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A Personal Wishlist: New Feet

February 22, 2010

Those of you who have seen me working out recently may notice something.  No, it’s not my chiseled abs (but I’m working on those, just you wait!).  It’s the fact that my running shoes are in the corner of the room.  Yes, I am weightlifting barefoot.

Why?  I get much greater stability, and I feel truly powerful whenever I perform a leg exercise such as squats.  This got its beginning as soon as I started the Stronglifts 5×5 program – going barefoot or wearing shoes with non-compressible soles is a recommendation.  Well, there was no way was I was going to sacrifice a pair of Chucks to my crackpot workout behaviour.  1+ month in, and I cannot look at shoes the same way again.  Thankfully for me, there is a smaller gym in residence with no supervisors (and thus no shoe-Nazis).  Give it a try.  Just don’t be an idiot and drop a weight on your toe.

That being said, shoes perform some wonderful functions.  Temperature insulation and protection from unwanted things like foot infection, sharp stones and needles rank up there pretty high.  Enter the Vibram Five Fingers shoe:

Not only do these things have a raving cult base, but barefoot running has enjoyed mainstream scientific coverage, as well (for the in-depth article and cool videos, click here).  Apparently running in shoes causes us to develop a heel strike as opposed to a natural mid-foot strike; this greatly increases shock shooting back up your leg.  As for arch support?  Your arches should be supporting your arches.

If you’d like more information, a quick Google search will take you places.  That, and take a look at birthdayshoes.com, probably the most official un-official Vibram fan-site out there.

Until next time, vi sees.

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