My story in a nutshell: lifelong weak ankle problems, took up running in college (a good 20 years ago), have run on and off since then in full motion-control shoes. Moved to NYC in 2008 and started to have more foot problems (because you walk EVERYWHERE!).
Visited a podiatrist in December 2010 and after diagnosing me with “floppy ligaments” he said, “it’s time for custom orthotics!” and a voice in my head said
“HELL NO! THEY WILL JUST MAKE YOUR FEET MORE STUPID.”
At first I decided to just try some physical therapy. I didn’t want to resort to orthotics! My physical therapist enlightened me that my walk wasn’t only about my feet – it was also about my posture (which she deemed “sloppy.”) Strengthen my core, and my stride will improve. It wasn’t long after that that barefoot running drifted into my sphere of consciousness.
Strengthening my feet by running without “support?” For much of the world this sounds crazy, but it made sense to me. I was willing to believe in the power of my body to know what was right for it.
I started running again in a pair of RunAmoc moccasins from SoftStar shoes in April 2011. These shoes were basically soft leather with 2mm of rubber at the bottom. That’s it.
I remember the first time I wore them, just walking. It felt weird, but my feet WOKE UP. I felt electrical waves going up my legs and spine.
Then I gingerly started running in them. Just short distances at first (your legs need time to get used to the new ways they are being used). I enjoyed running again. My feet hurt, but it was a good hurt, like muscles that were just starting to be used.
In June 2011, I started running full barefoot.
This blog is about waking up my feet, and the other wonderful changes surrounding getting to know and trust my body again.
and going shoeless.