After walking home from Savor barefoot last weekend, I’ve been wanting to try a little bit of barefoot running. I have pretty tough feet, as I don’t wear shoes in the house and usually not in the yard. I also grew up spending a lot of time in the summer running around barefoot on my grandparents’ farm. So, I wasn’t overly stressed about what I might step on. I was, however, worried about the fact that I’m surrounded mostly by blacktop. I tend to run in the late morning or early afternoon, so I’m afraid of burning the heck out of the bottom of my feet.
Since it was 93 degrees yesterday and something like 5000% humidity, I decided that my treadmill was a better place for my virgin barefoot run. I hopped on the treadmill at a 12 minute pace, just to see how it felt. I seemed to land too much on my heels at that pace, so I slowly picked it up to a 9 minute pace and found that as I got faster (and more near my comfortably easy pace), I was happier with how my feet hit. I did one mile in 10:35 and was feeling pretty good, but could definitely tell I was using my muscles differently. I decided to stop and put on my shoes because I didn’t want to hurt myself the first time I tried it.
I hopped back on the treadmill with shoes on and it was the weirdest sensation EVER. I felt like I was running on a firm pillow and that there wasn’t enough room in the toes of my shoes. Very strange. I managed to do another 2.5 miles before I ran out of time.
Verdict: I like barefoot running and will definitely be doing it again. Next time, though, I will either do my shod miles first or separate shoe and barefoot running by days instead of doing them both in the same run. If you run barefoot, how do you handle super hot streets in the summer? Or do you just avoid them?