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From Shoes to Unshod, and My Love Affair with FiveFingers in Between (Part 3)

by Christine Skelly » on Apr 12, 2011 3

This is part 3 in a series on transitioning to barefoot running by Christine Skelly.  You can read Part 1 herePart 2 here, and Part 2.5 here.

The Finale? Or the beginning of a new chapter?

Both of course.
Barefoot running is not for the faint of heart as I stated in my previous post, and FiveFingers serve as a very happy medium between the safe comfort of our cement blocks and the rugged world that has been hidden from our feet for years. However, I encourage all readers to try the barefoot experience walking and perhaps try running on a safe terrain such as sand.

Because while VFFs are amazing, the real deal is somehow a step up.

I say that Barefooting can be the finale or the new chapter of the running experience because once barefoot is taken a hold of, it is difficult to go back and is even more entrancing than VFFs. Some say FiveFingers are a transition to barefoot running. Some runners will remain running in FiverFingers, and some in tennis shoes. Each stage reaps a particular experience, and each person must decide what theirs will be.

My first barefoot excursion was walking the streets of Norfolk after the St. Patrick’s parade about a month ago. After following the parade itself the entire route, my father and I had walked about 2 miles and I, in my fashionable leather boots with a 1-inch heel. Granted, these never make my feet hurt on a daily basis, but walking that sort of distance and being weighed down with a purse, your back will hurt.

It was the first warm day (~60 degrees on March 12th?) Virginia had seen, and it was on pure impulse that I stripped my shoes off and put them in my purse. Not having VFFs with me, switching was not an option, so I walked with my father and found safe haven on patches of grass and wet dirt. We cut across our original route making the trek back only about a mile or so, but it felt much longer avoiding pebbles and other hazardous textures. Afterwards I felt like I hard a workout—my legs were weary and my body taxed. I felt like the barefoot trek had played some part in that.

The next barefoot excursion and what I learned from the experiment come next.

Has anyone else tried trekking around barefoot? In the city or in softer places?


  1. OreMan

    April 13th, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Just had a morning barefoot run in the neighbourhood. It was a sunny and very nice run. I got many weird looks from pedestrians.. :) Now, I have some blisters from the hard asphalt, but nevertheless I will try such runs again!


  2. Christine Skelly

    April 13th, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Well good job! The blisters will become your friend as they form the calluses that will protect your feet from now on. Keep it up and thanks for the feedback OreMan!


  3. Christina Wolf

    November 15th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Great article, Christine! I was drawn to it based on the title. I too am having a love affair with my toe shoes! I wear them with everything even suits.


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