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Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Longboard, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
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  2. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    I was told by a gym manager last week if they allowed barefoot treadmilling then they'd also have to allow sandals and flip flops because those members would complain "How come he can be barefoot and I can't work out in sandals?
    My response was that the answer should be: "Because bare feet are safe on the equipment, and when you factor in shoelaces and fulcrum related ankle sprains can often times be safer than athletic shoes. Sandals and flip flops are dangerous on the machines, so you must remove them before working out".
    I plan on presenting it that way to corporate Fitness 19 if my other local clubs decide to crack down on me after the article. I also will try to get corporate to reconsider allowing bare feet for floor and treadmill since there are well documented research articles detailing the health benefits as well as debunking the "danger" myths.
     

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  3. Mayka

    Mayka Barefooters
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    I thought about it and there's only one place in a gym or fitness center where I can see it being justified that patrons be required to wear shoes, and that is the climbing wall, the reason being that I can understand gym patrons not wanting to put their hands where bare feet have been.

    Now, we all know that the sole of a shoe would probably have more germs on it than the sole of a habitual barefooter, but let's argue it would be the same KIND of germs. But the soles of someone who habitually wears shoes could have all kinds of nasty smelly bacteria and fungi on them, and I can understand not wanting to have to put your hands on a place where nasty smell fungus feet might have been.

    Like I said, this wouldn't be a problem with a habitual barefooter, but since allowing bare feet on the climbing wall would also allow habitually shod people to climb barefoot, I can understand not wanting to open that can of worms. But other than the climbing wall, I really don't see how being barefoot in a gym would really affect anyone else AT ALL.
     
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  4. BFwillie_g

    BFwillie_g Barefooters
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    I think you make a good distinction between real barefooters and shoe-wearers who take off their orthopedic petri dishes aka footwear. And unfortunately, most people can't comprehend that distinction. They associate barefoot with with Stinkfoot.
     

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  5. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    Climbing shoes range from snug to tight, so it's not an activity that interests me as a barefoot runner. Plus, outdoor rock faces can be covered in bird droppings.

    "Rock climbing shoes should generally fit tight around your feet. How tight is determined by what you are doing and how much pain you can stand. Your toes should curl up a bit in the front of the shoe and should not wiggle. This makes your foot that much more powerful for edging and smearing. However, it makes rock shoes a bit uncomfortable."
    http://www.abc-of-rockclimbing.com/buying-guide/buyingguideclimbingshoes.asp
     
  6. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    I the early days of rock climbing gyms there were many barefoot climbers, and the standard was special shoes or bare feet.
    Given the inherent dangers of rock climbing even while using all of the proper safety equipment and belaying, germ transfer from foot to hand to mouth or eye is probably the least of the climbers concern.
     

  7. Ahcuah

    Ahcuah Barefooters

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    Ah, yes. The bare hands that people have sneezed into. The bare hands that people have picked their noses with. The bare hands that have touched the restroom door handles that other people have touched without washing. The bare hands that may have worked in the garden among the dirt. The bare hands that may have prepared food without washing. The bare hands that have been brushed through their hair which collects just about anything in the air.

    Or maybe people just make up excuses.
     
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  8. Mayka

    Mayka Barefooters
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    I'm not saying I disagree with you. In fact, I personally doubt even habitually shod feet are really that much worse germ-wise than shoes or hands. But when I say I think it's justified, I mean that it's genuinely the only case where shod patrons could even MAKE the argument that someone else's bare feet physically (instead of just psychologically) affect them. In other situations where shoes are required in gyms, shod patrons will not come into direct skin contact with places barefoot people have stepped. Regardless of how uncomfortable it may make them, it genuinely doesn't directly affect them on a physical level.

    But with a rock climbing wall, even if we make the logical point that the germs left by shoes and hands are way worse than those on bare feet, patrons could still argue that it DOES directly affect them. Now, does it actually affect them any worse than touching where dirty shoe soles or bacteria-ridden hands have been? No. But it still affects them. Requiring shoes on a climbing wall may really only be because of peoples' prejudices, but it's still the only time they can legitimately argue that it DOES affect them, even if the way in which it affects them is arguably not harmful at all. I still think it's pointless to require shoes ANYWHERE in a gym, since people typically have no problem doing yoga in a gym barefoot and thus stepping where other people have stepped barefoot, but that's prejudice for you. *shrugs*

    And of course, when I posted that, I was specifically thinking of indoor rock climbing walls. Considering that sunlight can kill a lot of the nasty stuff that typically shod feet can harbor, I think requiring shoes in outdoor climbing walls is even less justifiable.
     
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  9. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    Good points Mayka, sounds like you're thinking! I wish EVERYONE would, if they did we wouldn't even have to stand up for our rights like this.
    What a welcome addition to the ranks of SE Michigan barefooters!
     

  10. scedastic

    scedastic Barefooters
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    nothing grosses me out more than the bare hands. they have given me more than my share of cooties. I personally love it when people cough into their palms. would rather shake even shoddie nasty stinky feet than hands.
     
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  11. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    Everyone at the gym sanitizes the equipment regularly by spraying some disinfectant from a bottle onto a rag and then wiping down the components. They all touch the same bottle, yet never wipe IT down!
     

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  12. Barefoot Gentile

    Barefoot Gentile Barefooters
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    Gym's are so gross. I was a bonafide-meat head gym rat in my early twenties but can't stand them now. Get outside!
     
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  13. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
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    I'm an outside rat. I had never set foot (shod or bare) into a health club until five years ago. I got my Michigan winter cardio in before that by x-c skiing, studded tire mountain biking, ice skating on lakes and canals, you name it. I laughed at those treadmillers in the plate glass windows at my local store front gyms, and even louder when it was nice outside. I've always used K-mart plastic and concrete free weights at home purchased in the early '80's, and when spring comes I play with them outside. When I turned 50 I noticed I was wimping out far too often in bad weather, and at 55 I finaly joined a club for Dec-Jan-Feb use. It filled the gap for me, yet I always knew I wasn't really a gym guy. Now I'm a world famous gym guy for not fitting in with the health club crowd there.
    COOL!
     

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  14. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    I miss the gym rat camaraderie, and, depending on the gym, eye-candy, but nothing beats the convenience of a home gym. I can lift whenever I want to or am able to, even if I only have 15-20 minutes, no commute, no waiting around for a piece of equipment, no sweat or odor from other people, no embarrassment when you fail trying out a new exercise, as I did the other day with my suspension straps trying walking handstands, you can listen to music, or, in my case, field recordings, if you want to, and, of course, you can do it all barefoot without any hassles.
     
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  15. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
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    My treadmill is the 6 mile circuit of Central Park where there is plenty of eye-candy (and so many chances to observe engaged glutes!) and the weather is seldom bad enough to drive me inside - and never bad enough to drive me into a gym!

    I enjoy being outside for the changing seasons and plumage :D
     
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  16. scedastic

    scedastic Barefooters
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    If you're gonna do it, do it with flair!
     

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