Perhaps I’m alone on this one, and I certainly welcome your opinion dear reader, but how did running with ‘naked feet’ become an acceptable method of exercise?
As a woman in her 20’s, I feel like the only time I ever walk – let alone run – barefoot is after a long night out dancing in monstrously high heels (we’ve all been there ladies). Even in my own home, I wear slippers, socks or flip flops at all times (then again, I’ve always been a bit funny about feet, but that’s another story…).
I feel very privileged that I live in a decent area. But it’s certainly far from winning the “Cleanest streets in Britain award” anytime soon and I’d be genuinely interested to know if anyone actually feels like their local running route is safe enough, and clean enough to tackle without the safety barrier of trainers.
Living approximately 30 metres from a pub, 10 metres from a canal, and about half a mile from the Metrolink, the road I live on constantly has certain ‘presents’ available on the floor on a daily basis – ranging from broken glass, to vomit to swan poo. (I’m truly painting a picturesque image aren’t I? Hence, moving house soon.)
Adding to this, I’m pretty sure that if I turned up at my gym without any form of footwear, climbing onto the treadmill, I would be asked to turn around and “put some bloody shoes on fool” …or something to that effect. My gym isn’t owned by Mr.T or anything, just for the record.
But I digress. I’m sure that no-one is attempting this unless you are truly fortunate enough to have clean pavements to run on or a treadmill in your house, or you’re just mental. So why is running barefooted becoming popular all of a sudden? I feel as if I have read more than I should have on the topic lately, all starting with Scarlett Johanssen.
She was spotted running not so long ago in Vibram Five Fingers Bilika shoes – or whatever the flip they’re called! And quite frankly, I think they look odd. Normally a massive fan of the weird and wonderful, I’m struggling to see myself with these in the near future (especially since I can still buy kids’ sized shoes – can anyone say bargain? Ker-ching!).
I think what bothers me about these shoes and the barefoot ‘phenomenon’ is that these products are promoting a “healthier” form of running. Well then, what was un-healthy about running in plain old trainers?
I have done a bit of reading on the topic out of sheer curiosity and I do genuinely find it fascinating that so many are involved.
(Some reads I found worthwhile:
Baring It All: The Barefoot Running Trend
The Barefoot Running Debate at Runner’s World
To Run Better, Start by Ditching Your Nikes )
In fact, I feel ignorant that I had not heard about it earlier. Perhaps when I’m on holiday next month, I’ll give jogging down the beach a try and hope that crabs don’t eat my feet. But until I live on this said beach, I think for now I’m quite content with my size 5 diddy plain old trainers, trying to make it a little further on the treadmill than last time. Oh well. Each to their own!
Courtesy of Flickr User: Rampant Gian