Friday, 3 August 2012

The Next Step?

I’ve now started to “live” in my Luna sandals ever since I got them… Around town, on the beach (well stones), doing the shopping, even in the shower! I’ve worn my flip flops as much as possible. I’m even now at the stage where wearing “normal” trainers feels strange! I feel that my running style has also changed slightly and the best feedback I guess I’ve had so far (apart from not getting injured touch wood) was comment from a friend whilst out for a run who said my running style was really smooth and looked like I was “gliding”…  I’ve noticed that I don’t seem to pick my feet up as much now so I guess that’s what he was on about?

I’d been thinking about what to wear to continue the barefoot trend on the trails in the wet and mud where the flip flops won’t cut it and saw a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves on ebay. As I’ve said, every footwear manufacturer is jumping on the bandwagon which is ironic considering for years they have been pushing arch support and motion control forever! But the Merrell’s had caught my eye.

I’d already been wearing Walsh PB’s for a few years now and these British made fell running shoes have seen me through the small number of fell races I’ve taken part in but also the miles of poor condition muddy off-road races I’d used them for (I even took them to Afghanistan!)  I was happy with hardcore off-road shoes with the Walsh’s especially as they are a basic design trainer but I still needed something for wet trails. This is where the Trail gloves came in. I’d tried these on in Field and Trek so I knew my rough size and on ebay saw a pair only worn once for only a few pounds so thought it was worth the risk.

One of the best things that steered me towards these was the fact they could be worn without socks (for that barefoot feeling) and could also be machine washed. When I got them I gave them a quick wash let them dry then started my usual “race prep routine” of wearing them to work and socially for a week. They fitted well but noticed that my middle toe on the right foot slightly touched the end of the shoe. This wasn’t really an issue but when I took them out in anger for the first time I sub-consciously could feel it.  The next time out I ran with them unlaced (don’t ask why) and they actually felt fine and earlier this week I ran 10k trail race with them laced loose and again they were fine. In hindsight I guess size 9.5 would be better but there you go.

Well that’s it I’m actually up to date on the blog! The only thing to add is the number of people that are interested in barefoot running is on the increase. As soon as you start talking to anyone about any form of running the conversation soon switches to injury. This is when I drop the barefoot topic in to the mix.

Go on, you know you want to!

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