Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by Spinningwoman, Jul 18, 2013.
I have 2 pairs of Arrows! 3 lace and bush boots. Very good mocs! Will last longer than I will!
Glad someone else posted on this topic, because walking gait has been quite a problem for me. I don't wear my Xero shoes anymore, but I have owned two pairs of them.
I definitely experienced a painful jarring when walking in Xero shoes. My attempt at a solution to this was to cut the heel off of them. That way the only part covered was the ball/mid of my foot. This STILL made walking feel uncomfortable for various reasons...(forefoot raised)...The Xero's with the cut off heels worked out decently for running, though when I took them off to run, I realized that they were allowing me to take much long strides than I am able to take when barefoot.
We have thread after thread after thread trying to answer these questions about perfecting our gait while in footwear. Slight adjustments, super thin soles, "brilliantly" engineered designs for minimal footwear to encourage natural gait-it's a never ending search. There is simply no mimicking a bare foot. We need to stop trying to force it. WE NEED TO WEAR NOTHING ON OUR FEET, END OF DISCUSSION. Our brains interact incredibly fast through our feet with the ground, making constant adjustments. We lose ALL of this (though, admittedly, there is probably a difference between a sock and a snow boot) when we place any kind of covering on the soles of our feet. We are blinding our brains' ability to work with it's surroundings.
I know there are a lot of reasons that shoes are still necessary in our lives...and I wish it wasn't that way. But the only answer I can give you with confidence, is that barefoot is the best way. After that, you're on your own.
Whenever I heelstrike, I get this awful sharp pain right between the shoulders and my right shoulder blade goes all tingly. The medical folks say it is a disk bulging into my spinal cord. I have a real incentive to stride correctly.
People worry too much about "heel-strike" or "fore-foot-strike" and not enough about eliminating the "strike" altogether. But none of this begins with the foot landing. That's actually the ending of each step, which is really a process of moving our bodies forward (with less focus on how the foot lands - don't worry, the foot WILL LAND - thanks to gravity).
As mentioned in posts above, feedback from our bare soles is the best indication if we are landing gently (no striking). The only real technical difference between running and walking is flight. Otherwise, the techniques in either running or walking range along a continuum of fore-foot-only landing, to fore-foot-first-landing, to flat-footed-landing, to heel-first-landing. While we want to be more toward the second (fore-foot-first), or flat-footed landing at slower speeds, these are not achieved so much by placing the foot one way or another at the time of landing.
It's more about what the rest of our body is doing before landing. The basics are still the basics, and with some minor adjustment for various terrains, conditions, and how we feel (these adjustments are made in response to feelings from our soles as they interact with the terrain), the basics, basically work for nearly everyone (who was born with feet and legs and no shoes) on most every terrain, especially those that most of us are going to encounter on a daily basis
Relax, relax, relax!
Bent knees (when the foot is directly beneath the torso)
Move your body (particularly the hips) forward
Let the feet follow
Hey Sid, did you end up ordering these? They look really sharp and seem pretty minimalist. I could use something like this for winter.
I ended up going with Runamocs. I'm very pleased with them. I wear them at work.
You don't like your sockwas anymore? I'm asking because I'm also looking for winter footwear.
No the Sockwas are fantastic--best minimalist running shoe by far for cold weather. I was thinking more for casual wear. My Vivobarefoot Jay's are kind of my go-to shoe in the winter, but that means they often dirty and/or salty. I want something similar for dressier occasions. My wife has already OK'd the Itascas, and I've located two retailers downtown Mpls that carry them, so I can go in and size them. On their website they suggest going 1/2 size down, and that they're stretch, but I wouldn't mind a slightly looser fit. In any case, it would be nice to support a Minnesota company.
Thanks! I'm glad to hear you still like the sockwas for winter running as I was getting stoked to try them out next winter. Right now, they are my best hope for the winter and the price is not too bad! Cold weather starts early over here and cushioned running shoes are not an option anymore. I still have to find something for casual wear as well. I will look into those you have mentioned.
I liked how I could feel each contour and crevice of the compacted snow. For me, the thin 1.2mm sole was just enough to protect me from thermal contact transfer down to about 0F/-20C, after which I would need to put on some smart wool socks.
Keep an eye for the Winter Challenge thread, starting in October. Many of us run barefoot at least part of the time in the winter. Everyone has different tolerances. I'm not much good with moisture below freezing, but I'm OK on drier surfaces down to about -20C, at least for shorter distances. Others can handle moisture (snow/slush/puddles) quite well below freezing. You might surprise yourself how low you can go if you allow time for adaptation.
For casual wear options, check around on old threads. This gets discussed once or twice a year, and the minimalist casual footwear market seems to still be evolving rapidly.
I'll keep an eye on it. I already plan to attempt to participate in the winter challenge. I am mostly worried about the salt they might put on the roads.
Like with running, I find most people take elongated strides when walking. Most of us have corrected that in our running (or will because our body makes us), but don't translate it to walking. Try shortening your stride, keeping your feet under your torso and not in front of your knees. May help to have a friend or family member take a quick phone video of you walking to see the issue.
If it makes it any easier, remember to lead with your body, not with your feet. ie: stand still, torso vertical, instead of extending the foot out to lead the way, move your torso (staying vertical) in front of your feet. Your feet should follow automatically (if you have any sort of instinct to not fall on your face). Now, continue moving the body forward, and let the feet "follow". Remember moving the body forward is the goal of walking and running.
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