#MinimalistFootwear Alternatives to Support #InjuryFreeRunning #Barefoot:

As a full-on barefoot runner and barefoot running coach for a number of years, it behooves me NOT to endorse any type of ‘footwear’ for running. To a certain extent, this would border on hypocrisy. Having said that, I also happen to live in an area of Canada where winter conditions can be as follows:

  • -20 to -30 celsius
  • road salt and sand mixed with ice and snow
  • windchill advisories of -30 to -40 celsius

You get the idea. Even for a hardcore, experienced barefoot runner like the old coach, these are prohibitive conditions. I can run on snow and ice up to a certain temperature. However, there is a safe limit to avoid frostbite or worse.

winterrunfeetsnow1

Thus, I look for the BEST combination of footwear to use when running in conditions such as those listed below:

  1. Sockwas with Barefoot Science inserts to activate the power switch of the body when NOT barefootbareffotsci3sockwa1
  2. Vibram FiveFingers (especially the winter version) with Barefoot Science insertsXero sandals (mainly for temps down to -15 celsius only due to the open top). These do make it more difficult to hold my Squat-Scoot technique mainly due to the open ended toe area. Catching this on uneven surfaces poses a problem to my safe, efficient runningVibram-Lontra-profile3. Xero sandals (good down to about -15 celsius only for me due to open top). They also pose a problem when running in my Squat-Scoot manner over uneven surfaces – catching the lip of the sandal can cause unnecessary stumblingxeros

4. Skoras – IMG_1143They are the ones on the table in the top left corner. With a wide toe box, they can easily hold the Barefoot-science inserts. They are also ultra-flexible with a good sole grip on ice. These are my go-to footwear when winter conditions are ultra severe

I get approached to test a variety of so-called ‘minimalist, barefoot-alternative’ footwear by the founders and manufacturers. Even though I seldom run with anything on my feet, I will at least test any alternatives that are sent my way. Generally, I can find some advantages to wearing them in CERTAIN conditions. However, at the end of the day, running barefoot always wins out to keep me injury-free, healthy, efficient and powerful using my Squat-Scoot technique.Jeff-mm-2014

You be the judge…

 

coach Jeff

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