In order to be able to adhere to the principles of the barefoot running lifestyle while doing tasks such as grocery shopping, I have purchased some barefoot shoes (that adjective/noun combo is still a terrible oxymoron) that do not make me feel like a gorilla.
I have admittedly been pretty lax with my running lately. I don’t know if y’all have noticed, but it’s been really stinking hot in Texas this summer. I have a hard time getting psyched to go run in 108 degree temperatures. Nevermind my summer vacation from exercise, I am still a big believer in the barefoot stuff. Ever since I made the switch, I haven’t had the searing pain* that running (and walking) provoked in my tibialis anterior.
The hard thing about being a big believer in the barefoot running movement and having the gorilla shoes (aka 5fingers) is that the 5fingers are not attractive. Which is to say that they are not aesthetically pleasing. They are attractive sense that they attract a gaggle of people to come and talk to you about your shoes every time you step out of the house wearing them. I love running in those stupid looking foot-glove lookin’ shoes, but I haaate doing anything else in them. I just can’t get over the look of them. I tried to rise above it, but I can’t. I’m vain, and there is just no two ways about it. 5fingers are ugly.
SO. Imagine my surprise when I wandered into a shoe store the other day to find that Merrell has made a girl-version of Zack’s barefoot running shoes! And lo! My toes are not individually separated in them! And so the masses do not congregate to ogle my feet! They just look like normal shoes, but they still have all the barefoot mechanics and they’re even kinda cute. Win, win, win. So now I’m grocery shopping (and working) in my Merrell Barefoot Lithe Glove (which are so covertly barefoot that nobody even notices) and only running in my Vibram 5fingers, which is great because people don’t generally stop me to talk to me about my footwear while I’m running. (Some people do, because some people are weird, and also delusional if they think I’m going to have the volume of oxygen required to explain anything about those weird-ass shoes whilst in the middle of running.)
*I have is an incorrect gait that I’ve had forever and ever which caused this muscle to become disproportionately large and aggravated. Since the tibialis anterior is a muscle which is almost impossible to stretch, the only way that I could decrease the inflammation was massage and heat and perhaps even, you know, correcting the way that I walk/run that causes the pain in the first place. I tried to do just that — to correct the way that I was lifting my foot — but was decidedly unsuccessful until I jumped on this barefoot running train, which, I guess, is why I’m so dedicated to it even though I’m absolutely not awesome at it. At least barefoot running doesn’t make me want to cut my legs off. Well, at least not when I do it right.