Instructables

Cheap(er) "barefoot" running shoes in under 30 seconds

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If you are reading this, then you are probably familiar with the barefoot running movement.  Currently, there are not many options when it comes to barefoot-style running shoes/sandals.  You can make your own, but I personally did not enjoy the "roman" look when running down the trail.  Plus, I was not able to make them without ripping them or having them fall apart.  Here, you can get your own barefoot-style shoes for $10-15.  
 
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Step 1: Materials

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Aquasocks
Your hands

Step 2: The Why, and the only step

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You may be asking why I chose aquasocks.  I was searching for as little cushioning and support as possible, with as much flex as I could find.  My first pair were from Dick's, but I found a cheaper pair at Target, plus they look more like actual shoes.  I won't get into the details regarding the benefits of a flexible sole and little cushioning/support.  I will let you research the benefits, if you haven't already.  

The only step?  Remove the insole.  However, depending on the brand of aquasocks, there might be some adhesive to deal with, or, as with the Target pair, some venting holes that might be uncomfortable.  You get used to it.  If you leave in the insoles, there really ins't much support, so you would still get most of the benefits.  I have already worn through one pair, but at $10 per pair, it won't break the bank.  This is a GREAT way to try out the techniques without spending lots of money.

Step 3: Voila!

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Enjoy your runs!  It renewed my interest in running!  My arches have never been taller!
SteamCap4 months ago

Would you be able to give us a link to where you did your research about this, because I am an avid runner and wouldn't mind checking it out?

crazyndhed03 (author)  SteamCap4 months ago
It depends how deep you want to get. The initial inspiration for this was that I wanted to try minimal running shoes on a budget. The inspiration for trying was originally the book "Born to Run". I have run in aqua socks for four years now with great results, but I started very slow (1/5 mile, then slowly increased).

If you want more in depth, scholar.Google.com, and do a search for barefoot running. There is a lot of science on it. It's important to start the transition slow, or you can easily injure yourself.

Hope that helps.

I'm not a runner, but I love my Vibram 'hobbit' shoes. However, they can be brutal if you aren't used to them.
I recommend jumping rope barefoot as a great way to strength & toughen one's lower legs (especially during the off-season).

crazyndhed03 (author)  denswei4 months ago

That is very true! A great idea! I used to do just that. Martial Arts are another great way to strengthen your feet and lower legs.

I got into a heated debate with a foot surgeon I worked with (we were both teaching college Anat. and Phys.) because he saw a ton of people coming in with fractured feet due to running in Vibrams. He kept telling me I was going to seriously injure myself, when he looked down at my shoes (really thin-soled patagonias that I wear day-in, day-out and took the insoles out of; students like to joke about my "slippers") and asked "You wear those every day?" I said yes. "Oh, well then you will be fine. It is the people that cram their feet into arch support office shoes and then go run six miles in vibrams that have an issue." Essentially the reason that people are seeing so many fractures from Vibrams and the like are that they are not adequately preparing their feet for it. You need to give time for the muscles that support your arch to build up. You also need to give your legs and feet time to prepare, so your comment is spot on.

I have actually lost a shoe size (my feet have shrunk) because my arches have grown taller. If you support the arch too much, it never gets a chance to build up the appropriate muscles.