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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Any shoes look great if you are cool enough to wear them... and cute enough too!

Five Fingers is the name, running's the game. And if you've never tried them, you should... or shouldn't. It depends.

Now this extra-cute runner is my grandchild, and she and her younger brother run and run and run. Their school has a great cross-country program for almost all ages. She runs 3ks and her brother runs 2ks... and they both post better times than me. (Darned kids!)

But let's talk shoes. I have been running in my Vibram Five Fingers (there are other brands) for almost 2,000 miles now... and they show it. In 'regular shoes,' I should have bought a new pair months ago... but that was with 'regular shoes." I think the idea here is to simulate barefoot running without getting the soles of your feet pierced by sharp rocks, so a hole simply means 'closer to perfection,' I guess... or cheapness.

My running partner, Abby
I went this route after I heard a talk by barefoot advocate Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run. And because my running style is almost all heel, I figured I had nothing to loose by trying. And I was right! It works terrific for me. I am fairly flat-footed and was never mistaken for a gazelle... a blue-footed booby, maybe, but never a gazelle. Don't laugh though... I have never had feet, knee or hip problems and that is good.

These funny looking 'things' were just my thing. While I slap the ground so loudly that I could never sneak up on anyone, I run with so much less effort. My time and distance, though still not near world record standards, improved, and I loved the feel. Winter or summer, wet or dry, this is for me. The feeling of freedom and being one with nature really does give a spiritual boost to your ego.

As Confucius (551-479 BCE) say: "Running shoes without toes like chicken without happiness... both smell when step in dog poop." Or was that Charlie Chan?

If you have a high arch, or are perfectly content with your clunky shoes, or don't want to be outnumbered or laughed at, these probably won't work for you... no matter how cool like us you want to be. So just tuck in behind and draft until we get tired of you and turn it on.

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