October 18, 2010

"Because I go barefoot so much, people think I’m an extremist."

"From my perspective, people who wear shoes all everywhere they go, seven days a week, every year of your life, that’s extreme. . . I’m being an extremist. You’re being an extremist. Let’s find a nice, healthy middle ground."

Professor Daniel Howell, the crusader for barefootedness.

46 comments:

Scott M said...

I've been on board with shoes pretty much all the time since I saw the made-for-tv biopic about Shaka Zulu. He made a pretty persuasive point.

MadisonMan said...

I will guess he lives somewhere down south.

Shanna said...

Barefoot running is the gateway drug to barefoot everything.

I will guess he lives somewhere down south.

Even here, it's too hot in the summer to walk barefoot on concrete! This works if you are willing to stay off paved roads, away from cold weather, and content with dirty feet.

GMay said...

"...a crusade to challenge America’s cultural addiction to shoes..."

Nice buzzwords to mask the bullshit - "cultural addiction".

t-man said...

I would rather people go barefoot rather than wear the ubiquitous, annoying flip flops.

bagoh20 said...

I invented shoes, but now I regret unleashing the cultural addiction that is women and shoes - a tragedy of financial ruin and relentless obsession. The poor things.

bagoh20 said...

I only have one shoe rule: they must not make sounds.

DADvocate said...

the cultural addiction that is women and shoes

I never cease to be amazed at what women will put on their feet.

ndspinelli said...

"We barefootn'....We barefootn'...We barefootn'..AIN'T GOT NO SHOES ON"

Wilson Pickett

traditionalguy said...

It's the public health, stupid. One small step for bare footers, and a giant leap for diseases. Shoes are like foot condoms in the public health field. If you walk among strangers and defecating animals, then friends don't let friends do it bearback. Not that there is anything wrong with diseases and worms.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

My freshman year of college, I decided that I had to have something unique about myself, so I became "barefoot girl." I walked around campus, and even went to class, the library, and the bookstore, completely barefoot. (I lived in the south, and managed to stay on the grass pretty well when the pavement was hot)

I'm quite certain that I was adorable.

- Lyssa

E.M. Davis said...

I once ran the end of a long-distance training session barefoot. In March. In 30 degree temperature. Over sidewalks and roads.

My running shoes were giving me a horrible blister, so I had to doff them and carry them the rest of the way. I was still at least 5 miles from getting back to the fieldhouse (track practice), so I didn't have much of a choice.

It was amazing, but I wouldn't routinely run without shoes out in the real world.

Famous Original Mike said...

Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA is hardly the Deep South.

George Grady said...

Has this man learned nothing from "Die Hard"?

E.M. Davis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Shoes on the ground!
Shoes on the ground!
Lookin' like a fool with those
shoes on the ground!

SarcastiCarrie said...

We have a shoes off in the house rule to keep the outside dirt off of our carpet (where the kids crawl around). How does this work if you go barefoot....wash off when entering?

edutcher said...

Is he any relation to the woman who wants topless swimming in New Hampshire?

I mean - New Hampshire???? (You need a sweatshirt to stick your toe in the water)

lyssalovelyredhead said...

My freshman year of college, I decided that I had to have something unique about myself, so I became "barefoot girl." I walked around campus, and even went to class, the library, and the bookstore, completely barefoot. (I lived in the south, and managed to stay on the grass pretty well when the pavement was hot)

I'm quite certain that I was adorable.


You still are.

traditionalguy said...

Sixty Grit...As a 1/4 German, I resent your remark. We Germans are extremely good at machinery and physics...you know like tanks, missiles, machine guns, submarines and poison gas. it's not our fault that we had bad leadership using our talents. It is the cult stuff that screwed us up, as The Crack always preaches.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

"Soon Howell’s barefoot running began to bleed into other areas of his life."

Best line in the whole article.

Vibram Five Fingers give a feeling almost exactly like being barefoot, but they protect you from cuts and parasites.

Triangle Man said...

Cultural addition to shoes? Ötzi, the glacier man was wearing shoes.

Scott M said...

Cultural addition to shoes? Ötzi, the glacier man was wearing shoes.

Swap the addition for addiction and I think we've got a thread-winner. Wasn't piltdown wearing shoes too? Where the hell did we get moccasins from?

Bender said...

What a poser.

Until he gets out in the wilderness, including desert and snow and ice, like that barefoot hippie minimalist survival guy Cody Lundin, this guy's done nothing.

Scott M said...

Bender, you don't get hippies unless you have cultural and economic affluence. In which case, none of the environmental issues you cite are an impediment to hippie delusion and struggling against the power that allows them to exist in the first place.

Paddy O said...

Liberty University?

Jerry Falwell was the founder.

Goes to show, once again, how those Fundamentalists are trying to lead us back into the stone age. First they take away our pleasures and now they're trying to steal our shoes.

When I lived in the mountains I often would go without shoes for most of the time. Stepping outside for a short task in the winter, in the snow, was sometimes bracing, but most of the time it just felt very free. My favorite moments was seeing a coyote near the house, and because I didn't want coyotes to feel comfortable I would often chase them. Unlike other neighbors dogs, our dog never got attacked or eaten.

This one was acting a bit more aggressive, coming close and sniffing about. I walked outside to yell at him and he just looked at me. So, without shoes, I ran after that coyote through the forest, down a hill, across a street, back into the forest.

He wasn't scared, but he trotted away looking back at me like I was crazy. Probably one of those liberal coyotes, blinded to its cultural addictions.

Paddy O said...

dbp,

Have you tried those Five Fingers? I've been curious about them for a while but I've not decided if they're worth it.

paul a'barge said...

oh dear.

As long as the dude stays out of every restaurant I might ever go into and out of every hotel I might ever stay in, and ....

well, you get my point?

dbp said...

@Paddy O.

I purchased a pair of them a few years ago. I only used them for walking at first and they are amazingly comfortable--you can feel every pebble and twig underfoot but it doesn't hurt, like it would if you were barefoot.

I now run in them regularly, though most runs are still done with conventional running shoes.

My fastest runs on a 4-mile loop near home are all from when I wore Vibram shoes. I don't know if this is because I feel like running fast when wearing them or if they provide some kind of mechanical advantage.

Kirk Parker said...

"I'm quite certain that I was adorable. "

What's with the past tense? :-)


WV: rametol -- ask your doctor if Rametol is right for you.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Oh, edutcher & Kirk, ya'll are making me blush. :)

LordSomber said...

It is telling of the smug personality type of those taking up seemingly Innocuous Lifestyle Choices to eventually become hectoring proselytizers.
Same with about 90% of vegetarians.
It's not about them "doing their own thing," but trying to convince the rest of their moral one-upmanship. Give it a rest.

Shanna said...

Vibram Five Fingers give a feeling almost exactly like being barefoot, but they protect you from cuts and parasites.

I wanted to buy some of these, but when I tried them on they don't fit my feet properly. I think the concept of barefoot running is interesting, but a little difficult to put into practice...

Mr. Forward said...

I like the idea of bare feet. Where can I buy a pair?

Harsh Pencil said...

I'm a barefoot and minimalist shoe runner, and like most converts, have the enthusiasm of a convert.

I run faster in my Vibram Five Fingers (the Sprint model) than I ever did in normal shoes. I just did a 10k in them in 47 minutes (ok for a guy in his late 40's.)

I also run just plain barefoot, but not in actual races.

The big thing about running barefoot is that you don't heel strike, which is a big cause of injury. In regular shoes, I was getting horrible deep hip pain. Now in VFF's, no joint pain.

If you get VFF's (and you should!), one word of warning: Do not, (I repeat, do not) run more then 1/2 a mile your first day. Running barefoot or in VFF's uses your calf muscles way more than running in shoes. I don't know why, but if you don't gradually work up the mileage, you will have such bad calf soreness you will have trouble walking the next day.

But this is temporary. VFF's and barefoot is just a great way to go.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you go barefoot all the time, you aren't setting foot in my house with those dirty germy feet.

We go barefoot or shoeless in the house, when at the beach, swimming and on the deck.

The ground is full of germs, diseases, fungus, dirt! and stickers.

The city sidewalks are gross. People spit on them, throw garbage. Dogs poop, people poop and urinate on the sidewalk.

Wear shoes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Vibram Five Fingers give a feeling almost exactly like being barefoot, but they protect you from cuts and parasites.

"I wanted to buy some of these, but when I tried them on they don't fit my feet properly."

I wondered about that too. They look interesting for gardening and for swimming in the lake. However, everyone's feet are different. Some people have longer toes, wide feet, narrow feet.

I would think that to be effective, those things would need to be custom made.

Kirk Parker said...

Lyssa,

Surely not! The bottom line is right there in your blogname, isn't it? :-)

Belkys said...

I lived in Coral Gables in 1972-1973 and people barefoot ( why not bare-feet?) was a common common sight . My parents studied at The University of Miami( Coral Gables) and the Dean went to the University in a bicycle and wearing sport clothes.My parents told me that he even went barefoot until he reached his office.
Of course it was hippies era

Belkys said...

BTW: the march mexican team was forced to use shoes in the Olympiad , they lost. they are accustomed to walk hours bare foot. Abbbee Bikila won the marathon , the first time bare foot.
In the end , its your choice.40 pairs in the closet or barefoot and diseases , blimps etc

Blue@9 said...

I run barefoot occasionally. Anyone who runs should do it from time to time. It strengthens your feet and calves and forces you to run in more natural stride (you can't heel-strike barefoot... not unless you really like pain).

But personally I would outlaw socks if I could. Hate the damn things.

The Crack Emcee said...

We have a shoes off in the house rule,....

My God, you people are annoying.

Andrea said...

"We have a shoes off in the house rule,....

My God, you people are annoying."

Ah hahaha! Go, Crack!

wv: duhxs. You got that right.

Cynthia said...

I can't stand without wearing shoes, and the closest thing I got to barefoot running is using Vibrams Five Fingers. They're great shoes and I so love it. In fact, I customized them by adding some cool designs and colors to it. Check out the link to see the modified Vibrams Five Fingers here.

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