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Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Barefoot TJ, Jun 1, 2012.
I'm in a winning mood...sign me up...
I'm a new member, Can I still have a chance?
I'd love to give these a try.
That's right, I want a pair too, because as the Invisible Shoes web site states, they're
"One big worry about barefoot running, not surprisingly, is all the stuff on the ground that can hurt and cut your feet, plus all the dirt you have to wash off when you’re finished running."
So let's become the Huarache Runners Society before we cut up our feet or get them all dirty.
We have a lucky winner! Number 22, sbierling! We will be contacting you shortly.
Thanks to all for taking part, and thank you to Invisible Shoes for their generosity!
Lee, remember, shoes as tools, shoes as tools.
Precisely my point: not "better-than-barefoot"; supplemental.
Plus, imagine someone who's curious about BFR or barefooting in general coming across these scare tactics in the service of hawking a product. "Oh no, it's true, there's glass everywhere, better get some sandals and forget about the whole thing."
The whole 'glass is everywhere' myth is the number one doubt or concern people express to me. Your endorsement of a company that uses this myth in their advertising is very disappointing to me, and I would suggest you reconsider your position, or use whatever influence you have to ask Invisible Shoes to advertise their product on its own merits, rather than dismissing barefoot running as so dangerous that you'd be foolish to try it. I can't believe you can't see how pernicious this is.
Oh, here we go, like my job isn't difficult enough...and with no pay.
I've been down this road so many times. Do you think I haven't struggled with this numerous times, asking myself over and over again how I want or need to deal with this? I will repeat what I have always said and find myself coming back to.
It seems most of the decent minshoe companies out there have some sort of slogan that describes their product as being superior to barefoot. They aren't going to change that, no matter how many temper tantrums I throw. I would rather have people running in decent, healthy minshoes than turning to boat anchors that will damage their feet and rob them of their being able to enjoy running.
Do we choose to become a purist club, where we only allow those who truly run barefoot here, or do we embrace the minimalist runner as well in hopes to help them safely transition away from the big, bulky running shoes that most of the time do them more harm than good? Do I tell everyone here who runs in minshoes, even just part of the time, that we are locking the doors, get out? Do we represent ourselves as exclusive and closed-minded to the world, or do we show the world that we are inclusive and understanding.
I happen to believe that not everyone can run barefoot all of the time, on every occasion, through all seasons, through all terrains...through all medical conditions. Take me for example. Me! Of all people! At this moment in my life, I CANNOT run barefoot, although I long too, and pray to once again. I guess since I can't be a purist, you think I should step down.
Don't get me wrong, I understand and totally appreciate your point of view. I get it. If I didn't get it, I wouldn't struggle with it.
Throw my name into the hat ... please
Hey TJ, wasn't this on until midnight today? At least that's what the thread title says.
Not looking to be included, happy 100% bare, just wanted to point this out to you...
Technically, midnight, June 7, took place one second after 11:59:59 June 6, so midnight, June 7, has already passed (21 hours and 6 minutes ago as of this writing). For example, the Apple in New York touched the ground at midnight 2012; 11:59:59 actually belongs to 2011. Think midnight changes the year to the next, so midnight is actually the first moment of a new day. Another example, when the clock changes to midnight in about 3 hours, will it be today (the 7th) or tomorrow (the 8th)?
Sorry about that. Since this may be confusing to others as well, I will try to remember to change the expiration on these contests to one minute past midnight. Will that help?
Yes, totally get it, it was midnight GMT. I'm really used to consider time zone differences for my job, but for some reason I never thought you meant GMT and assumed you were using EST, my bad.
Thanks for the clarification TJ!
Yes, my midnight may not be someone else's midnight. And to be honest, I was using midnight EST, the time zone set on the site. With GMT, it would have been -5 hours difference with me anyway, and would not have lined up with midnight. So I will be sure to state this in the next contest as well. Thanks for bringing all this to my attention, BTW, since we all need to be on the same page.
Ok, now I get what you meant from your previous explanation, that technically midnight is the start of the day, not its end. I guess that happens when one doesn't read the replies slow enough, hehe
And yes, I agree with you on specifying the time zone for stuff like this, being this an international site. The correct convention would be to use GMT and perhaps one US time zone as well to further clarify it, since the vast majority of users are in the US.
I will do that. Thanks, JL!
My feet are dancing!
First of all, I appreciate all you do, and all without pay, and the last thing I want to do is give you grief or add to your stress. I wouldn’t be bringing this up if I didn’t think it was important. I’m very much a live-and-let-live kinda guy.
However, BRS is a public institution, not a personal blog, and with that I believe comes a certain amount of responsibility. The fact that you wrestle with it is good.
And just to clarify, I am not a barefoot purist--never was, never will be. And I don’t care what other people do. If they want to wear sandals, minimalist shoes, reduced shoes, foot coffins, Hokas, high heels—that’s their business. So purism isn’t at issue here, at least not for me. I only ask that people make informed choices, and that institutions and companies make honest statements. (I realize that could be taken as a call for revolution, but let’s keep it small for the moment.)
And of course, I understand that the function of footwear is to provide protection--from thorns, cold, glass, slugs, whatever. So it’s hardly a selling point that can distinguish one footwear company from other footwear companies, unless they’re saying they offer more protection (perhaps Kevlar soles?), or are warmer, and so on, than other footwear of the same kind and in the same price range.
And even if all minimalist footwear companies badmouth BFR in order to increase sales, the fact that Invisible Shoes is using your (our?) site to increase their sales makes it different than other companies, so I don’t think you can dismiss my criticism by saying they all do it. These giveaways imply that you, or BRS, endorse their message, whether you agree with it or not. That’s the crux of the problem I think.
I actually have no problem with Invisible Shoes’ product. It seems like a good value, and I support small companies in general. Plus, sandals are my preferred footwear by far. I think their marketing should focus on the positive attributes of their product, principally its quality and price, i.e., its value. The fact that their sandals offer protection doesn’t distinguish them in the least from other footwear. They don’t even seem interested in competing with other footwear. They seem to think their competition is bare feet, and that their product is “better-than-barefoot.” Without qualification. Not "better-than-barefoot" sometimes, for some people, or on gnarly trails, or in nasty glass-strewn urban areas. No, all the time, for everyone, everywhere, they’re better-than-barefoot. That’s their slogan. And then a few paragraphs down they engage in fear-mongering.
Footwear’s primary function is to protect us from the elements. Everyone knows that, even toddlers. So the main trick in recruiting people to the pleasures and benefits of barefooting is overcoming a widespread and exaggerated notion of what this protection means. They need to know that stepping on an acorn is not going to kill them, that feet can adapt well to a wide range of surfaces and temperatures, and so on. Endorsing a company that preys on these fears, doubts, or ignorance is really counterproductive to your/our cause, and your/our community.
Presumably the owner or webmaster or pr guy at Invisible Shoes is sympathetic to our cause/community, and therefore there’s a good chance for persuasion, compared to, for example, Nike or anyone else using the barefoot running trend to gain market share. So I think it’s a bit of a cop out to say everyone does it, and there’s nothing we can do. At the very least, I think you should tell them that you are no longer interested in hosting these giveaways until they stop slamming BFR.
Your loyal friend, Bare Lee
Again, I have struggled with this, not just with IS but other companies that do the same thing. (I actually thought that slogan had been removed a long time ago.) Check my many posts on this subject. It weighs heavily. Do I support minshoes that I know would do people good, or ban them because of a slogan or a term, a.k.a., barefoot-shoes? This is still a battle I fight with myself all the time. One day, one of me will win.
What I do know is that IS has an excellent product. I would rather people run in his healthy minshoes than the crappy boat anchors or supposed minshoes out there.
For you to call this my site then add (ours?) is a slap in the face, as I am constantly stating publicly that this is NOT an individual's site, it belongs to all of us, our community, although I am the one who takes the heat for everything. That's alright though. That's what I signed up for. Right? Again, I am only the caretaker. And as caretaker, I have to make decisions. Sometimes, my decisions are quite difficult. Sometimes, my decisions do not please everyone. But I do the best I can for all of us. And when I am confronted with an issue or an idea that needs further thought, I open a poll now and again. Ask any of the board, Jamie, Kate, Sara, Jason, and they will tell you that I defer to them on many difficult decisions and openly admit that not one person has all the answers.
With that said, what's stopping you from talking to IS? You have a voice just as I do. In fact, for every minshoe company out there who touts theirs is better than ours, do the same. That goes for "barefoot shoes" too.
And while I'm at it, we do need a contests chair, someone who will hunt around for good, healthy minshoe choices, contact their companies, and ask them to do promotional giveaways on the site for our members. I've let this fall by the wayside as I am loaded down with BRS work right now, so we really need someone to step up and volunteer for this position. You game?
And lastly, I spoke to Steven, owner of IS, and I will let him respond here if he wishes.
Just got back from a nice BF trail run . . .
"Again, I have struggled with this, not just with IS but other companies that do the same thing. (I actually thought that slogan had been removed a long time ago.) Check my many posts on this subject. It weighs heavily. Do I support minshoes that I know would do people good, or ban them because of a slogan or a term, a.k.a., barefoot-shoes? This is still a battle I fight with myself all the time. One day, one of me will win."
I would ban anyone who discourages people from trying BFR. For me it's kind of a no-brainer. Under what heading are your posts on this subject?
"What I do know is that IS has an excellent product. I would rather people run in his minshoes than the crappy boat anchors or supposed minshoes out there."
I second this approach, and have heard that a lot of people are very satisfied with their IS. In fact, I probably would've bought a pair myself when I was shopping around for sandals if it weren't for IS's anti-barefooting marketing. Plus Steve's videos crack me up.
"For you to call this my site then add (ours?) is a slap in the face."
I apologize for that. I don't know if I intended it exactly as you took it, but it could've been put a better way. For me, I often feel like you're the host of a great party, and I feel like a privileged guest. But as my participation grows, and my understanding of the whole BFR scene increases, I do feel more and more like a 'stakeholder' in this, if that's the right term.
"And as caretaker, I have to make decisions. Sometimes, my decisions are quite difficult. Sometimes, my decisions do not please everyone. But I do the best I can for all of us."
I think that's clearly the case, and that's why I was a bit reluctant to get involved in this, and add to your stress. But I remember when my brother sent me the Lieberman video in 2010, and how I then began Google searches on the topic of BFR, and I tried to imagine what would've happened if I had stumbled across IS's site first. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that I may have been swayed by his anti-BFR slogan. And that might've been that. And this despite having run barefoot 20 years ago and being someone who has always enjoyed barefooting. Imagine someone with an even more limited set of BFR experiences coming across the site. I may be making a mountain out of a molehill, but I think the noxiousness is real.
"And when I am confronted with an issue or an idea that needs further thought, I open a poll now and again. Ask any of the board, Jamie, Kate, Sara, Jason, and they will tell you that I defer to them on many difficult decisions and openly admit that not one person has all the answers."
Sorry, I was never accusing you of being dictatorial. I have nothing but praise for the way you and others run this site.
"With that said, what's stopping you from talking to IS? You have a voice just as I do. In fact, for every minshoe company out there who touts theirs is better than ours, do the same. That goes for "barefoot shoes" too."
You're absolutely right. It was cowardly of me to confront you rather than them. I guess I was just being reactive. You have my sincerest apologies. I can see now I didn't approach this in the right way.
"And while I'm at it, we do need a contests chair, someone who will hunt around for good, healthy minshoe choices, contact their companies, and ask them to do promotional giveaways on the site for our members. I've let this fall by the wayside as I am loaded down with BRS work right now, so we really need someone to step up and volunteer for this position. You game?"
I'm not really qualified. In fact, it was kind of by accident that I checked in on this forum. I don't usually. But I had reached a sticky point in my work and needed a few more minutes of procrastination to clear my head. I own the Patagonia Advocates, Soft Star Moc3, Luna Sandals, and Pah Tempes, but only really use the Moc3s for BFR, in the winter when it's too cold, so I don't know much about gear. Still, it would probably be a good experience for me. Why don't you put out an announcement and see if someone more qualified is interested? If not, I'll consider it.
"And lastly, I spoke to Steven, owner of IS, and I will let him respond here if he wishes."
I think that would be great. Like I said, his videos crack me up. I have no ill will towards him. Just wish he would change his marketing strategy.
We'll wait to hear what Steven has to say about all this. He will be by shortly.