Origins of 'Toe Girl'

Before I switched to the barefoot alternative, I suffered from a multitude of 'runner's injuries' including plantar fasciitis (PF), shin splints, patellar femoral pain, IT-band strain, sore hips, and most especially a painful low back. I had PF for six years while I tried to treat it with increasingly rigid shoes with custom-made orthotics. I spent a lot of time at sport doctor, physiotherapist, and chiropractor offices trying to find techniques to improve my pain while continuing to run. My back was so sore that every heel-striking step caused shooting pain. I was ready to try anything to alleviate the hurt and discomfort.

Then I read "You Walk Wrong" and it introduced me to the world of minimalist footwear.

I bought my first pair of Vibram Fivefingers (VFFs) in May 2008. They're a pair of grey/palm KSOs. I loved them the second I put them on. I instantly noticed that the pain in my back while walking was gone. I also noticed that I stepped more gently and with bent knees. I tried running briefly in my new VFFs and found that my PF didn't hurt as bad either. I transitioned very slowly from conventional shoes to wearing only minimalist footwear and it took about three months to get up to running for half an hour and another three to run for an hour. But I definitely think it was worth the effort.

I thought it might be nice to catalogue my adventures in my new minimalist footwear then but I had no idea what I would write about. It took a year of collecting stories before I started this blog. Now that I have, I feel like sharing more of my experiences wearing barefoot alternative footwear and venturing into the world of going completely barefoot.

This blog includes stories about where I've been and what I've done with my barefoot alternative shoes, reviews of the shoes I wear, race reports of races I've completed while wearing them, and hopefully be somewhere that I can share my barefoot alternative findings with websites, products, and blogs from other barefooters.

Where does the name 'Toe Girl' comes from? I started going back to school shortly after buying my first pair VFFs and some of my classmates were fascinated by my shoes with toe pockets. One of them nicknamed me 'Toe Girl'. I was very proud. It's been very rare in my life to be nicknamed anything from anybody. It was a happy moment for me and one that's stuck with me. Although I don't spend much time in my toe shoes anymore (because I gratefully have so many minimalist shoe options to choose from now through my review endeavours for Living Barefoot), I have developed a bit of an obsession for toe socks. :) I couldn't think of a better name for my blog about sharing my barefoot alternative adventures.