Saturday, February 23, 2008

Almost Barefoot Running

Sometimes a little protection can go a long way. I was reading through Barefoot Ted's Adventures and found that this barefooted ultra marathoner often uses some sort of foot protection, albeit not much!

The odd looking rubber slippers are Vibram Five Fingers. You need special "toe socks" if you're going to use them in distance events. The minimalist sandals are Mexican huaraches.

Ted seems to be favoring the Vibram Five Fingers these days, but he is doing very long trail runs and those shoes/sandals/slippers/whatever they are, cost as much as much as a good pair of running shoes and tend to draw a bit too much attention.

I've searched for a pair of comfortable sandals, but they all chafe my foot so I usually put on a pair of socks. Yes, I look very "un-cool" so I tend not to wear sandals. I also tried Crocs, which are very popular here in Israel, but I've also gotten blisters with them.

The good thing about the huaraches is that they are easy to make, and cheap. In addition, you can make them from various materials including hemp, used tires, leather and well--just use your imagination. Here are a couple of PDF files showing how to make huaraches.

Making Huaraches

Tying Huaraches

Of course you can buy them, Barefoot Ted will custom make a pair if you send him a tracing of your foot.


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