When Matt and I were in Pittsburgh for Easter last month, we hit up REI so he could buy some gear for his upcoming trip to Peru (as I write this, he’s hiking the Inca Trail… so jealous!). While there, I got sucked into the barefoot shoe section. Before I knew it I was coming home with these beauties:
Those would be the Merrell Pace Glove Cross-Training Shoes and I’m completely in love with them.
Ever since reading Born to Run (amazing book if you haven’t read it — it made me want to run 600 miles barefoot and eat chia seeds all day), I’ve been really curious about the whole barefoot running craze. I even tried on some of the Vibram Five Finger shoes a year and a half ago, but didn’t like them — I have really small toes (and feet in general) and they wouldn’t fit into the slots! So imagine my delight to see barefoot shoes with a regular toe area at REI.
Basically, the thought surrounding barefoot shoes is that we weren’t made to run (or walk) in clunky sneakers, and that by doing so, we have ruined our natural alignment and weakened our calves and ankles (and our feet). I’m not sure if I completely believe that we should be running around without shoes in this day and age (I mean… pavement, anyone?), and the term “barefoot shoe” is obviously a bit of an oxymoron, but I figure walking around in these shoes won’t hurt if they help strengthen other areas of my leg that are usually neglected! Plus, they are amazingly comfy and fit like a glove — no socks necessary.
So far, I’ve been wearing them to school, biking, and at the gym, and also rocked them pretty much all weekend at Fitbloggin’! They were especially perfect in the trampoline fitness class :) I’m not sure if I’ll try to run in them or not — I kind of feel like I should stick what has been working for me so far, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll give them a try on one of my favorite soft trails…
What are your thoughts on the barefoot running craze? Have you tried any of the “barefoot” products? What did you think?