Saturday Training/HURT Potluck 1-30-10
Race Report from Brett Rivers on the 2010 HURT 100

Go ahead and run in bare feet. Please!

I'm ruminating.  Which means I am not trying to sell anything except a hard time.   And I usually just give that away.   But I'm bothered by the recent slew of bare foot running articles by people who don't seem to know their feet from their anal sphincter.   The most recent article was about Kenyan runners who do so much better running in bare feet as they put less stress on their legs and knees.  ....Hey I did POSE.  I was a Track star...well in high took me forever to learn to run on my heels and that was at the age of about 28.   So I understand what is being said.  

I have also lived in a country where people usually go around bare footed.  Not Hawaii dude.   Samoa.  And it isn't the planters but the fishermen who really go barefoot most of the time.  Even the Samoans know it's  nuts to go up into the hills without at least a pair of flip flops.  But I digress.  I have looked at the bottoms of many Samoan feet in my PCV days as I was the unofficial doctor for a few families and then my crew of workers.  After an average of about 25 years of no shoes those people had soles as thick as a trail shoe.  The fishermen could walk on coral without injury..  These Kenyan dudes, well have you ever seen the thorns on an African Keawe??   Think about this.   You and I will never, ever, ever have feet like theirs.   The mechanics are just there.  Yes there is less stress on the knees.  But, and this is the very big but, you and I  will never have feet like theirs.   So any comparison is just for talk.   There is no comparison.  Its all just bull by people who have never run an ultra in their lives. (fuds with more degrees than opinions!)  

I've run in minimal shoes on my toes.  For some reason at the time we regarded long distance as about a half mile.  I think some of that was that we found that forefoot running was very hard to do over distance.  But it was the sixties, and we were not real men, like real men now--and I'm sure there are some of you who doubt there was even running before Nike.  I learned to run on my heels because I wanted to run some five miles.  POSE is an ergonomically sound concept.  But I'm not the caliber of athlete to do pose even to 10 miles.  Perhaps I could learn to be, but I run trails. I naturally forefoot run on trails at times, but then I break stride and march over roots and rocks.  When I forefoot run the kind of shoe I'm wearing is immaterial.  All the minimal stuff is irrelevant because I'm on my toes in whatever shoe I am wearing.   The rest of the time I really want a thick pad between my sole and the uneven, rocky, sharp ground.  I don't have twenty-five years of thickness on the soles of my feet.  I don't have twenty-five years to put it there.  Walking around barefoot all the time, even in Hawaii, is not particularly accepted--Unless you are camping in a tent in a beach park. 

So I support anyone who wants to go out and run barefooted or minimalist.  I'll buy you your barefoot shoe if you are running next year's HURT.  I think you need to make a statement.  I think this is as important as global warming, or the need to say paper not plastic, or whatever the tree-huggers are supposed to say.  Go out and be really dumb without thinking about the full implications of the studies these clowns are doing.  Physics is just that. But the testing is on a treadmill, where they could measure things, is not on the road or the trail, where real feet are as different as soft-as-sand and bush-wise-hard, or reef-resistant-tough.  

Be careful with this new fad. But not to careful because I really want you to be one of the weak I hurdle at next year's HURT.  Aloha   MIkem


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Hey, if it works for Naoto, it can't be all bad.


I ran the Honolulu Marathon in Vibrams, mostly as a "I wonder if I can do it" experiment. I don't recomend it. I have run the Aiea Loop a few times in them as well. I don't recomend it.


Paul, not free shoes. You want to run a HURT 100 in them rubber toe socks or less and I'll pay the price. I figure the medical bills will put you on the dole to hurt anyway, and contributing the cost of the rubber socks will be minimal. I intend to be running at 85, by that time I figure I got a good chance of kickin yer ass by then, particularly if you be running in rubber socks.


It will be interesting to see where this latest craze heads. For me, barefoot running on the beach has been a means to strengthening my feet, ankles and lower legs and thus reducing some of the peculiars in my "experiment of one" but we are talking 10 round trip lengths of Ala Moana or 2 RTs of Kailua beach. Amazing views at the beach!


I ran barefoot down the hall to the bathroom, and did ok. I think that can translate into a 100 miler!! Let me walk around for 25 years and toughen up a bit more, and I'll take the challenge. But then you'll be 85 and likely will not remember this offer of free shoes.


Better listen to Conan!!!
Sure makes a lot of sense to me!

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