Monday, June 07, 2010

Five Finger Discount

A few posts back, I referenced my fondness for modern products that edit and enhance the fundamentals in life. Keep it simple, stupid, continues to be a really good m.o.

This week's entry: barefoot running.

I have seen the Virbram Five Fingers "shoes" for several years around the pilates studio and, of course, with my yoga instructor. I had to laugh (and by laugh of course I mean judge) because of the way some ooey-gooey people communicate their insights on these things. Por ejemplo, " Energy abounds in your footbed. With these shoes my feet feel things. And when my feet feel things, I feel things. And that makes me happy."

OK.

Perhaps it's my long-term experience with horses, and understanding that "corrective" anything is almost always a disaster. Well-intended attempts to correct something in the feet will almost always affect a joint higher in the column. Of course this makes sense for people too.

Another positive aspect of my dirt road upbringing? BAREFOOTED, baby! I am pretty sure I wore shoes once each week (or only when I was riding my horse) during summer break, and I have to say I had no pain then. A few unplanned disasters - like jumping over a fence and landing on a broken mason jar nearly slicing off a large chunk of the side of my foot, which my father corrected with a few pieces of masking tape and a "you-be-aight" - sure, but never any joint pain. Unlike my unsuccessful attempts at running, over the years, in my fitted-just-for-my-stride running shoes that still render my knees to sharp, shooting pain despite MRI that reveals nothing.

And so it goes I will be tapping into the barefoot trend this summer, only this time I'll have a little protection to cover my dogs. I'll let you know how loud they bark during the transition.

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