Thanks to books like Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, barefoot running has become the extreme sport of the middle-aged set. Like free rock climbing, only on solid ground. All you need to do is not wear your running shoes.
Truthfully, I think barefoot running owes much of its appeal to its naughtiness. Running around without your shoes is exactly what mother told you not to do. So now we have these waif thin extreme runners recommending that you throw caution to the wind and go out into the world with –gasp- naked feet.
So you go out, and use proper bouncing technique. It’s more like prancing than running, really. Put in a couple of miles, and you might fool yourself into thinking you’ve gone caveman at last. Break out the spear and fur loincloth.
But then, it all comes crashing down. My personal downfall was not glass or any debris of civilization. It was a pile needle cluster, structured like a
caltrop for the unwary running. One second I was booking down a path, the next I was hunched over wiping blood off my foot and thinking “mom was right.”
Mom was right. Barefoot running is the sort of sport that leaves the legions of duffers in the dust. Unless your feet have the texture and thickness of a shoe sole, take a tip from one more of the walking wounded and wear shoes.