I broke a bone in my foot a few months ago, which meant I couldn't run or even ride a bike. Now that it's thankfully healed, I'm loving being able to run and ride again.
The other day, for the first time in probably over a year, I took my shoes off and ran barefoot for a few kilometres. I used to run barefoot regularly, but when I got more into trail running and running more than 3 or 4 kilometres, I liked having something on my feet. Despite that, I've stuck to minimalist shoes and have been itching to run barefoot again.
But it was writing an article about it recently that got me thinking: does anyone else still run barefoot?
I mean, back in 2009/2010 when Born to Run was turning people into chia seed-munching, sandal-wearing wannabe ultramarathoners, you couldn't move for barefoot blogs, barefoot shoes, and people prefixing their names with "Barefoot." I admit, I got caught up in it. I never called myself Barefoot Richard, but I did - very briefly - blog about how much I enjoyed running barefoot.
And you know what - I still do. I'm thankful that I read Born to Run because otherwise I probably would have gone on hating running. Running barefoot made me not only adopt a running style that I love, but also showed me that my running shoes were hiding a huge underlying problem, namely that I wasn't in good enough physical condition to run as far as I was trying to (even if it was only around 1-2km at the time).
So I was happy to see manufacturers embrace minimalism and offer some more shoes to choose from, even if they did cost a bomb. And I was sad to see them replaced by massive soles just because some people had hurt themselves and blamed everything on a lack of cushioning.
In short, I still believe that I was designed to run this way, so I'll keep on doing it.