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!