If I could feel grass under my feet maybe it would really feel like barefoot running

My right foot has been bothering me off and on recently. I didn’t think much of it. Every so often, my feet bother me but not so much that I look for the cause. I usually assume that I spend too much time in flip-flops. But this pain was persistent. I started wondering if it was due to my running shoes.

I kept running in the old shoes even after the foot pain became an obvious thing. My foot kept hurting off and on to varying degrees. I took a stretch of days off from running recently. Then I ran last Monday and again last Wednesday. On Friday, I wanted to run but my foot hurt so much that I didn’t run. On Saturday my foot hurt so much that I was limping. It felt like there were sharp somethings pressing into the bones in the ball of my foot.

On Sunday I decided that the pain was probably due to my old shoes. I would buy a new pair of shoes. Encouraged by some other runners I know, I looked at the “minimalist” shoes. I tried on a couple of pairs. I liked how these felt.

The Nike Free Run +3. I have no idea what the + 3 means.

I picked these out because they were advertised as providing a “barefoot running experience.” I’ve heard a lot about the barefoot running experience. I’m currently reading the book. I was ready to drink the barefoot Kool-Aide. Maybe it would make me a “serious” runner. Not likely, but I still wanted the new shoes because laying in bed in the morning instead of exercising felt like a step in the wrong direction.

I ran in my new shoes on Monday. My foot didn’t hurt during or afterwards and it still feels okay. It may be too soon to tell if the shoes are the miracle cure for my foot but they surely worked some muscles that weren’t used to working. I can’t say that it felt like I was actually running barefoot. I could still feel a shoe surrounding my foot and I could still feel the cushion under my heel. But afterwards there was a new ache in my calf muscles. No worries, though. It was a good kind of ache; the kind that reminds me it is worth getting up before the sun even when I feel like going back to sleep for another hour because that ache means things are getting stronger.

So I’m motivated, both by the new ache and the fact that I went out and spent money on new shoes so I’d better use them. I’ll have to get back to you on that serious runner thing though.

20 thoughts on “If I could feel grass under my feet maybe it would really feel like barefoot running

  1. I switched to barefoot/minimalist/pose/chi/forefoot (or whatever you want to call it!) running this past April and have been LOVING it. It took about 2 months for me to make the transition completely, but the knee pain I used to get has completely vanished. There are some great Youtube videos about chi running you should check out to get the form down right. Good luck and I hope your foot pain doesn’t come back!


  2. Oh My Gosh!! You did it!! :) And I LOVE the color!
    I sure hope this is the cure for your foot. It really made the difference for me. I HURT so much, until I started running in these shoes. Not to say I never get any aches now, but nothing like I used to get!
    I am so excited for you! Save your old ones though…. you never know. A couple of dirty girls may wrangle you up for some fun…..


    • You nudged me more than once to check out some new shoes. I tried the Nike Flex too, but these felt more right. I’m encouraged so far. Going to give them another go tomorrow.

      I was telling another friend about these shoes and she said SHE might try new shoes. She has knee pain. I mentioned what a difference it made for you. Soon we were talking about doing a race together, maybe, someday…

      I’ll save the old ones in case I have a chance to get dirty! :-)


  3. If I get weird tingling in my foot, I buy new shoes, and my feet feel better. Hope your new shoes work out well for you. It’s no fun to get out of a routine once you get into one!


  4. I was experiencing extreme heel pain a few years ago, so I went to a podiatrist who diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis and told me I should stop running. Yeah right! I switched to a more minimalist shoe that helped me change to forefoot running instead of heelstriking and I wear plantar fasciitis Crocs around the house in the morning when the pain was the worst. Now, I rarely have any pain. Hope your shoes work for you too!


  5. Ok. Another convert to the minimalist shooz. If ya’ll keep this up, I am going to have to give those a serious look-see. I still am skeptical and holding onto my ASIC Nimbus, but the next time I am shoe shopping, I will have to take a hard look at the minimal shoes. I still have a hard time accepting LESS padding, but that may be the old curmudgeon in my just resisting change. Cannot wait to hear about all the miles you put on them.


  6. Welcome to the barefoot/minimalist kool-aid club! Love the shooz! I shunned them for a long time, thinking my feet couldn’t do it. Turns out I was wrong! First time for everything… cough cough…
    I could go into a list of accolades, but suffice to say that I hurt less and run faster now. My calves were sore for the first few runs, but they hopped on the bandwagon soon enough.
    I think the +3 has to do with a chip for iTunes or some music gadgetry thing.
    But like SR300 says, keep the old shoes, you might want to give them a sacrificial burial…


  7. Still running in plain old running shoes, but I have heard lots of great things about this new move towards minimalist shoes. I think your new shoes are cute, too! The “sock” shoes I’ve seen jogging around are just a little too extreme for me to handle.


  8. Gads, running before the sun comes up? I know lots of runners, and you all show the same excitement for it. And then there are the rest of us. Ha.

    I have started walking more lately though. Two years ago I rode my bike nine miles every morning. It took awhile to build up to it, a few months, but then I felt compelled to ride. Since my bike was stolen a few months ago, I bought a used one and it is being worked on by the local bike guy in town so until it is ready, I walk. On cold and windy days I make myself walk and not drive the car. As long as the sidewalks and streets are not slippery, I make myself walk.


  9. Love the shoes! But if you want my advice, (I know, I know, you didn’t ask hehe…) lose the shoes altogether! I love your thoughts on how you can still feel the shoe surrounding your foot and the cushioned heel. Feeling the grass is indeed, the best feeling in the world.


  10. I’ve been fighting plantar fasciitis for several months. Hurts like… like something I can’t say here. I’ve tried different shoes, and even physical therapy. I think if I tried to walk or run barefoot, I’d be in a wheelchair in a matter of weeks.


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