saypay rants about shoes

Blog entry posted by saypay45, Sep 8, 2010.

I've been thinking about this stuff for a while. Some of it isa little dated topic wise, so forgive me bringing this stuff up again. But if I don't write it down, I'll keep thinking about it during my runs...and that's just annoying.

Like the inevitable passing of the seasons, the "other forum"recently had their yearly dose of everyone's favorite game, "Name That Forum". For those that didn't partake in this years game, that's where someone asks where all the freaks went (i.e. the barefooters), longs for the days when the forum was dominated by barefoot runners asking barefoot runner questions and when "barefoot shoes" were called "feet", and asks that theforum be renamed to more appropriately reflect the composition of its members. I was going to suggest "Asshat Forum"and allow itto be dominated bythe people who suggested the change...butthe"other forum"doesn't allow such language.

That discussion brought up another thread around here about how we should classify our members according to the shoes that they wear or don't wear while running. I think the eventual conclusion (if we ever come to those around here)was that if you run barefoot less than 25% of the time, you are "minimalist"; if you run barefoot between 50%-85%, you are "hybrid"; and if you run barefoot 100% of the time you are Barefoot Rick.

I think onestatistic we let fallthrough the cracks there is that 95% of people on this forum couldn't give two shits. Ipersonally fall into the 95% category. Categorizing people based on their running shoes is about as arbitrary as the picks for Dancing with the Stars this season (yes, I watch that show and Ilike it....GOHASSELHOFF!). Bristol Palin? Come on people...you guysare making American Idol producers look likecrack talent scouts.

Ialso think that breaking us up into categories has theeffect (intended or unintended)ofneedlessly dividing us.Why do we feel theneed todivide ourselves into "freaks that go barefoot"and "freaks that wear ugly shoes".We are both freaks tothe general public. Why not be freaks together?Personally, I respect everyone's choice of running footwear, and believe thattheir choiceis an informed decision based on the facts and feelings that the person has at a particular point in time.

I came close to making a point there, and I don't enjoy making those outside of work. So.....abrupt subject change!

But Ihad to chooseone of the above,so I decided thatI'm a hybrid runner. Even though I feel like as ahybrid, Ishould be able to do somethingcool like morph into a werewolf, orbepartially powered by a renewable energy source, or unreasonablyaccelerate (are Toyota jokes still funny? anyone?). All that hybrid means inour situation is, "Iput on shoes sometimes." Kind of lame if you ask me. Since Iwear clothes sometimes, am Ia hybrid dresser as well?

Regardless, inmy eagernes to embrace my new found hybrid-ness, I went out an purchased a pair of Luna Sandals. A hybrid has to have a cool pair of shoes right? And VFFs are so 2009.

Because every blog entry should have a picture, here's a picture of them:

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This picture gets me thinking how you can barefoot the entire summer and still have tan lines on your feet. But Idigress....

So Iordered my Luna Sandals. And I like them...Ireally do. As much as Ican like shoes. The suede footbed is really soft. It's like stepping on a cow with every step. The leather laces look really sharp. They make me feel like a Greek warrior. Or someone that overpaid for a piece of sole material and some rope. Mostly I feel like that last person...

When I say that I like them as much as Ilike shoes,keep in mindthat Ireally, really dislike shoes. So I like these sandals as much as Ilike doing anything that Ihave to do sometimes, but still barely tolerate. So I like Lunas like Ilike doing my taxes, or watching Jersey Shore (sometimes it's the only thing on TV).Actually I'm really starting to like Jersey Shore. It's hard to look away froma train wreck.

I was thinking about my choiceto be hybrid as I was running along yesterday on a portion of road Ilike to call "the death trail".It consistsof acombination of black topand the sharpest pebbles known to man.I run it partially because it connects my house to every other trail in my town, and partially because doing so without pain makes me feel bad ass. It alternates between feeling like a foot massage, and like being stabbed in the foot by the trail gnomes.

I got to part of the trail that invariably brings me to a slow crawl. It was worse than normal. I was doing the old man shuffle. My feet just killed. And Mr. I Told You So popped up on my shoulder, complete with a pair of Luna sandals on his feet. He said, "should have brought your huaraches huh?" I remembered the last time I ran in my Lunas, and how it felt like 5 miles of stepping on a sandal. Nice...comfortable....but boring.

Thetrail got a little less rough, and I ran onthe three miles of death trail until I got home. I'm glad I didn't bring my huaraches. It just wouldn't feel right to me. I'm really not a hybrid runner. I'm a barefoot runner. It's not that I like the pain that comes with barefooting sometimes, or the fact that barefooting sometimes affects my performance. It's that I accept that sometimes it has to be like that for me to do what I love doing...barefoot running. I don't want to wear shoes unless Iphysically can't run on a surface atall. Even then, I'm going totry.

Why? In the words of Three Days Grace,"'Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all."