15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

by Jim Hixson


“When you look at runners who have excellent form, the similarities are more numerous than the differences.  Good biomechanical form leads to less initial shock, shorter ground contact time, increased stride frequency, greater power output, and quicker recovery.  Fortunately it is not necessary to be a top runner to have excellent biomechanics, although the converse is not true.”

Full Article: 15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

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4 comments on “15 Misconceptions About Minimalist Shoes and Natural Running

  1. Dear Ken Bob,

    I started a few years ago experimenting with real barefoot running and I got blisters on the balls of my feet. But, it was fun.

    I am not a runner. I run every once in awhile and I like it and I think I can run well. But I am cheap and don’t like spending money every three months on running shoes. So I bought a pair of Vaporgloves from Merrel Sept 2013. The 2.2mm thin sole model. I noticed immediately a big difference walking and running. Then I bought a pair of Sole Runner with a 1.5mm thin sole. The latter are like paper. I don’t scuff my feet, and I thought the SR would wear out fast. But my foot print is showing through – like a foot print on the sand.

    I run over rocks, and roots in them,( also read your book) and yes you have to relax and I did very well. One day I was I was in the forest and I took them off and ran barefoot – not in barefoot shoes! And it was such a different experience- a better experience- more sensitivity. For some reason my senses were telling me to continue and I did.

    So, I went backpacking with about 35lbs and I took my Sole Runner shoes. I did too much and I was going too fast and I think I might have fractured my left foot. I never got an X ray- but it is getting better. But running lightly seemed to feel better than walking so I did it.

    So I trained barefoot in the neighborhood still with the problem foot but I was being careful and gentle- never noticed any pain. This is all within a 3-4 week time frame. I still don’t know about barefoot backpacking. I definatly will go ultralight next time – I even bought a special UL backpack.

    So hear comes the best part. I live in Germany but I am from Marin County Ca. I am in the Black Forest and I am surrounded by beautiful mountains. There are six mountain runs – all up hill. I signed up for one in town – still my foot is not perfect but better.

    The run was 12.2km at 7.7% degrees – some were 13% 7.7 is only an average. So I ran it with 300 people. I started off going over cobblestones – no problemo. I glided over them. I ran up the mountain and I was lifting the toes – trying too – at least on landing. I was running well, and in no way was I going to win.

    Like I said I am new to running and I never saw so many strange running styles in shoes. One large man was power walking with a long stride, pounding his heels into dust. He past me at the end because I had to slow down…a lot. But I was still babying my feet. People started passing me and I was trying to figure out how to improve my gait to get some more energy.

    But my right foot was saying no. Then my right ankle started to hurt, so I was gentle, did more knee bend and the pain went away. I started thinking how I can run with a stress fracture (maybe I don’t have one, but I think I do) and not even feel the pain because I don’t push down or off. I lift lightly.

    So your book saved me. I finished the run at 1:37- I was in place 270 out of 300. I am not a veteran runner. So this was new. The winner of the day ran 52:23. There are five more mountain runs.

    By the way, this run was on pavement. Some will be in the forest and I can run in the forest barefoot. A lot of people asked me how I did it. I came out like a hero- I have to admit when I crossed the finish line and the person announced my name and number and that I was barefoot I got a little teary eyed. I never new running was so emotional. Maybe shoes would have blocked my senses. I will do the run next year.

    Oh, my soles, the skin under the balls is thick like leather, but soft. That seems to be another benefit for barefeet on the surface.

    PS: I was thinking of comparison of running barefoot to riding a bike with training wheels an without. Two totally different experiences. My boys learned without training wheels, even though people were telling me to put training wheels on the bike. I said they will learn faster. Then comes water wings for swimming. We learn to swim without them easier.

    Thanks for the great book

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