The Joy of Running in Barefoot Sandals

If you follow me on Twitter, or #VegRunChat, you will have noticed that I’m running more than ever in barefoot sandals. Although I love my Vibram Five Fingers, my burning curiosity towards running sandals has forced me to leave my five-fingered footwear behind. As you can imagine, I’ve received a lot of questions about my new minimalist companions. So I thought I’d take the time today to try and answer a few of them. If I don’t get to your question, please leave it in a comment below and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

Why Sandals?

Courtesy: GladSoles

Many folks seem astonished by the fact that I’m running in sandals – especially during the cold months of winter. But I’ve found that running in sandals is liberating; my feet are finally free from the confines of structured running shoes. Yes, even my Vibram Five Fingers seem restricting when compared to sandals. Sandals give you full range of motion, unlike running shoes which hold your ankles in place. And as far as the cold, Injinji makes the perfect 5-toed sock for sandals, keeping your feet nice and warm, even in freezing temps. I have yet to try them in snow, but according to other “barefooters”, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue (not in NC, anyway).

How Many Miles Can You Run In Sandals?

My farthest distance in sandals so far is 11 miles, but there’s no reason why I couldn’t go farther. In fact, I’m now considering running my next marathon with my new GladSoles. I’ll keep you posted as to how my training comes along.

I should also mention that many ultra-marathoners rely on sandals to get them through 50 mile, or even 100+ mile, races. Runners like Barefoot Ted (star of the book Born to Run) opened the world’s eyes to the benefits of running minimalist. It’s just recently that sandals have become more mainstream. Especially due to people looking for ways to reduce injuries, and transition towards a zero-drop shoe.

Check out Barefoot Bonez (GladSoles Ambassador/Ultra Runner) of New Mexico, lacing up his sandals with his own tying method.

Won’t I Trip/Fall in Sandals?

Courtesy: GladSoles

This was a question I had before trying sandals, and one that I get everyday from followers. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t had one slip or fall in my sandals. I’ve been amazed at the amount of balance they provide. Please keep in mind, these are not flip-flops; running sandals are made to stay on your feet, and should not have much of an overlap in front of your toes. They are also held securely in place by some sort of lacing system.

I’ve run over loose leaves, mud, and even trekked through the pouring rain, without as much as a slip. Check out the image to the right which illustrates their stability.

Which Sandals Are Best?

I’ve had the privilege of trying two different models of running sandals: Luna Sandals and GladSoles. While I’m still in the first few weeks with my GladSoles, I believe the scales are tipping in their favor. I don’t want to give too much away before my review, but I can already tell that they are more comfortable and fit my feet better. Plus, they are custom-made, and contain no animal bi-products. But I encourage you to try different models (and read reviews) to see which suits you best. You can check out my friend Evelin’s review of her GladSoles sandals here. She touches on some key points, and answers questions that a new barefoot runner would want to know.

Please stay tuned as I’ll have a full review of the GladSoles Trail Sandals in the upcoming weeks. If you’re interested in trying a pair for yourself, we’re giving away a pair of custom-made Original GladSoles on #VegRunChat. Check it out and enter today!

Have you ever considered running in sandals? Let me know what’s keeping you from setting your feet free.

 

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