• minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Reebok RealFlex Natural Running? A "Barefoot" Running Shoe?

A collage of the Reebok Realflex marketing blast.
A collage of the Reebok Realflex marketing blast. Note the runners running on natural surfaces in a shoe that is supposed to protect against man-made surfaces. Makes sense, no?

Update 5.15.2011 (see below)

Reebok has officially joined the bandwagon of barefoot running "or natural running." That may be understating the significance of this event—Reebok has not just created a "natural running" shoe. No, no, they have perfected natural movement.

The Reebok Realflex is a new* shoe design intended to allow a foot to flex naturally but with ... wait for it ... protection! Apologies for my sarcastic tone, it's just a bit mind-numbing to read how the company that brought us the EasyTone can lay claim to perfecting nature. Perfection and protection — enter the Reebok Realflex.

Read the rest of this post »

Chris McDougall's Naked Book Tour (Born to Run)

Chris McDougall's Naked Book Tour (Born to Run)

Author Christopher McDougall is beginning a cross-country "Naked Tour" to coincide with the paperback release of his blockbuster book Born to Run.

The "Naked Tour" will include barefoot runs, demos and "cabarets". These part seminar/part show cabarets will feature an impressive group of luminaries from the barefoot running community and of course give folks an opportunity to pick up copies of the best-selling book Born to Run. Dr. Daniel Lieberman, Scott Jurek, Lee Saxby and Luis “El Coyote” Escobar are just a few of the folks participating.

We're huge fans of Chris McDougall and if you're not already plugged into his blog, you should check it out. If you're lucky enough to be within shouting distance of one of his naked tour events, definitely plug in and check it out!

Naked Tour Schedule

(Click for details at each location.)

Check out the Naked Tour page for new events and additional info.

And the Winner Is!

Congratulations to Chargrill for tweeting this post before the deadline. He is the winner of a signed copy of Born to Run, a Naked Tour t-shirt and stick on tattoo all compliments of "El Oso".

A Vibram FiveFingers and Barefoot Wedding

Gidds and her husband
Gidds and her husband at their wedding.

Gidds sent us the following story about going barefoot at her wedding with the groom wearing Vibram Five Fingersblack KSOs, of course.

I started wearing VFFs last year around Memorial Day because I have a lot of foot problems but I strive to have an active outdoor lifestyle. My husband and I live on the Florida Panhandle and enjoy many outdoor activities from hiking to kayaking and SCUBA diving. I have an aqua pair of KSOs and I bought him a black pair of KSOs as a surprise last summer. He wasn't sure he wanted them at first but now he wears them constantly when he isn't working. He wore his because we don't take anything too seriously and like to have fun and be outdoors, so it was fitting for our wedding day. Plus they matched his suit. I chose to go barefoot for part of our wedding, which was on the edge of one of Florida's many freshwater springs, because aqua KSOs just didn't go with my dress. I did wear them for most of the honeymoon though.

Ha! Pretty cool. Thanks Gidds!

Natural Running in Huaraches and Vibram Five Fingers

James, Al and Spud
James, Al and Spud at the 2011 Pensacola Double Bridge 15K Run.

James and his buddies have been gradually increasing their miles and competing in longer races in preparation for a half marathon. James sent us this story about their last run in the 2011 Pensacola Double Bridge 15K Run:

Fellow barefoot runners and friends, Al and Spud agreed to join me in the 2011 Pensacola Double Bridge 15K Run. The race gets its name from the course which takes runners over two bridges across Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. I did a 5K barefoot fun run last year, but this would have to be my first real race since going barefoot seven months ago.

I wore my homemade huaraches while Al and Spud went with Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas and KSOs respectively. There were around 3500 entrants for the 5K and 15K combined, but we counted only a handful of other runners in minimalist shoes -- quite a surprise. We did see another runner going completely barefoot. We got to talk to quite a few runners about the benefits of barefoot running, and I certainly drew quite a few looks at my huaraches. I spent a few miles reviewing the key points of "Born to Run" with a curious runner.

All in all it was a great event despite the cold morning start with temperatures around 40 and howling winds. My huaraches did a great job as usual -- no pains to slow me down and only a little tenderness in my feet after the run. Spud and I are now setting our sights on the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in April. Not bad for a couple of guys who would struggle with only a few miles before going barefoot seven short months ago.

Thanks for sending us your story James! Good luck to you and Spud in the half, and let us know how it goes.