Just joined the site, but I have known about it for some time. Matter of fact, it is the reason I purchased my pair of gray KSOs after seeing all the great benefits.
Being involved with weightlifting I found myself ballooned to 250 lbs and no real motivation to actually get up and move except at the gym. I knew that I needed to include more aerobic activity into my lifestyle, but being that I have the attention span of a ferret on a double shot of espresso, the gym did not offer too many great opportunities to prevent monotony. Thus I resigned myself to just lifting weights without getting a complete picture of health.
One activity I do enjoy is backpacking and hiking. Do not let the weight frighten you, I can and have strapped many pounds on this back and hiked numerous mountains including the Grand Canyon 6 times, most recently this past New Year's. Heck I proposed to my fiance after a long hike in New Mexico. But that was the issue. It seemed that I wanted to do more than the lazy 10 miles of stroll. I wanted to just explode off the starting line down the trail like beagles catching a faint scent. I tried many times in my New Balances, but I ended up with ankle injuries. Most often from my ankle from having my ankle over-pronate so much that I would have it collapse under me and I would land on the side of my foot with all my weight pushing down on it. OUCH!
That is when I thought to hell with it and just started thinking like the biologist that I am, botanist but who is keeping track, and started to go sans shoes around the house and around the yard. What a great feeling! Of course pavement proved to keep me in reality... it hurt like crazy, and tore me up incredibly fast. The first walk that I tried lasted an amazing 1/4 mile with blisters, peeling skin, and heat trauma from the hot pavement. How my dogs stand it I did not know. But I loved the feeling. So on to the VFFs.
3 months and many curious questions later, I feel so much stronger than I ever felt. Daily walks are fun, trail running is a great new hobby (more like a jog, but I am gaining speed), and both the little woman and myself have a new goal... The Ouachita National Recreation Trail. All 223 miles of it, in the VFFs. She playfully even mentioned that could be a honeymoon trip. Who is this woman?
Fantastic shoes, and seems to be many good people here. Hope that my story helps some people decide to ditch the shoes and go outside.