08 July 2009


For more than 3 decades of wearing shoes, so what made me decide yesterday to run for almost 5K with ... nothing on my feet? (wink)

No schedule to run yesterday (after 15K run the day before) but I was prodded by my team to run easy with them. So the decision to postpone my gym workout was easy.

And lo and behold, barefoot! I am not sure why but I just did it. Untied and carried my shoes and off we went. And you know what? It felt, um, so NATURAL even on asphalt road. Uneasy at first (imagine shards of broken glasses, dog's poop, pebbles, etc.) but one has to learn to relax and take it easy. What I observed is that the balls of our feet touch the pavement first then the heels in a fraction of a second. Sort of like this springy effect before the full weight of our body comes down. Amazing. With clunky shoes on, I doubt if we will ever experience this ever at all.

Today my feet are okay. Perhaps, having trained and ran my last ultra in minimalist shoes that somehow the transition was easy for my feet.

Thinking happy thoughts now and where will be my next run... unshod :)

These will interest you: Anton Krupicka, Barefoot, Abebe Bikila Bekele,. Now if you want something cerebral and yet engaging and entertaining, grab BORN TO RUN. While you are at it, throw WHY WE RUN in as well.

This is not to say that you should go barefoot running immediately. It takes time to adjust after years of wearing shoes. Sometimes going back to basics is the most natural thing to do.


  1. Ooo Jon, have you heard of the Vibram Five Fingers? I'm sure you have, you are so well read and up with all this stuff. Here's the link anyway: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/index.cfm

    A little piece of mind in case there is that stray piece of glass or sharp metal.

  2. Kinda pricy the VFF but I've read good reviews from ultrarunners. The Book To Run made VFF even more popular. Remember Barefoot Ted?

    I'd settle for my worn out NB RC152 and RC800 for now. :) Would you believe I bought the RC152 here for a measly US$20?! They were on sale. Right now, I just want to strengthen my feet. I'm not yet a 100% barefoot convert :)

  3. What was the surface like, cement, gravel, asphalt? Didn't you develop blisters?

  4. Cecil,it was on cement and asphalt. No blisters at all suprisingly. I wondered how it'd feel on trail. Hmm.

  5. No need to buy a new pair after 600 kms, then. Bad news for shoe companies. No wonder ultrarunners are at the bottom of sponsorship lists. hehe

  6. Wow, barefoot running. Seems timely in these hard times, not only do you save on shoes, you save on socks as well wahaha :)

    But seriously, I'm thinking of switching to minimalist shoes since I am a forefoot striker to begin with. Not so sure though about going barefoot. I am kinda squeamish hehe.

  7. Billy aka longhairago - You know what? We like the "underground" character of ultrarunning...with or without sponsorship. Of course, better if there is :)

    Shower - start walking barefoot and you may want to switch to minimalist shoes ... with or without socks.