TOF Cover (for cold windy days)

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by triing, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. triing

    triing
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    Hi Fellow Barefoot Runners,

    I haven't been in here for a long time. We are experiencing another mild winter here on the east coast of USA. Hoping to be able to get a few barefoot runs in when it's not too cold.

    There are certain times the ground isn't too cold to run but the wind lowers the real-feel temperature making the run rather painful overall.

    I was wondering whether there is an effective way to keep the tops of feet warm while maintaining skin to ground contact.

    Thanks all,
    Kal
     
  2. Tristan

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  3. Lorri

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    One of things to bear in mind is how the body reacts to cold. If your core temp drops then the body begins to cut blood flow to the extremities.

    The lovely lady in my greengrocers was complaining to me about how her feet were cold with 2 pair of socks and boots on while indoors while i'm walking around town in the middle of winter barefoot. I pointed out to her that she didn't have a hat on.

    Old saying... if your feet are cold, put a hat on, if your feet are still cold put another hat on. I'm usually walking around with a small beanie under my main hat which keeps my core temp up thus my extremities always get good blood flow and stay warm.

    Also important is to keep the area around the collar bones up through neck warm with a scarf. This is where the brown adipose tissue (BAT) resides which is the stuff that maintains your core temp by burning fat. If you have a bare neck/collar bone area then the BAT just throws heat out to the sky instead of pushing it into your core.

    If you want to accelerate the BAT warming mechanism then eat some hot chillies, that's why you start sweating when you eat chilli because it makes the BAT burn fat and generate heat - a good way of shedding a few pounds while sitting on your bum for those needing to lose a bit of tummy. :D

    Another trick is to wear thermal leggings/long johns to keep the blood flowing down to your feet warm and to stop the blood coming back from cooling thus keeping the core temp up at the same time. Always a good idea to wear thermal long sleeves on your arms for the same reason.

    This is my 12th barefoot winter and my hats, scarves and long thermals have proven themselves to be my feets' best friends.

    Core temp is the most important thing for barefooting in the cold.
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    I was able to run in 27 degrees F on dry asphalt by bundling up my core. Have you tried that first?

    Otherwise, I was going to suggest: :hilarious:

    BottomlessShoes.jpg

    If not, check these out. They're called Barebottoms. http://suekenney.ca/barefoot/

    BareBottoms.jpg BareBottoms2.jpg
     
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  5. Tristan

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    @Lorri I may be a more extreme case but I still have cold feet even with a core that feels overheated. Especially doing faster more intense workout and racing. My last race, a 4 miler at the end of November I struggled with cold feet with numb spots even while I was burning up and sweating. I put on two layers which I really regretted, almost felt like taking my shirts off towards the end and running in bare lol my head was getting so hot, legs too, but my darn feet were still numb. I guess I have poorer circulation in the extremities than most. If it's a more modest effort running I can better even the heat out and wear some more insulative clothes without overheating, but my core does still seem to overheat long before my feet are warm. It's windy out there today, though not terribly cold. 35F but 30+mph wind gusts and damp surface from snow that fell and melted. I think I'm just going to throw the shoes on.
     
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  6. triing

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Tristan, I'll have to look into the bare-bottom shoes solution.

    Lorri, I hear you. It is true that your core temperature determines whether your extremities are getting cold. But I found, as Tristan points out, that layering up the core causes overheating while the toes are still cold. I usually do a uniform layering. Compression pants, compression shirt, over-layer (usually a t-shirt), outer-layer (cycling windbreaker- if necessary) and beanie or skullcap. I usually don't wear a scarf since it gets too warm.

    TJ, 27 is a good threshold. I've done a few of those. But only when it's calm out. When it's windy, my feet are frozen even at 33.

    I was wondering whether caking the tops of feet and toes with mud might have helped the caveman insulate against the wind in colder temperatures. If so, we may find a similar spray-on coating that washes away during a shower. I think that would be a good solution.
     
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  7. Barefoot TJ

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    I think I read on here or somewhere that someone tried Vaseline on the tops of their feet.
     
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  8. Einar

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    Im using old wool socks with bottoms cutted off. Also my mother in law knitted me some from wool.
     
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  9. Lorri

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    In answer to the circulation thing, i did read a long time ago about a cruel experiment where some sickos kept penguins in warm enclosures for months and when they put them back on the ice they all got frost bite because their feet had acclimatised to the warm. Maybe you could try training your circulation by putting your feet in cold water with ice cubes for an hour or so a day - if you're that determined.

    There's a very good book called 'Return to Nature' by Adolf Just. It's from the late 1800's and is an amazing view of alternative natural medicine and healthcare. There's a lot in it that's a bit wacky but the bits on body temperature and how to acclimatise back to a natural state is very good and does work. Light and air baths, and cold baths are his two main weapons of choice. I did one winter several years ago as an experiment using his light and air baths and cold showers method and the lowest i went i handled -7 centigrade for several hours outside in just a jumper and t-shirt and light trousers without any issues.

    I've never repeated the experiment because i just didn't find the benefits to be worth all the training as i don't go out much in winter. But if you are determined to be outside a lot in winter then it would probably be worth the training.

    You can find the book in PDF and it's well worth a read. Gandhi found it in the library while he was in prison in South Africa and it became the foundation of his health and wellness program that he then took to India.
     
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  10. Barefoot Dama

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    Lori, just my two cents about cold toes/fingers.
    There are some of us with Raynaud's condition that it doesn't matter how may layers one has on. When temps drop, there is no way we can be exposed to cold temps without suffering the consequences.
     

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  11. Tristan

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    Yeah when it comes to cold tolerance everyone is going to be a little different, not talking just our own tolerance to pain and discomfort I mean biologically speaking we are going to to have varying amounts of circulation and heat transfer to different areas of our feet.

    @Lorri that's interesting about the collar bones. I read a while back about brown fat at the nape of the neck but hadn't heard in particular about the collar bones, but I didn't really look into it. It is really fascinating how the body works and just how complex it is.


    That was me and it did not help enough to bother trying again, let alone the mess it made.

    How are they retained on your feet?

    I'm not sure biologically speaking what exactly happens as we 'acclimate' to the cold each winter. More exposure as winter goes on does seem to help. But I often do the opposite, use heat. Not sure if it's counter productive slightly but preheating the feet before a run does seem to help in the short term. I know most here probably don't have an easy way to do this though - like I do propping my feet up in front of a woodstove until I can't take it anymore. But just as cold temps need more circulation so do very hot temps. As your feet overheat the vessels should open up to allow circulation to carry the heat away right? Plus heat seems to help keep my soles conditioned a little. Kind of like when Achuah talked about the Seri Boot and sticking ones feet in a dish of hot sand to simulate the Seri natives in the desert who's skin turned into tough leather all around and gave the appearance they were wearing a 'boot'. https://ahcuah.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/baking-a-seri-boot/ I've been meaning to try this more diligently but this winter I've slacked all around, and I've had less problems running in shoes this winter so less motivation to get out there barefoot in the extreme cold.
     
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