirt, several times a day. How can "modern" training with its biomechanically-retarded shoes compete with a training style that emphasizes millions of years of evolutionary engineering? The result must be high rates of injury and somewhat limited results - just as those who fail to understand our herbivorous biology cannot hope to reach the healing potential of those who do. It seems like a common sense idea to respect the natural design of the human body. Culture can stray so far and cause so much unneeded suffering! And all in the name of "progress!" ;)

Maybe by the end of this summer I'll be on the court in some Vibram 5 fingers - anyone ever played tennis in them? I'm so happy to be able to jog at all - to help my fat oxidation, since I'm currently cutting. I can't wait to see what I look and feel like after a few years of overfeeding/cutting cycles & barefoot jogging!
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#11 Postby RTascajr » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:27 pm

Hey Veganmaster,

Your post is truly brilliant.

I always thought it true that people who are considered by modern society as primitive, i.e. American Indians, aborigines and the like, were the ones who had it right and understood something which was lost along the way.

I have to wear shoes on my feet when I drive. That's the law where I live. Most people do have to put something on their feet at some point. Try this: http://www.rawganique.com/footwear.htm
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#12 Postby dedicated01 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:55 am

what about people with flat feet? barefoot can't be the best way...

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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#13 Postby Aaron » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:22 am

veganmaster wrote:
boisei wrote:I've spent the last couple of years building up my running mileage wearing Vibram Fivefingers. They're sort of a very thin rubber soled toe sock that give the physics and some of the sensation of being barefoot. In April I ran a ultramarathon wearing them, a 35 mile trail run, and broke a couple of PRs. I've been training in them exclusively this year and do a 50 miler this Saturday. We'll see how it scales up! I may need to pick up some more traditional ultralight/minimalist trail running shoes for my longer races later in the season.

My whole approach to the sport is to capitalize on what we're designed for. And we're not designed for Nikes.


Fucking cool! Reminds me of the Tarahumara Indians, the "running indians" who swept in and won some ultramarathon events with their simple "shoes" which were just flat slabs of old tires - they were actually given fancy nike's or whatever, but they quickly switched back to their own shoes. There is a great article about it online somewhere. On a diet of corn liquor, corn and beans, they play a traditional kickball like game which can last for days and go for hundreds of miles! True ambassadors of the power of plant nutrition.

I may have to pick up a pair, looks like they are about $80. Thanks a lot! :)



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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#14 Postby cubby2112 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:01 pm

I've read that article before. It is really interesting stuff.
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Re: Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!

#15 Postby veganmaster » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:13 pm

cubby2112 wrote:I've read that article before. It is really interesting stuff.


Yeah, and there have been some interesting case studies, where doctors came in a fed the Tarahumara meat and dairy (a diet they felt was "healthier" due to their ignorance), and of course their cholesterol levels, etc., jacked up quickly, and of course when they returned to their simple plant diet they returned to their normal levels around 110 or so. I love that they would compete against mules for jobs hauiling supplies up and down mountains!!! Yet so many would consider their cholesterol levels "too low" and their diets inadequate. Well those people should try competiing with mules carrying 50 lb packs up mountains and playing a kickball game that goes for 100s of miles. Carbs are the key to those feats, as most endurance athletes are well aware.
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