Hello everyone, glad I found this sight! Here's my barefoot story ;-) I live in Irvine Ca but grew up in Ohio. 6'2" 261 lbs (now 250) and 43 years aged. I was a good ole country boy growing up, lots of time in the woods skipping school, barefoot a lot. Was a fairly competitive high school runner, went to the TAC Junior Olympics National Championships etc...was a middle distance runner. Looking back I had REALLY bad running form though, hard heel striking, and big time over striding, was taught by rural coach to increase stride length back then....I ran sub two minute 800's and 16 minute 5 K's, best mile time was a 4:19 a year after high school...(my body matured late). 20+ years and some rough knee injuries and a heel that was surgically re-attached after a car accident, plus 80 lbs over weight, and I could not run a half mile without excruciating pain in the knees. If I pushed through the pain, could hardly walk for a week. But I wanted that freedom of running again from my youth... So I started studying how to run without knee pain, and both pose running and barefoot running made a light go off. I did a few drills to practice pose running and 'falling', took off my shoes, and ran a mile with no significant pain...great day! Now hooked, and able to run, guess what, I over did it, ran on hot pavement for two miles, and got blister so big and bad that my feet bleed for days and was hobbled for a week. Best thing that coulda happened though, cause I learned I was still over striding. I bought a pair of minimalist shoes to protect against blisters, and started adding miles, seeing what I could do. My second week back from the blister fiasco, (third week of running after 15 years of being a couch potatoe) I ran a half marathon 13.1 mile run without stopping or walking, was rough, and slow 2 hours 40 minutes, but I Did It....was mind over matter. 8 days later I did it again...mind over matter for those last two miles Some foot pain started to develop, so I took off the vivobarefoot for a truly barefoot run, and sure enough, I was running differently from even the minimalist sandals. So I started transitioning to completely barefoot, but more sensibly. I also found the wonder of trail running at the same time. Basically there is a five mile out and back trail run with a small 1500 foot mountain climb at the outbound end...so I'd run the trail minimalist to the mountain, and go up and then back down minimalist...then run the remaining two miles of trail back barefoot. After a few runs, I would go to and from the mountain barefoot, but go up and down the mountain minimalist...the little mountain has some very steep grades on the trail, so is a bit rougher on the skin. Yesterday I did the whole run, up and down the mountain too, completely barefoot. I'm about a month into this experience, so am still a newb, but I have to say, running minimalist for me is not the same as barefoot running...even with the minimalist sandals I run differently than I do completely barefoot. And heck, If I can make it up and down the steep grades of that mountain, with its gravel and sharp rock sections, what do I really need shoes for at all, cept maybe on long runs on very hot asphalt. This whole experience has been wonderful...like my life is waking up again lol I'm slow old and fat (for now) but almost everyday I am surprising myself with an "I Did It!"...And thats a great ride.