Sole Searching

Thankfully, we live in a part of the city that tolerates bare feet.  My husband tested this tolerance at least twice in the past week: first by locking himself out of the apartment without shoes and second by running in his Vibram Five Fingers shoes. In the first case, he walked three miles to and from my office, completely barefoot, with blisters as a result.  In the second instance, he swears by the experience of running barefoot, claiming that it alleviates his knee pain and makes him faster.  I almost believe him, particularly after he shed three minutes off of his 5k time, so this weekend I decided to test the trend myself.

In shopping for new shoes, I tried on several minimalist styles, including the Five Fingers, which take more than five minutes to get on the first time and feel oddly constraining and freeing at the same time.  Uncomfortable standing still, they provide more freedom when running, but I couldn’t commit to purchasing a pair, even after an REI employee made an excellent pitch based on his on running.  The only downside, according to him, was that you have to watch your step.  When running with a dog, he admitted, this can be tricky. So I took one step back to the Merrell cross-training shoes that also feature a Vibram sole.  Though closed toed, they provide a similar minimalist feel without the awkwardness of a glove.  They will be great for walking to work, taking the dog outside, and even hiking around the city.

Oddly enough, Vibram also soles booties for dogs, so I guess Georgia will be the next one in the family to experience the minimalist style.  But she’s already used to walking the streets barefoot, so we are sure to have more runs and adventures in the weekends to come. Though Labor Day might be the unofficial end to the summer, being barefoot makes the season seem a little longer.

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