This is the article everyone's talking about:
I'm a proponent of barefoot running but only on pristine sandy beaches...and even then there's no guarantee you won't come across something prickly. On my last barefoot run in the Mayan Riviera, I nearly ran over a piece of broken glass. Luckily I was paying attention, but that's not always the case especially when I'm running to music.
Sarah Dassault, a fitness correspondent and producer for Diet.com, fears the worst when it comes to barefoot running. I don't blame her.
I've written about barefoot training before (READ IT HERE) which I think is beneficial to developing under-used muscles in feet. I'm a huge fan of yoga, pilates and martial arts which are all brilliant ways to exercise these muscles without going to extremes. Our feet are conditioned to wearing sneakers and whether it's good or bad for them in the long run, it's what they're used to. If you immediately jump into barefoot running, you're going to shock the hell out of your feet and you won't enjoy how that feels. I've done it before and I could barely walk afterwards. You should ease into barefoot running--whether it's on a beach or a city street. I hate mentioning street running because I believe any surface that doesn't give is super dangerous to bare feet. At the very least, I recommend checking out a new shoe called The Evo by Terra Plana. This shoe might satisfy a curiousity for barefoot running and save many from disastrous consequences.
Here's what Terra Plana has to say about the Evo:
The EVO is designed to be the best barefoot running shoe we could create. TPU cage on breathable mesh, slimline anatomic last with sucked out arch area for maximum barefoot performance response, lightweight micro fibre reinforcements, multi-density footbed for ultimate transition and density options on different terrains. The EVO is like running barefoot.
After some online detective work, I was able to dig up a few EVO styles. The black ones kind of remind me of a pair of water mocassins I wore as a kid. The other 2 have potential.
The Evo hits retail stores this March. If you can't wait until then, definitely check out these NikeFrees (they're hard not to like and you can design your own @ NikeID). OR, you could wait for the On Running Shoe to come out. I don't know enough about it but THIS VIDEO seems to say it all. I dig the green, keyboard-button-textured sole.
I'm excited for both the Evo and the On Running Shoe even though I'm a little suspicious of a marketing ploy considering the timing of Evo's launch with these "recent" barefoot findings. As long as the shoes are well-designed and comfortable, I'll let it slide. Perhaps I'll do a giveaway if I can get my hands on a few extra pairs. Anyone interested?
UPDATE (9-23-10): New barefoot trainer alert!!!! Haven't tested them out yet and I hear they're pricey (even more so than the EVO--currently my go-to ergonomic sneaker (read my review here), but I definitely can't wait to get my feet into a pair of BIOM natural motion running shoes from ECCO.
Photo and video for On Running Shoe courtesy of www.newlaunches.com
Photo for the Evo from the Terra Plana website