People's reactions when you run

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by mandytheartist, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Ronnie B Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Message Count:
    135
    Today I had some folks stop me - to admire my dog - then said - "you don't have shoes." I explained why I run BF and that I have been running for about 4 years. Their next question was: "How does that feel?" That is the first time I have been asked that question. I was a bit taken aback = all I could answer was "Great." - then thought afterwards I could have thought of something a bit more descriptive - so my question is - what would you say to that question?
  2. Sid Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Message Count:
    2,255
    Good question! I have two dogs and run with them one at a time. The usual question is "where's the other one?"

    I think if ever asked, maybe I'll say something like, "The shoes were hurting my feet, so I left them at home! My bunions got better, too! My dogs ate them!"
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  3. Ronnie B Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Message Count:
    135
    I too have 2 dogs - one black GSD and the other a black and tan GSD that I run one at a time. Often I will meet some folks going in one direction with one dog and then see them going the other way having switched dogs . It really is funny watching people do a double take - or asking "Didn't I just see you with a different dog??"

    Back to the subject at hand - I have only ever been asked questions like "Why do you run BF?" or "Doesn't it hurt?" or "Don't you worry about all the broken glass?" or "Why don't you get some of those barefoot toed shoes?" My standard answer to the last one is " I have them on - they're flesh coloured and my mom gave them to me!"
  4. Justin Lamb Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Message Count:
    18
    That would be hilarious!

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  5. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Message Count:
    5,166
    Yesterday, as I was finishing up a nice 6-mile birthday run, a chubby middle-aged woman slowed her mid-sized car in the middle of the exit ramp from West River Parkway to Lake Street and told me that "that will break down your arches." I found myself emphatically waving my finger back and forth and said, "No, no, no, it will build them up." She said her chiropractor had told her that. I told her chiro means 'hand,' not 'foot,' so they're hand practitioners, or hand jobbers, and so didn't know what he (she?) was talking about. She processed that for a sec, and then said she would love to go barefoot. Aha! I see. I changed my tone somewhat and said, somewhat more empathetically, that she should, but remember her feet have been atrophying inside shoes, so look it up on the internet. By then another car had slowed/stopped behind her and there was no place for her to pull over, so she thanked me and pulled away. She seemed pretty receptive and I felt bad about my immediately sarcastic tone. It would've been nice to have given her the basic five-minute spiel on bare feet, shoes, cushioning, evolution, and all that.

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  6. Sid Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Message Count:
    2,255
    You're allowed to be a bit snarky, now that you've hit the big 4-0. Happy Birthday!
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  7. JosephTree Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania
    2. New Jersey

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Message Count:
    2,310
    People rarely regret having been too nice.

    ...not to say that my well exercised foot hasn't made the trip up and into my oral orifice often enough...

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  8. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Message Count:
    5,166
    Yes, but thinking a bit more about it now, maybe my mocking expression helped cut to the chase, break down resistance, and get out the key information to someone who turned about to be underlying receptive to the barefoot message in the limited time we had together (i.e., with another car soon to become impatient behind her). You gotta be (a little) cruel to be kind sometimes.

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  9. Barefoot Dama Barefooters
    1. Iowa
    2. México
    3. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Message Count:
    2,086
    Few months ago when I was running on the indoor track and after I finished my run I was outside the track doing some hip releases and this guy told me that my running form looked terrific:) and you know what the best part of this was? he works in orthopedics and he was teaching his patients how to run with a barefoot stride.
    I didn't have time to go into details with him cause I needed to go back to work but I am still wondering if he was teaching barefoot form with running shoes or to run true barefoot. Maybe next time I see him I'll ask him.

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  10. Justin Lamb Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Message Count:
    18
    I can't comment on you feeling bad for your tone because that part is up to you. I will say, however, that although I don't want to be rude or contemptuous to a skeptic, if he or she gives an unprovoked comment, I have no problem responding. So far I have not encountered anything nasty but I have received plenty of the "You'll hurt your knees" and "I heard that that is really bad for you" comments. I constantly make a huge effort to not get on a soapbox but if a person is going to give me an opinion, I'll use as a chance to give mine right back.

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  11. skedaddle Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Message Count:
    692
    A guy pulled along side me on a mountain bike half way up a steep mile long hill and decided he wanted to chat just at the point i had decided to leave my lungs on the road and go for a hill record.
    The usual 'you're brave', 'aren't you too old for this', 'you'll get thorns stuck in your feet' came out so i just put down the hammer and left him squeaking in first gear behind me. I made my record :)

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  12. happysongbird Chapter Presidents
    1. Idaho
    2. Presidents

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Message Count:
    1,853
    Was runnng further away from home today, since I fit my run in while visiting my mom at the hospital. This greenbelt has a lot more people using it and I got "irritated" by the fact that a couple of runners were sort of just out of reach and I would gain then fall back. But I wasn't trying very hard at all so I decided to pick up the pace just a bit, which I founf I could do at a relaxed enough effort. I passed them after a bit, to discover that thet were probably in their late 60's. As I went by, I told them they had inspired me to pick up my pace some. Their response was, "Look at you, you hot, young, fast thing! And barefoot, too" I laughed and said something like, "yeah, right..." but I guess a girl should take what compliments she can get! ;-)

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  13. migangelo Barefooters
    1. Oregon
    2. California -...

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Message Count:
    2,501
    Yeah, why can't women just take a compliment and instead argue with you?

    I.e. me: wow! You look really great today!
    Girl: so what, i look bad every other day?!

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  14. mokaman Chapter Presidents
    1. Georgia

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Message Count:
    1,126
    On this mornings run heard a couple small kids say "Daddy why is that man not wearing shoes"...the Dad was probably just as puzzled as the kid.

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  15. JosephTree Barefooters
    1. Pennsylvania
    2. New Jersey

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Message Count:
    2,310
    And visa versa.

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  16. JEFF CT Chapter Presidents
    1. Connecticut
    2. Presidents

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Message Count:
    125

    100% agree! I have been on the SBL site lately and those (me) weirdos want to go everywhere barefoot! Ive gotten more comments by being barefoot more than just running. And some recent interactions included - librarian said she was worried my barefoot son would step on a tack. I smiled politely and with a little pity, as one would to someone who doesnt know basic things. I was offered slippers in a medical office because. germs. I laughed thinking, "yeah, lets just put germs in our shoes, add heat, moisture and dark. That'll show em!" - I was at the barbershop and the female warned my kids of "hair slivers" like wood only with hair? I had to laugh. I couldnt help it. She said she has gotten them often, but all I could think was, "how damn pointy do you think our hair is?"

    So, Im not trying to be rude or mean, but sometimes it really is the best way to get someone to realize "why the hell did I just say that? Do I have any evidence its true? Did someone tell me this? Does what I just said even make sense?"

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  17. Josh16 Barefooters
    1. Canada

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Message Count:
    196
    I've had hair slivers in my fingers, so she wasn't fooling around with you. You just easily yank 'em out, though. They are not "dangerous" or anything to be worried about.

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  18. SI barefoot Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Message Count:
    161
    Men around my age don't seem to pay attention. Cute younger girls give me a look up and down while smiling coyly. Older folks are sometimes curious and ask questions.
  19. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Message Count:
    5,166
    Along those lines, yesterday, a cyclist passed me on the river road. I had my headphones on, but I heard him begin while coming up behind me, shouting "that's dangerous!" Then, "there's a lot of broken glass around here" as he passed me. OK, I'm sorry, but I unleashed my second mocking reply within a week. I told him as he sped away, "I know, this place is full of it, be careful you don't get a flat tire, fall over your handlebars and break your neck!" I don't know if he said anything more, by that time he would've been too far away to override my headphone music.

    In other words, for some reason, he assumed the danger of broken glass only applied to me, not him, but really he would probably realize, if he thought about it rationally, that it doesn't pose much of a danger to either of us, otherwise we wouldn't be able to do what we do all the time. Or maybe he had seen some auto glass on the road left over from a fender-bender before getting on the bike/pedestrian path.

    The funny thing is, I got stung by a bee on the bottom of my foot right at the beginning of my run, when I stood in the grass to the side of the asphalt path in order to put on my headphones. Two days before, my son got stung by a bee and had an allergic reaction, so we had to take him to urgent care. I just felt a few tingly jolts of venom but by the time I had found an old jam I wanted to listen to, it had passed, and I was able to do my six-mile run without any discomfort.

    Now, if the cyclist had said, "be careful, the grass is full of bumble bees," he might've had a point.

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  20. macdiver Barefooters
    1. Delaware
    2. New Jersey

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Message Count:
    101
    I was running on the San Francisco bay trail this morning near Oyster Point Marina. A homeless person was coming toward me carrying all of his possessions on his bicycle. As he approached a big smile took over and he loudly said, " wow, a barefoot runner" as if we are the objects of myth like Bigfoot. I responded with a slight chuckle and a warm Good Morning Sir.
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