The Irony of Barefoot Shoes and Swag Ninjas

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Barefoot, Fitness, Life, Primal, Reviews, Running, Sandals, Shoes, Weight loss
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good morning Puffins,

If you are anything like me you have the attention span of a goldfish. With this attention span comes the need/want for all things shiny/new. The ironic part of this being that ever since ditching my shoes, I’ve acquired more of them than I owned while I wore them. Why do I acquire all these shoes? Uhm…They are shiny and new and they make my running super awesome? Ok, so that last part isn’t true, but they are always shiny and new.

Christian, aka maplegrovebarefootguy, aka honorary puffin, aka self proclaimed swag ninja, wrote a post this morning in regards to the fact that barefoot runners own more shoes than their contemporary shod running brethren. Which is ironic. As usual, I assume that you’ve been good minions and clicked the link so that I don’t have to regurgetate everything that Christian said. I agree with him for the most part. As barefoot runners we have decided to eschew shoes in preference for our God given/evolutionarily developed super feet. See what I did there. Putting my political science degree to use and riding the fence. However, as we have progressed in our barefooted adventures, we realize that barefeet may not ALWAYS be feasible. So, we start hunting for the niche tool to make running that terrain enjoyable. Enter barefoot shoes.

Jason Robillard, Barefoot god, wrote this post that sparked Christian’s post which sparked mine. In his post he breaks down the thought process that leads to a barefoot runners addiction to barefoot shoes. The probelm with barefoot shoes is that there isn’t a shoe that fits EVERY SINGLE SITUATION. Sure there are all around studs like the KSO and the EVO series, but they do all things ok, but they don’t excel at all of them. Believe me, if ever a minimalist shoe is created, I magine that a full fledged army of Smeagles would rise up to claim it as the precious. *Shudder*.

Like I said, I believe that shoes fill an important role in our running tool box. I still prefer to be barefoot when I can, but being a cold weather wimp, that’s not going to be very often this winter. So, I need a shoe that keeps my feet toasty. Even if that toastiness is perceived and not necessarily real. So, do I think that having a barefoot shoe collection is necessary, NO. I agree with Christian, we could get by with one or two solid pairs of shoes (in my case, huaraches for the summer and a close toed shoe for the winter). However, with all the options that are flooding the market today it seems hard to believe that most barefooters, myself included, are going to ignore new products. Sure, we might not buy the new New Balance MT110s because our old New Balance MT101s still suffice, but we might buy a new shoe to fill a niche in our running arsenal that the old shoes don’t fit. So, I don’t see the trend of our shoe collections going back down ever really happening. Damn you commercial marketing. I bite my thumb at you.

Aside from getting shoes to fill a niche, everyone likes getting new stuff. Granted some people like Jason, Christian, and myself, to a much much lesser extent, get their stuff for free. As long as companies are willing to provide us with products to test out for you guys, I don’t see our collections getting any smaller. While I consider Christian and Jason to be in a league of their own, swag ninjas can exist at any sort of level. That post can help you get started, that is if you are interested in that type of thing. I felt it appropriate to add to this post because everyone would like to increase their tool collection without decreasing their money collection. I can’t be the only one that just collects monies for the sake of having monies can I? Beware though, becoming a swag ninja is great and all, but when you start getting stuff for free, you’ll have a hard time explaining to your wife why you absolutely must have the new Merrells or New balances and you NEED to spend the 100+ simolians to get em. Because the argument will always be, just e-mail em and see if they’ll hook you up. Yah, that stuff works for Jason and Christian because they are Swag Ninja masters, and have reputations with the larger companies, but for swag ninja grasshoppers, getting a bigger company to send you free stuff is a bit more difficult. Not impossible, just more difficult.

Also, Christian, I know I’ve stolen your mannerisms, but uhm…they rock so you can’t have em back.

Until next time,


  1. Alan says:

    The answer is very simple – and has nothing to do what people wear or.don’t wear on their feet. They’re just acquisitive. They’re used to having stuff, and they want more stuff. So, barefoot or not, they’re not minimalist after all.

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