December 28, 2010

VFF TrekSports at Home

Last week I ran in Arizona in my TrekSports, today I ran at home. I ran on the semi-hard packed snow trails around my neighbourhood, across the frozen creek, and on the slightly snow-covered asphalt path in the next neighbourhood. It was about -7C.

The grip of the TrekSports is PHENOMENAL on snow. It felt like my feet had teeth that bit into the snow. I had no trouble with traction on any of today's snow, from hard-packed, to soft-packed, to loose fluffy snow. I walked some pretty steep uphill and downhill too and had no grip troubles.

I had decent traction on the frozen creek, too. Because the sun was shining, the smooth ice was a little tacky where it wasn't covered in snow.

It took about 1 km for my toes to warm up. Until then, my feet were a little uncomfortable. Once I and my feet warmed up, the run was very comfortable.

When I finished the run, my feet were wet but I don't know if it was from melted snow or sweaty feet. Either way, they weren't cold even after walking the last 10 minutes of my run.

I think I need to run the trails more, my feet felt a little weaker than usual but I haven't had much opportunity to run the trails since the snow fell. I'm looking forward to more of it now. I'm hoping for more (relatively) warm winter weather.

December 27, 2010

VFF TrekSports in Arizona

I recently returned from a vacation in Arizona. I was very fortunate to have received my new Vibram FiveFingers TrekSports just before I left. The trip was a wonderful opportunity to test them out.

I find the upper of the TrekSports, made of coconut fibre, more snug than the original Treks, made of kangaroo leather. The coconut fibre is quite stretchy while the kangaroo leather doesn't stretch at all but has cutouts in it with stretchy elastic near the topline to make the shoes easier to get on. My foot doesn't slide around inside the TrekSports at all because of the extra snugness and stretch in the material. Which is a big plus because I do tend to get blisters on my big toes wearing the Treks because my toes slip around inside the toe pockets. I was a little concerned that I couldn't wear the TrekSports with socks but this turned out to not be a problem at all. They are quite comfortable with Injinji socks on.

I took a stroll in the desert in Tucson and was surprised at how well the sole of the TrekSports performed. I stepped on some pretty sharp and pointy cactus spines and nothing went through the sole. I even looked down once to find a piece of dead cactus stuck to the side of the shoe near my arch and I didn't feel it.

The grip is phenomenal on rocky terrain. My feet didn't slip at all on any of the desert surfaces I walked; either flat, downhill, or uphill.

The new padded heel cup is really comfortable. I think this is a great addition to this shoe compared to the original KSO.

I'm looking forward to comparing the TrekSports to my other VFFs. I'll be writing a full review for Living Barefoot in the next month or so. Until then, here are some pics of them in the desert.

December 7, 2010

Barefoot Runners Society 'Stomp of Approval'

If you haven't already noticed the new addition to the right side of the blog, I was just approved for the Barefoot Runners Society's (BRS)'Stomp of Approval'.

If you don't know about the BRS , it is a great site with lots of barefoot and minimalist running information, tips, blogs, forums, and much more. It's also a site where BRS Chapters across the U.S. and internationally are organized. I joined the International and Canada Chapters.

I highly recommend checking them out. Here's the current link:

(BTW, the tab for the 'Stomp Roll' or blogroll of other BRS-approved sites is located near the bottom of the page, in a row of tabs, just above current forum information.)

December 6, 2010

Long Review - Vivo Barefoot Brooklyn Boots

The long review for the Vivo Barefoot Brooklyn boots has been posted on the Living Barefoot site.

Here's the link:

I love the Brooklyns. This is the first winter that I have footwear that don't hurt my back when I walk, are comfortable, AND are warm. Mostly I was missing the warm part. Like I say in the review, most minimalist footwear have either too thin a sole, too little insulation, or both to keep my feet warm in -20C. Here in Alberta, it's -20C A LOT.

Although I mention in the review that the Brooklyns don't grip well on ice, I don't have a single pair of minimalist footwear that does. Now I think the challenge to the industry will be to design a pair of comfortable, minimalist footwear that is good for -20C and can grip on ice. I think it's a tall order.

CMAJ Articles on Barefoot Running

The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published two articles about barefoot running. The articles look at both sides of the issues and basically conclude that there is no research currently available that says running with high-heeled cushioned shoes or running with a barefoot style is beneficial or detrimental and agree that more research is needed.

Here are the articles (with links):

The rise of barefoot running

Low-tech running shoes in high demand

My favorite quote out of the two articles is one by Dr. Daniel Lieberman, "The key thing is not being barefoot, but using a barefoot style, and not colliding into the ground with your heels.”

November 21, 2010

First Completely Barefoot Run of the Season

I decided to run indoors on the track today as -20C (not including the wind chill) is a tad chilly for me to run in (I've done it but it's not the most enjoyable experience). And if I run on the track, it's always completely barefoot.

Some observations I noticed while running today:

• There is a huge difference in the temperature of the floor between the walls beside windows and those that are not
• Random dirt on the track (it must have needed sweeping) did not stick to my feet this year
• I needed a few walking breaks to give my foot muscles a break (I ended up doing 3 X 10 and 1s). They are obviously not as strong as at the end of last winter
• Thirty minutes was enough for my first time running barefoot this year
• My form could use some improvement as I ended up with a hotspot on one big toe and another small one on the outside edge of the ball of the same foot (it’s probably my form and not being careful enough rounding the corners, which were all in the same direction)
• You really can’t push off at all with no shoes (which I was observing everybody else doing in their shoes)
• Running really fast barefoot (or as fast as I can go) is more like flying than running because your feet are in the air much more than they are on the ground (as opposed to my usual plod-along but comfortable pace)
• I can’t wait to do it again :)

November 18, 2010

Winter Wonderland in Brooklyn Boots

Snow! Glorious Snow! (This is a good attitude to have when you live in Canada and the white stuff is around for a good six months of the year and can fall in any month of the year :) ).

We've had almost a foot of snow where I live and my new Vivo Barefoot Brooklyn boots could not have arrived at a better time. I wore them outside for the first time yesterday in approximately 6 inches of snow and today in about a foot. They are fabulous! If you need a warm winter boot that grips well on snow and ice, still lets you feel the ground contours, and has absolutely no positive heel, then these will work out well for you!

My previous minimalist winter boot options, the Vivo Barefoot Dundan boots and Feelmax Kuuva boots, both have the same problem: their soles are too thin to prevent the frozen ground coldness from coming through to the inside of the boot, which results in frozen feet. This is NOT a problem with the Brooklyn Vivo Barefoot Off-road sole, which has an outsole thickness of 5 mm (2.5 mm sole base and 2.5 mm grip depth). Standing on ice and frozen ground was not a problem for me with only a thin pair of socks. I have left the removable insole in for now but I'll be testing the boots without it as well. Today it was -17C and my feet were toasty warm the whole time.

The boots are almost knee-high and the shaft of the boot has a faux shearling lining for warmth. My calves weren't cold at all in today's frigid temperatures (and there's no need to worry about wind chill).

If you're thinking of buying a pair, the Terra Plana website says that the Brooklyn is running TWO full sizes short and they are NOT exaggerating. I generally wear size US 8/EU 38, most of my Vivo Barefoot shoes are US 9/EU 39, and the Brooklyns are US 10/EU 40 and they fit well at that size.

I will be writing a long review of the Brooklyn boots for Living Barefoot, but until then, here are some pics of me in the snow with the boots.

November 15, 2010

First Run in Evo IIs

There's nothing more motivational (for me at least) than that first run in a new pair of minimalist shoes. My new Evo IIs arrived on Saturday and today I got to go for my first run in them. I adore the Evo I and have been looking forward to the warmer version of them, the Evo II, for months now.

It was just as I imagined it would be: perfect. The Evo IIs fit almost exactly the same as the Evo I. They are a tiny bit more snug so I loosened the laces on them a little bit. They are MUCH warmer. Even when I wear socks, I can feel a draft with the Evo I. There is no such draft with the Evo II with the addition of the microfiber liner. The ground feel is phenomenal, the grip is great, and the fit is fantastic.

I can't wait to try them out in the coming snow (this week's forecast for my area is snow every day for the next five days). I'll write about running in them in snow as soon I get out in it.

Until the long review is posted on the Living Barefoot site (in about a month), here's a sneak peak at some pictures.

November 12, 2010

Long Review - Luna Sandals

My latest long review has been posted on the Living Barefoot website: Barefoot Ted's Luna Sandal.

Here's the link:

I think they are stellar running sandals. If you want the absolutely minimalist shoe for running, these are definitely for you!

November 4, 2010

Long Reviews - VFF Performa Janes, Women's Trek, and Flow

I've written a bunch of minimalist shoe reviews lately and they've been steadily going online at the Living Barefoot Website.

For the long review of the Vibram FiveFingers (VFF) Performa Janes, here's the link:

For the long review of the VFF Women's Trek, here's the link:

And for the long review of the VFF Flow, here's the link:
(This review was written more as a long-term review because my Flows are over a year old. They've proved to be extremely durable.)

October 19, 2010

Running in Luna Sandals

I've decided that running in Luna sandals is more comfortable for me than walking in Luna sandals. I've never worn flip flops and it has taken me a long time to get used to the hemp lace of the Lunas between my toes. That said, I couldn't feel the laces at all when I was running in them. They are fabulous running footwear (when the weather's warm).

Because they have no upper, your toes can splay as far as they need to. There's plenty of breathability, too. There's just enough thickness in the sole to allow for comfortable running even on gravel.

I think they look so great with the suede footbed that I couldn't bring myself to wear them through the mud, even for the review for Living Barefoot (which is coming soon).

You really have to have strong feet to run in these for any length of time, however. The muscles in my feet were a little sore the next day. :)

October 7, 2010

Long Review - Kigo Curv

My long review of the Kigo Curv went online yesterday on the Living Barefoot site.

Here's the link.

I think Kigo Footwear is a company that is definitely going places. They listen to their customers and adjust their shoe designs to reflect what they've heard. I'm really looking forward to what this company produces in the future.

In case you're interested in learning more about Kigo, we also interviewed Rachelle Kuramoto, co-founder and marketing director of Kigo Footwear, for the Living Barefoot show and her interview can be found here.

September 18, 2010

Foot Changes

I wrote a similar post to this some months ago but I extended and updated it for the Living Barefoot site. It's about how my feet have changed over the last two years since I switched from wearing conventional shoes to minimalist shoes.

I think it accurately captures the changes that I've noticed in my own feet. I don't know if others will experience the same kinds of changes but most, I think, will experience some similar changes.

Here's the link: Foot Changes after Two Years Living the Barefoot Alternative

(And the pictures are of my feet. ;) ).

September 8, 2010

Luna Sandal Fitting

I haven't had much opportunity to wear my new Luna sandals these days as autumn has arrived and summer is fading away (I'm a cold weather shoe pansy). I can tell you a little about fitting them, though.

The first pair that arrived was a stock pair with red leather lace. I thought they fit quite nicely when I was taking the pictures. I was sadly mistaken. When I walked around with them on outside, the lace between my toes was almost painful. It turns out the hole for that lace is in the wrong place for my feet. If you look at the picture, you can see that it wraps under my toes a little bit. This is not a good fit.

The second pair that arrived was a custom-holed pair, made from my own footprint, with hemp laces. The fit is MUCH better. The hemp lace is much softer and the holes are in the right place. As you can see in the picture, it does not wrap under my toes and is in the right place between my toes. I believe this is how the lace is supposed to look.

If you're having problems with your huarache sandals, check out the fit of the holes. Maybe they need to be in a different place. And tying is definitely an art! I've tried several different tying methods with my assorted pairs and usually go with what works best with each individual pair.

And thanks to Barefoot Ted and Jules Smuin for being so great!

I'm really looking forward to spending some time in my new Lunas. Let's hope the weather improves. The full review of the Luna Sandals will go online on Living Barefoot as soon as I can get some quality time wearing them. :)

August 28, 2010

VFF Women's Trek - First Impressions

I've gone for three trails runs in my new Women's Treks. My biggest first impression is that they are much roomier than my previous VFFs. These are size W39 but the W38 would not fit the length of my left foot, I think (specifically my pinky toe). I have only worn them with Injinjis for this reason.

When I first put them on, I felt so high off the ground. They have an 8 mm sole and all the shoes I have right now are no higher than 4 mm (forefoot and heel). Once I walked in them outside, I didn't feel like they were so high.

On rocky terrain, they are awesome! No problems at all with grip on flat, up, down, or loose rocks. Absolutely no worries about stone bruising (and I have experienced bruising on the bottom of my feet from stones, it does NOT feel good).

On paths with vegetation, prepare to deal with plants getting stuck (and staying) between your toes and/or stopping to pull them out.

My one problem, which is probably just me, is the blisters on the bottoms of both big toes. I haven't worn VFFs much the last few months because I didn't have any that fit properly (my feet got too big for them) so my VFF callouses healed. Now I'm reforming them on my big toes, but the initial blisters don't feel that great. :)

Here are some pictures of my new Women's Treks:

The long review of the these shoes will be online on Living Barefoot in a few weeks.

August 21, 2010

My First 10K (Again)

Today I ran my first full 10 km since I hurt my back. It was a really long time coming.

Last September I started running again after being completely inactive due to a herniated disc in my back, which had happened in January 2009. When I started running, I couldn't even sit yet (sitting didn't happen until this passed December). So I started running very slowly, for very short intervals, and always in minimalist shoes (at the time is was VFF KSOs). I started at 30 seconds running, 30 seconds walking, and I did three intervals. Every time I ran, I would add one or two intervals to that. Eventually I could run for a minute, then two, with 30-second walk break intervals between.

Today I ran my first 10 km (I wrote 'again' because before I hurt my back, I could run 10 km without a problem). The only walk breaks I took were to go up a few hills (I'm still working on hill strength). It took me almost a year to start from scratch to run 10 km. My only program was listening to my body and I'm very grateful for it.

Today's run was done in Vivo Barefoot Evos. I had no problems with them at all and absolutely no blisters. My feet weren't fatigued when I was running nor are they now. I did feel that my Achilles were a little sore after about 6.5 km but that was probably because my calves were tired and my form deteriorated. My knees were a little sore after the run because of the bad form but now they feel fine.

My back isn't completely better and I don't know if it will ever be 100% but I'm so proud of today's accomplishment. :)

August 19, 2010

VFF Performa Jane First Impressions

I have tried out my new Vibram FiveFinger (VFF) Performa Jane shoes a couple of times at the gym now. My first impressions include that they are really cool looking. I love the suede and smooth leather look, the attractive button, and especially the driving-glove-looking holes in the upper.

I was originally concerned with how well the back of the heel would stay on because there is no elastic strap to tighten it around my heel but I haven't had any problems with slippage at all. The strap along the top does an excellent job of keeping the shoe on my foot. They are equally as comfortable as the Performas and definitely feel more secure.

I got the Performa Janes in size W39 because I've noticed that all my W38 pairs of VFFs are too small now for my left pinky toe and really cramp it. The W39 is the perfect size for the Performa Jane and I definitely don't feel like my foot is swimming in the shoe or any of the toe pockets.

I'll be starting Martial Arts in a couple of weeks and I'll be trying out the Performa Janes there too (if barefoot is not an option because of the gym rules or the floor is slippery). I'll update my impressions after I try them out doing some more rigorous testing activities.

Here's a sneak peak of a couple of pictures that will be included in the Living Barefoot long review, which should be online in about a month from now.

July 30, 2010

Learn to Run Barefoot with Lee Saxby

This is an amazing video with simple tips to improve your running form. Lee Saxby delivers easy-to-follow, easy-to-remember tips to make barefoot running fast to pick up.

And I love Evos, too. :)

July 28, 2010

Hiking in Evos #2

My second hike in Evos was on a trail near/on Moose Mountain in Southern Alberta. It was mostly gravel but some meadow, moss, bog, mud, dirt, and grass. We hiked mostly uphill for just over an hour and then back down. I had no concerns or issues with walking on all that gravel. The Evos handle it very well. And again, no problems with grip either.

I remember my calves were quite sore for the next two days. I'm just getting back into hiking and with all that uphill, it wasn't too surprising that I was feeling it the next day.

The Evos are an incredibly comfortable hiking shoe and I highly recommend them for anyone for almost any terrain.

Here are some pictures (there's only two because we spent more time hiking than taking pictures):

July 27, 2010

Hiking in Evos #1

Recently I started hiking in my Evos. I think they're great hiking shoes: they're light, flexible, grippy on dry terrain, and extremely comfortable.

This first hike is at a place called Sibbald Flats in Southern Alberta. The terrain is a mix of flat and hills, dirt, roots, grass, gravel, mud, and grass. I often couldn't help myself from running. :)

There are trees as far as the eye can see and the views of the Rocky Mountains are fantastic. The Evos were fantastic and performed excellently.

Here are some pictures (courtesy of my spouse):

Hiking in Evos #2 to follow tomorrow.

July 26, 2010

You are the Technology

Vibram FiveFingers launched a new microsite for the Bikila. It is as creative as it is informative as it is provocative. I love it!

You can click on the tattoos for more information, click on them again to return to the 'bigger picture', and click on the Vibram logo on the bottom left corner to return to the full screen view.

July 20, 2010

Barefoot Breakthrough - Completely Barefoot Running

After my foray into barefooting in the rain today, I thought that it is finally time that I try completely barefoot running outside. I've run barefoot before on an indoor track so today was a first attempt at running outside sans shoes.

I started out with my Evo shoes and Injinji socks as I was going to do a trail run. I ran out and back on the trails with my shoes and socks on. When I finished the trail part and was back on the road home, I decided it was time to take off the shoes.

I ran on smooth black top asphalt through one of the near neighbourhoods. It was great! I didn't really feel much difference in my running form other than I probably step a little lighter. Cadence and speed were probably the same (for the end of a long run). I did feel the ground more though (obviously). The little rocks and cracks didn't bother me until I got to a section of 'sidewalk' that cars used to drive on. It was too rough for my new-to-barefoot-running tender feet so I walked this section. When I got back to concrete sidewalk, I ran again and didn't have any problems.

It was a great experience and I think I'll try more of it. Again, I was surprised that my feet were clean when I got home. Hopefully my soles toughen up a bit more so I can run on some slightly rougher terrain. And I really want to try barefoot trail running (because trails are my favourite).

First Barefoot Walk in the Rain

Most days I walk to the mailbox completely barefoot. As I was about to step out my door today to see if my new review shoe packages have arrived yet, I saw that it was raining. I thought that today would be a good day for my first ever barefoot walk in the rain.

It was nice. The concrete right by my house was cold but the asphalt road was warm and wet. It wasn't uncomfortable in the slightest. My feet didn't get cold at all from all the water. And when I got home, my feet were clean. :)

I did feel kind of silly wearing my rain jacket and rain hat with no shoes, though. ;)

It was clearly time to try rainy barefoot walking because 10 minutes after I got home, the rain stopped.

(And sadly, no new review shoe packages yet. Even though I like barefooting, I still love trying new shoes to review for Living Barefoot.)

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 18 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show was released last night. Al and I interviewed Jimmy Tomczak, inventor of Paper-feet, paper-thin sandals made from reused billboard vinyl.

You can check out the show at:

July 13, 2010

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Christopher McDougall Interview

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show (Episode 17) was released last night. Al and I had an absolute fabulous time interviewing author of Born to Run, Christopher McDougall. I read the book last March very shortly after the book was released. It was an honour and a pleasure to interview Chris.

You can check out the show at:

And the show has a new MP3 format right on the site (in addition to being available on iTunes).

July 7, 2010

Kigo Footwear Available in Canada

For all of us Canadians who have been wanting to order Kigo footwear in Canada, Fast Trax Ski and Run Shop in Edmonton, AB has just become the first distributor in Canada. Fast Trax is an excellent running store with a vast selection of minimalist footwear. They also ship shoes within Canada. I've been to Fast Trax many times and I am always impressed by the phenomenal staff.

To check out what Fast Trax has to offer, you can check out their website here.

In Kigo news, Kigo footwear will soon be offering two new models: the curv and the edge. The new models were produced in response to feedback from barefooters and minimalist shoe enthusiasts like you (and me)! I have the Kigo star and love them. I was wearing them today, in fact. :)

To see the new Kigo curv and edge, check out their website here.

July 6, 2010

Long Review - Vivo Barefoot Evo

My detailed review of Terra Plana's Vivo Barefoot Evo running shoe just went online on the Living Barefoot site. In short, I adore them! I've worn them every day since they arrived. They are so comfortable I've worn them for just about everything: short errands, long errands, walking around town, hiking on trails, and especially running. I have had absolutely no complaints or issues with them. I'm seriously considering buying another pair. :)

You can read the review at:

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 16 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show was released this morning. Al and I interviewed Dr. Daniel Howell, the 'barefoot professor' from Liberty University. Daniel's recently published Barefoot Book explains why he enjoys living barefoot and why shoes fall short.

You can check it out at:

June 29, 2010

Long Review - Vivo Barefoot Kali Shoes

I just finished my review of Terra Plana's Vivo Barefoot Kali shoes and it is now online on the Living Barefoot website.

These are the shoes that I bought at Terra Plana's New York store. Although they needed to be broken in (a painful blister lesson) I do love them. They are a sharp looking shoe and perfect for any office environment if you're in to minimalist shoes (or if you're like me and can't wear anything else). If there's ever occasion where I have to wear a dress again (no doubt I will be hard pressed to avoid that kind of situation), I will wear my Kalis.

You can check out the review (and my attractive modelling feet) at:

June 27, 2010

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 15 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show was just released. Al and I interviewed Michael Sandler: runner, coach, author, and all-around great guy! We had a fabulous time talking with him during the interview and we chatted for quite a while afterwards as well. I would really like to catch one of his barefoot running clinics. I'll have to keep an eye on his schedule. Or maybe, I'll have to see about hosting one of his and his lovely fiancee's clinics in Calgary....

You can check out the show at:


I have finally decided that I am a runner. I have changed programs recently. I'm doing the 'Listen to Your Body' program, which I learned from Dr. Lieberman at the Barefoot Running Clinic in Boston. I've been trying it for probably two months now.

I run with no tech: no heart rate monitor or GPS. It's been working great and very freeing. I run when I want to or feel like running, I walk when my heart rate gets too high or my legs/feet need a break, I walk up hills if I feel like it, I occasionally sprint up hills if I feel like it. I've been making super progress too. I've been running longer and stronger. I think my progress has improving much faster than it ever was when I ran a more regimented program (like 4 minutes running, 30 seconds walking times however many intervals I thought I could do). My body tells me when I need to slow down or speed up, when my legs are tired, when my arches need more recovery. I'm learning to listen to the big messages and even the more subtle ones. So now, I AM a runner.

I also recently returned from Vancouver, B.C. where I had a short vacation(thanks Susi). I walked and ran A LOT on the trails of North Vancouver. It was fantastic! I spent almost every minute of the trip in my new Vivo Barefoot EVOs, which I absolutely adore (the long review of those will be up on Living Barefoot soon and I'll post a link when it goes up). I took some pics while on one of my walks. This is Lynn Canyon. Enjoy!

June 15, 2010

Barefoot/Minimalist Running Advice

Jason Robillard, the author of the Barefoot Running Book, recently asked me if I had any 'helpful tips' for barefoot/minimalist runners. My best tip is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. It will tell you when you should slow down or when you're ready to speed up. It will tell you when you need to step lighter or when you can plow through some terrain. It will tell you when you are ready to increase your cadence or when you need to slow it down. It will tell you when you can go out and run again or when you need a little more time to recover from the last run. Learning to listen to your body is crucial in barefoot/minimalist running and experience will help in interpreting the messages.

That's my two cents. If you're interested in reading Jason's book, you can check out his blog where he has information on how to order it.

June 8, 2010

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 14 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show recently went online. Al and I interviewed Dr. Michael Nirenberg, a renowned barefoot-friendly podiatrist. The interview is spectacular.

You can check it out at:

June 2, 2010

Not Tough Enough

Although I can say that barefoot/minimalist footwear is one of the best changes that I've ever made in my life, there are, unfortunately, still set backs for me. My recent trip to New York taught me that my feet are just not as tough as I'd like them to be.

Granted, I haven't spent as much time on my feet as I would have liked in the last year, I had a hard time being on my feet as much as I was while on my latest vacation. I obviously wore minimalist footwear all of the time, seeing as that's all I own for footwear. After the third day of walking around Manhattan, my feet were a little damaged. I had developed a deep tissue blister between the balls of my left foot. I'm pretty sure that this was caused because my feet were not strong enough to handle all the walking/running with very little padding in my shoes. In addition, I got bad blisters from wearing new shoes with no socks after many long winter months of strict sock-wearing. My feet were in rough shape.

'Live and learn' is a favourite philosophy of mine. I learned that my feet, meaning both muscles and skin, are not as tough as I'd like them to be. On to strengthening my muscles and toughening my skin...

May 16, 2010

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 13 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show was released yesterday. Al and I interviewed Jason Robillard of the Barefoot Chronicles, the Barefoot Running University, and the writer of the Barefoot Running Book. I've been following Jason's blog for about two years now so it was really great for me to get to interview him. The show is fantastic!

You can check it out at:

Visit to the Terra Plana Store in New York

I've been back from New York for a while and been hesitant to write this post, not because it wasn't an awesome experience and so much fun, but mostly because there are pictures of me in it. :)

One of the 'must dos' for me while in New York was to visit the Terra Plana store. It's the only one in North America and I love the Vivo Barefoot line so much that I had to see the store. I was also really looking forward to meeting Sabra Ellingson, the USA Operations Director, who I've had many enjoyable conversations with on the phone and via email.

My spouse and I took the subway to Manhattan and stopped at the closest station we could to the store. We asked a very nice and friendly police officer where we could find 254 Elizabeth Street because our GPS was having trouble locating it (satellites were hard for our NUVI to find because of all the tall buildings, I think). Anyway, we were 3 blocks away and we found it easily enough.

The store is absolutely beautiful and HUGE. Compared to some of the other shops in the area, the Terra Plana is enormously spacious. It is bright and beautiful and colourful. I was immediately attracted to the Vivo Barefoot section of the store (go figure). There are shelves of all the new Vivo Barefoot shoes for the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It was heaven. :)

There's also a wall with the new Kids Vivo Barefoot shoes, Dopies, as well as any previous models that have been shipped to the store for resale.

Charese and I spent a long time talking about the new models. She was so nice and incredibly patient with my excitement. While we were there, I spoke to a man who was wearing the new Vivo Barefoot Evo running shoe because he was there with his wife picking out a pair for her. We talked a while about the minimalist movement and other minimalist shoes on the market.

I was so happy to finally meet Sabra. She had an incredibly busy schedule that day so I was grateful for the time she spent with me. She's lovely and incredibly kind and generous.

After trying on many of the new models, I picked a pair of black Kalis to buy. I'll be writing a review of them for the Living Barefoot website and will update when that comes out (in a couple of weeks or so). I wore them out of the store and can't wait to wear them more often here now that the weather is finally warming up.

Here are some pictures of the Terra Plana store.

Sabra and Charese

Me and Sabra

Me wearing my new Vivo Barefoot Kali shoes

May 5, 2010

The Living Barefoot Podcast Show - Episode 12 Released

The latest episode of the Living Barefoot Show has gone online. It has the most interviews in one show so far.

You can check it out at:

April 29, 2010

Long Review - Invisible Shoe Huaraches

The long review of the Invisible Shoe Huaraches I received from Steven Sashen went online on the Living Barefoot website a few days ago (I just got back from vacation so could only post about it now).

You can check it out at:

Steven, Invisible Shoe's founder, said this about the review "It’s an incredible comprehensive review, with great pictures of the process of making your own huarache running sandals from our kit."

Thanks, Steven!

I really do enjoy these shoes, with or without socks (depending on the temperature). They are so comfortable to run in and I often forget that I have anything on my feet now when I wear them. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs a little extra protection for their bare soles but still want all the mobility of being barefoot.

April 21, 2010

Running in Invisible Shoe Huarache Running Sandals

I've had the Invisible Shoe Huarache Running Sandals for almost a month now and, in addition to many walks, I've worn them on four runs. Oddly, I've run in them once at home in Cochrane on the trails, once in Lachine, Quebec (a suburb of Montreal), Boston, and New York City. They're very well travelled shoes. :)

I absolutely love running in them. They are comfortable both with and without socks, depending on the temperature. I love the incredibly free feeling I have running in them. My feet can bend and move in whatever way they need to while running.

I could go on and on about how great they are for running shoes and how comfortable but I think I'll wait until my Living Barefoot review comes out in a just a few days. Until then, here's a picture of my custom-made by me huaraches and my black injinjis.

Meeting the Vibram FiveFingers Folks

On Friday, I went to the Boston Marathon Expo to check out the VFF booth. It was FABULOUS!!! I finally got to meet Michael Martin and Georgia Shaw from Vibram USA. I've spoken with them both over email and the phone for so long it was fantastic to finally meet them. They are such nice and gracious people.

I also got to meet Corrado, Michele, and Irana (sp?) from Vibram FiveFingers Milan in Italy. We had an excellent half hour conversation about barefoot running, minimalist shoes, the new Bikilas, and the new Speeds. It was a wonderful conversation and it had to reluctantly end because the expo was closing for the day.

I got to see the new Bikilas, which I couldn't try on because the women's sizes were not available yet. They are beautiful and are going to make most excellent running shoes. I also got to see a large pair Speeds (they were Corrado's), which were also really nice. It's so great to see that Vibram listens to their customers and improves their new models to reflect the wishes of their fans.

It was really a joyous experience for me to spend time with like-minded people. The VFF folks are fantastic and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have spent some time with them.

April 17, 2010

Boston All-Star Barefoot Running Clinic- Updated

This morning's Vibram FiveFingers All-Star Barefoot Running Clinic at City Sports in Boston was fantastic! There were fittings for VFFs, including some men's sizes of the new Bikilas. Chris McDougall, Dr. Daniel Lieberman, and Corrado from Milan were the main speakers. The 200+ attendees were split into five groups with different 'coaches'. Mine was Dr. Lieberman. He was fabulous and answered many questions from myself and the rest of the group. We ran to and around Boston Common. After the running, there was a short Q+A with the speakers. It was an awesome experience and will probably be one of the highlights of Boston for me (of course, I'm not running the marathon on Monday :) ).

Now that I've had some days to think about my experience at the clinic, I thought I'd write about some things that I remember in particular. Some advice that Dr. Lieberman had about technique includes:

- Listen to YOUR body.
- Regarding cadence, do what feels right for you.
- When landing, land on the lateral ball of your foot (at the 4th and 5th metatarsal heads)
- Transition slowly! (Always good advice.)
- Don't push too hard too soon or you could end up with tears in your calf muscles (among other injuries).
- Enjoy what you're doing.
- Pain is never a good thing.

I'm so glad that I got to be in Dr. Lieberman's group, although I'm sure that the other groups had just as much as we did. He spent a lot of time answering all the questions that we had for him.

And here's some pics from the event.

And if you want to see a video of the clinic that Vibram put together, check it out on YouTube here.