More is Not Always Better
As a movement and fitness enthusiast, I have always been looking for an edge. I grew up playing baseball and ice hockey; I have always been fascinated with how the pros were training or what equipment they were using. I guess, I thought that if they train a certain way or use a certain product or brand, it must be good. My dad would always say, “it’s not the gear that is important it’s how you use it.” I didn’t want to believe that, but I knew he was right. Luckily these days the equipment I use is minimal.
Test it Out for Yourself
Years earlier I developed a knee injury that my doctors told me was from overuse…whatever that means? My injury frustrated me and led to see many professionals that told me, “your feet are weak, you need a custom orthotic, and you need to rest.” So silly me I followed their recommendation and purchased some fancy orthotics in hopes this would be my answer. I remember this to the day; I was at the running store with my custom orthotic, and the salesperson was trying to sell me a shoe that was half a size too big and much wider than my normal shoe size to fit my orthotic. I asked the guy, well what “If I want to move laterally in these shoes? He said, “oh no you can’t do that, the way these fit, are best for running straight ahead.” They felt super clunky and didn’t feel like it was the right answer to my problem. I knew there had to be a better way then to wear clunky shoes with orthotics the rest of my life.
Keep it Simple
During my research for finding a solution to my problem lead me to learn about the benefits of barefoot and minimalist running. I slowly eased into the barefoot lifestyle, and my feet and knees never felt better. Plus I was getting the benefits of grounding. I will save the details for a future post. Of course, I got lots of odd looks from passerbies, curious as to why I wasn’t wearing shoes. I didn’t have a problem standing out when walking around my neighborhood, but I wanted a solution to keep the “barefoot” feeling when I had to run errands and go into stores. . This was before the “barefoot” running movement had surfaced, and the popular barefoot running book was released Born to Run. The only shoe available at the time was the Vibram Five Fingers. I wore the five fingers for years but I was looking for something a little more “normal” looking to wear. My search led me to the Merrell Barefoot model shoe. The shoe is perfect; it offers just enough protection and traction from the soles to wear hiking or just walk around town.
Find What Works for You
I recently moved to Mexico, and I do not want to be wearing shoes when I am walking around. I used to wear flip-flops, but I don’t like how they change my gait cycle. I have found a perfect shoe that fits my needs the company is called “Earthrunners.” It’s a local California company that uses quality materials to produces a great looking and performing sandal that allows the freedom to spread your toes let your feet breathe and get the feeling of being barefoot. There has been over a dozen times I have been walking around town, and people stop me and tell me how much they like my shoes. They are always asking me if I got them in Mexico? I tell them no, “I got them from Earthrunners. ” I am excited to have found a shoe that helps me maintain the feeling of being barefoot, but also allows me to move the way I want to move. What a transformation; I went from cramming my foot in the smallest hockey skate with the most support to wearing footwear that gives me the most freedom to let me feet breath and move. One thing I learned from this lesson is you can’t take advice from people until you try it out yourself. What may have worked for them is not always the best for you… even if they are an “expert” in their field. We are all individual and we need to experiment on ourselves. Chances are you already know the answer and a fancy pair of new shoes is not the answer.