Of course, I know that there are MANY others running barefoot at least some of the time in North America. On the other hand, I virtually NEVER see them on the roads nor in races in my jurisdiction. Albeit, my jurisdiction generally only covers most of southern Ontario, Canada. However, I have traveled extensively over the years in the United States, Scandinavia, western Europe, Asia, South Africa and the West Indies. Only in some parts of Asia, South Africa and the West Indies have I seen barefooters walking, running, playing sports, going to school and so on.
In spite of this, I know that going barefoot (and NOT in so-called minimalist footwear) is the ONLY way to:
- live pain-free from all of the avoidable ‘itis’ injuries that plague the ‘shod’ world
- activate the feet proprioceptively and neuromuscularly
- strengthen the feet muscles, tendons and ligaments
- connect the muscle firing sequence through the whole body to improve balance, stability and core strength
- stay free of ground-borne bacterial infections that can lead to all types of illness
Now, the nay-sayers will howl “show me the research supporting your outlandish claims”. To them, I say “show me the research that proves me WRONG”!
I have NEVER been injured nor ill in 12 years of going barefoot. Heck, as a kid, I also was never sick nor injured when going barefoot all summer for 15 years! NONE of those who train with me in Team Over The Top have been injured when they follow my barefoot running guide. Only when they wander astray do they get injured. Further, in my travels where many people of all ages go barefoot, I have found that they do NOT have foot, ankle, knee, hip, back problems of any sort. Is this a coincidence??? Indeed, it is NOT a coincidence…it is reality based on a consistent pattern…all of them walk, run and play BAREFOOT.
If you have been bracing your feet and ruining your body in ‘coffins’ (shoes) for most, if not all, of your life, do yourself a favour and get barefoot – unless, of course, you enjoy living your life in constant ‘avoidable’ pain.
Once you learn how to move AGAINST gravity barefoot, you will NEVER allow ‘coffins’ (shoes) to grace your feet.
I could blog on about this for another 20,000 words…but I will Not do that. I’ll leave it up to you to decide – “help myself or continue on my path of pain-inducement”.