Member Blog of the Week The Birth of the Hybrid Runner By Barefoot Ramzev Let me start by saying that I don’t blog. I do not believe myself to be a writer that people will actually “follow” to see what I write next. What will follow these few sentences is just a rambling of my thoughts and OPINIONS on what we call barefoot running. At the risk of being too blunt, I will say that if you wear any sort of protection on your feet, whether it be leather or an iron slab, you are not a barefoot runner. This does not mean that you are less of a runner, and it does not mean that I am better than you or healthier than you, it’s simply that since you are protected you are not barefoot. Barefoot shoes are a myth. If barefoot shoes were possible, the nudist population would be walking around Wal-Mart in “naked pants,” and I for one am not ready for that. Shoes that mimic barefoot walking or running are minimalist shoes, this includes Vibrams. When a magazine or website does an article about Vibrams, it is not a barefoot running article. I get these articles forwarded to me weekly from friends and coworkers, (“Here’s an article about you!!” is usually in the subject line.), and it has a big picture of VFFs. A few times when someone had heard that I run barefoot, they asked where I got the shoes. Ummm, Squeeze me? Baking Powder? As I browse blogs on the interweb, I see many out there about barefoot running, and the author spends most of the time talking about their recent run in VFFs. This would be a “minimalist blog.” Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I am not saying there is anything wrong with using minimal shoes. They are much better than the standards. I own a pair of VFF KSO’s. I wore them once last winter because I don’t run barefoot on ice. OK, so what If I run barefoot AND minimalist depending on distance, terrain, health, etc.? Well, I don’t really know if that has been answered. I would answer like this: If you run mainly barefoot, but just put on the shoes for extreme weather conditions, I’d call you a barefoot runner. If you run mainly in minimalist shoes, and use barefoot running as an occasional training tool, you are a minimalist runner. Now, if you are split and run almost 50/50 what are you? I would propose that you are a hybrid runner. A hybrid runner would be someone who runs barefoot but knows their limitations for distance or terrain and uses minimalist shoes to compensate. Again, these are my poorly written opinions. Don’t expect many blog posts from me, but when you see ‘em you better read ‘em because there is no greater truth then the Ramzev truth.