Puffins, Listen up…I’ve got a question for you.

Do I think that running without shoes makes you a more pure runner than someone else? That’s bull spit. There isn’t such a thing as a more pure runner. To me this is like saying that the elite runners are more pure runners than you and me because they run a 2:04:00 or less marathon. I’ve never run a marathon to begin with, and I know this is an unrealistic time for me, but I do not believe that they are any more pure than me in their running. I embrace them as runners, not literally because I’ve never met one in person, but I embrace them as runners in this endeavor that we all enjoy. This is where a glaring problem with our entire movement begins. Rather than embracing runners regardless of whats on or not on their feet, we think we should separate ourselves from the running culture because we run with barefeet or tiny sandals or foot gloves. However, all this does is alienate us. Not only that, it gives off the perception of smugness. I have yet to meet a smug barefoot runner. For that matter, I have to meet a smug runner in general. I’m sure they are out there, but they are few and far between and are not the majority of the running culture. So why are we alienating ourselves? We should unite in the fact that we run. Not divide because we run differently.

I’m a member of my local running club, and tomorrow I’m slated for my first run with the group. I plan on running it bare, and when I applied for the club they all seemed very excited to have a barefoot runner in their midst. I’m not going into this club with the I art holier than thou attitude because I’m not holier. Solier maybe. If barefooting is really to become more than a fad, not my words, this is a full blown life change for me, then we are going to have to have the support of more than just the quirky ones like us. We need the support of habitually shod runners. People like Ken Bob, Jason Robillard, Christian Peterson, they laid the ground work for us. They gave us our foundation, now it is up to the people like you and me to build upon their foundation. We need to spread the word. My method is through this blog and hopefully through my running club. I post on several different forums. I spend hours every week sifting through posts trying to give people correct information, or at least point them in the direction of people who know more than me. If these efforts convert one person to a more natural healthier mode of running, great. Notice I didn’t say convert to barefoot/minimalist running. More importantly, if I can convince someone to run who does not run already that’s a bigger victory to me. Because now the community is growing. Not just the barefoot/minimalist community but the running community. But now this person enters the community without the previous notion that you have to run in shoes. They don’t have any form habits they have to forget. They are quite literally a blank slate. Their odometer reads 0. Maybe they wont ever run barefoot or in minimalist foot wear. That’s not the point. The point is that they run. So I leave with this question.

How do you feel about the barefoot/minimalist running movement and how do you believe that we, as a “subculture”, can we better integrate ourselves into the main culture? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,


  1. Thanks. This post was originally about running with music, but half way through I decided to get on my soap box. It was collecting dust.

  2. Pattie MacIver says:

    I Love it!!! Thank you so much for this post!!

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