by RaiKai » Jul 14, 2010 I just posted on Dreamer's running post that I am shaking up my running a bit (out of a mixture of boredom and curiousity and the need for a new challenge), and starting to transition to barefoot (or socked) running. I also have some Vibram Five Finger's (VFF's) on order which I am excited to try, especially for my trail runs and the like. And was curious amongst any of the runners here, if any of you have or are doing the barefoot running? I have read Born to Run (many years ago, but am going to read it again soon) and done tons of research on barefoot running, and read many of the the forums on barefoot running, and many barefoot running blogs, and the science behind it, and it is very appealing. I use to think barefoot runners were nuts when I saw them in marathons and such (until even quite recently!), but I love having bare feet at home, at the office, around the yard, etc, so I kind of got the appeal at the same time. As I have done more research into the mechanics of running and the foot strike, it totally changed my whole outlook on most running shoes, and I decided it was time to give it a try! I have been running for years (in shoes!), and do about 6 miles/day. I am a rather neutral runner, with a mid foot strike, and so have had never really had pain, but I have noticed over last couple years an increased swelling ache in my IT band, and twinges in my knee, a couple lost toenails, and was/am ready to try something else. I have started to run part of my morning runs barefoot (with socks) until I get my VFF's (I had to do some searching around for my size and as I am a bit impatient to wait for them to start!). Running on a mix of pavement, asphalt and grass, for now, until I am ready for trails with VFF's (I prefer trail running overall). I do about 2.5-3 miles in shoes, and am up to doing the last 2.5-3 miles barefoot. I actually have a lot more fun, and I do not get the "heavy feeling" I get with the shoes on my feet. I have to pay a lot more attention to the terrain, and I feel far more springy and light. At first I did get some slight soreness in my arch, which is a soreness I get when the cushioning gets lost in my regular shoes, but I am now realizing the soreness came as my feet were honestly...weak....and now this soreness is no longer an issue at all. I actually feel....better...more gazelle like...more ninja like. I never would have imagined it! I am hoping over the next few months to build up to doing all my runs either barefoot or in VFF's (or a mixture) The biggest thing was I have really sensitive and soft skin on my feet, but after about 1/2 a mile, the bottom of my feet goes numb and it does not bother me at all! The occasional rock will sting a millisecond, and then it is gone. I imagine this will be even less of an issue once I am wearing the VFF's anyway. In winter, snow, ice....I plan to get some of the slightly warmer VFF's and wear the Injinji socks in them, when I am not running on the treadmill in the garage at least. It is not for everyone, but I am finding it just might be for me!