Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Barefootin' Article

My feet after running the Miwok 100K this year (in shoes).

I make my contribution to the fray over at Running Times.



Brad G. said...


That might be the best piece I have yet read on barefoot running. It helps that your reasons align with mine but the piece is extremely well-written and I appreciate that you rise above the dogma commonly associated with this topic. There is a strong desire to polarize in our society and you have done a great job of articulating a middle path.

Unknown said...

Very well written article at RT. However, and you may have answered this previously. You train with what most of us consider very limited "fuel", but come race day that thinking all changes. Why is this? I'm assuming it is because you race much harder then you train like most of us and need the extra fuel to make it through the day. Doesn't this go against your approach to running?

和辛和辛 said...
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Jillian said...

Cute feet Tony!:) John and I were talking today... how would you feel about coming down to the CRC for our July's First Saturday??

Justin Boyea said...


Excellent article and I especially love the last paragraph! I have a question about running sans socks; Did your feet need a period to acclimate and toughen up, or was it an easy transition? It's something I have been trying to experiment with for the past few months, and I keep getting hot spots and blisters. My feet seem to sweat a lot, and I can't run more than 8 miles sans socks without problems. Thanks.

Dominic Grossman said...

Good stuff, definitely a well organized reference I can use.. Except that Salomon is covering the page with advertising for the XT Wings 2? ooops ;)

Unknown said...

excellent article !

Joshua said...

I began running a couple years ago and after an up and down first year of running, I began running last September exclusively barefoot or in Vibrams. Now to most seasoned runners, I'm amateur at best but I know what works for me and completely abandoning traditional shoes has. In the past year I've seen and heard every side of the barefoot vs. shod argument and have gotten very sick of it to be completely honest. Tony, I've really enjoyed your writing in the past and this is no exception. As a barefoot/VFF runner, I wanted to tell you how INCREDIBLY well written I felt your piece at RT was. It resounds so much with feelings I've had for some time now and have attempted to articulate (only sometimes successfully) to others about my running. Thank you.

Michaelo said...

Good article! However I find myself oddly attracted to the picture. Please tell me that is not you.

Sonja said...

As others have said, the article was very well written. Of course, this isn't that surprising, considering that you're a good writer. :) As someone who is also a minimalist runner (and now dabbling with some barefoot miles) I'm glad that someone intelligent like you is writing about your choice to run as minimally as you can.

I do have a question about the photo of your feet here. Is that what everyone's feet look like after ultra marathons? Or are you just special?

Anton said...

crunningman-No. I eat what I need when I'm racing. Of course it's more than when I'm training. To go as fast as possible, you need more calories, period.

Jillian-I'm going to be at a family reunion the first weekend of July, but John had asked me about the BTMR weekend, which I'm certainly fine with.

Justin-I don't know, man. I suppose my feet have gotten tougher. I say, if it feels better, just wear socks. I don't think there's any reason to do something deliberately and arbitrarily uncomfortable.

Joshua-I'm glad it resonated with you.

Michaelo-Nope, not me.

Sonja-I don't know. My feet are mostly just dirty in that picture. I just had the one little blister on my right big toe that contributed the blood, but my feet have come back looking worse than that after training runs. And missing/blackened toenails are just part of the game.

Anonymous said...

I like that you addressed the article about whether shod or barefoot running was faster. I had a similar reaction when I read the title of that article, "So?". If the point was to be the fastest person on earth I'd slap on some bionic legs and go.


St. Croix Scenic 50 said...

First, thanks for weighing in on the barefoot topic. I found it very thoughtful/grounded and not just cause I agree. What I would really appreciate are your thoughts on shoe life: When do you retire shoes? Do you notice when the core of the sole your shoes becomes "packed out"? Also, have you notice any issues from Morton's toes?

Thanks and good luck in Western States. (I was very excited for you when I read the interview on IRunfar.)

Anonymous said...


What's your resting heart rate?

Anonymous said...

That's a good you had shoe's on! Think about what your feet would look like with out them, you would smash them good!

Geoff said...

Permanent toenail removal is in your future

RJM said...

I would not be surprised if his resting heart rate is low 30s or high 20s.

Btw Anton, you might like to read this(unless you have already -- incidentally, with such a small sample size, we might not want to extract anything meaningful from this study; however, for what it is worth):

Good look at the Western States 100.

Flatlander said...

Do you fill water bottle in streams?

molly said...

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing?

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