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Shoes Are Evil, Muhahahhaha!


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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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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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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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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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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...

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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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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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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.

ticon18ang.jpg.86d07ef818e86b1743fc35a301d48ce2.jpg

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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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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

tbss1-050808-5837.jpg.fee0a0114562f393e346c2690c21df65.jpg

IF YOU HAVE TO PUT SOMETHING ON YOUR FEET, TRY WEARING HEMP.

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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!

 

 

Article

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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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The 50 mile trail run I mentioned before went great! I smashed my personal record on the course to finish in 8:21. Pictures from the run, in which you can see the Vibram Five Fingers in action, can be seen at:

 

http://conaghan.smugmug.com/keyword/119-pct%20ultra%2008#339465573_6Z4mc

 

My feet came out of it great - not one blister or other damage. When I wear shoes for such a race I'm usually tending to all sorts of harm at this point!

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The 50 mile trail run I mentioned before went great! I smashed my personal record on the course to finish in 8:21. Pictures from the run, in which you can see the Vibram Five Fingers in action, can be seen at:

 

http://conaghan.smugmug.com/keyword/119-pct%20ultra%2008#339465573_6Z4mc

 

My feet came out of it great - not one blister or other damage. When I wear shoes for such a race I'm usually tending to all sorts of harm at this point!

 

Very inspiring, fantastic job! Which style do you wear, the KSO? I'm a tennis player, but am not sure which style would be best?

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I absolutely love barefoot, but get to do it a tiny amount due to living in a built up town where you really dont want to be barefoot! I do however spend every evening at home without shoes so thats a bonus.

 

I find Converse very comfy as the sole is simple & flat.They are comfy, cool, made of linen (not leather ones) & they are cheap too.

 

Walking barefoot or in shoes is bad for the knees if people dont walk correctly.Alot of people tend to 'stomp' around which is when they land consistently straight on the heals, without rolling the foot after.That is bad, bad, bad.

 

Of course the ancient barefoot peoples have the right idea, if you look to specific ancient peoples you will find they do almost everything better, clothing, diet, morals, attitudes.These people stay in tune with mother nature who guides them into correct living.Unfortunately she did not guide them to the invention of guns so they could protect themselves properly when Europeans started to sail the seven seas.

 

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Nice pics and great time on that course!

Thanks Mark!

 

Very inspiring, fantastic job! Which style do you wear, the KSO? I'm a tennis player, but am not sure which style would be best?

This was my first long run in the KSO. That is their new model designed to "Keep Stuff Out" which is very nice on the trail.

 

Before that I did all of my running in the Sprint. This has a set of velcro straps to get a firm fit to the foot, but doesn't have the extra mesh over the top of the foot. I never got too much stuff in my shoes in the Sprint, but get less in the KSO - my feet come out just a bit dirty instead of dirty with a small bit of debris floating about.

 

I like the strap system they've developed on the KSO a bit better than the Sprint, but think that the Sprint would very suitable for tennis. The KSO surely would too, but I don't think the features it adds to the Sprint would be of any additional benefit.

 

Of course the ancient barefoot peoples have the right idea, if you look to specific ancient peoples you will find they do almost everything better, clothing, diet, morals, attitudes.These people stay in tune with mother nature who guides them into correct living.Unfortunately she did not guide them to the invention of guns so they could protect themselves properly when Europeans started to sail the seven seas.

True that, before living in worlds of our own creation it was a lot easier to avoid being led astray from how we were made to be. I'm not anxious to leave it all behind, but I am happy to find my way back to those that affect our health and well being!

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This was my first long run in the KSO. That is their new model designed to "Keep Stuff Out" which is very nice on the trail.

 

Before that I did all of my running in the Sprint. This has a set of velcro straps to get a firm fit to the foot, but doesn't have the extra mesh over the top of the foot. I never got too much stuff in my shoes in the Sprint, but get less in the KSO - my feet come out just a bit dirty instead of dirty with a small bit of debris floating about.

 

I like the strap system they've developed on the KSO a bit better than the Sprint, but think that the Sprint would very suitable for tennis. The KSO surely would too, but I don't think the features it adds to the Sprint would be of any additional benefit.

 

I'm glad to hear that you think both would be suitable for tennis! I am torn between the sprint and KSO, after reading this guy's blog reviews of both:

http://www.keith-in-training.com/2008/03/vibram-fivefingers-ksos-part-i.html

http://keith-in-training.blogspot.com/2007/03/running-in-vibram-five-fingers-sprint.html

 

The KSO strap sounds better as you've said, plus I thought about hitting my bare foot with my racquet (I play at about 4.5-5.0 level, so sometimes accidents happen). And heck, I may love them and want to start running on a trail with them, just for fun. I've neglected my feet for too long, but not anymore, my feet are slowly getting stronger and tougher, since I've been interested in barefoot exercise.

I really appreciate your informed opinion, there is sparse information online about using these shoes for tennis! I think I'm gonna go with the KSOs! I'm excited for my feet!

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