Barefoot Running Plasti-Socks





Introduction: Barefoot Running Plasti-Socks

About: I'm an unschooling mom of three girls, author of 'Unschooling: A Lifestyle of Learning,' 'The Unschooling Happiness Project,' and 'memoirs of a strange little girl,' writer of articles on homeschooling, brea...

If you like the idea of barefoot running, but want a little bit of protection from rocks and sharp stuff without sacrificing foot mobility, you may enjoy this inexpensive alternative to minimalist running toe shoes.

Step 1: What You'll Need

All you'll need to make Plasti-socks is 1) a pair of socks (with toes or regular--your choice), 2) a paint brush, and 3) Plasti Dip. You may want to stuff your socks to stretch them to the approximate size of your foot. Water shoes work well inside of regular socks.

Step 2: Paint on the Plasti Dip

Find a well-ventilated area, outside if possible. Open your Plasti Dip and paint it onto the bottom of your socks. If you want to add an extra coat, wait at least 30 minutes after applying the first. Let your socks dry for 24 hours.

Step 3: Take Your Socks for a Test Run

Put on your new running socks and give them a try.



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    53 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Fabulous. I have found so many ways to make my own minimalist shoes! I hate wearing regular shoes as I have balance problems and require feeling the ground beneath my feet to make sure I can properly keep my balance. I've always went was a constant lament of my mother that she could never keep me wearing shoes when I was a kid.

    This is great! I'm not much of a runner but I have basically been using my regular socks as shoes for many years. I go everywhere and do everything in socks. I'm definitely going to try plasti-dip if it still gives me the barefoot freedom while at the same time making my socks last longer!

    You can certainly try any type of hardening rubber. I've heard of other materials working, but I've only tried the Plasti Dip.

    The foam draw liner can be cut to the shape of the bottom of your foot and added to the bottom of a sock. I have done this and it works pretty well. Though not waterproof, it does cut down on harm from stones and bits of glass but allow more breathing of the foot. a good pair of felted, low cut style shoes would be a good way to go, I prefer a leather soul and sometimes find scrap very reasonably.

    I finally found PlastiDip in Canada. Home Hardware has it.

    My standard reaction re: "barefoot shoes" is "I do not think that word means what you think it means." The term you're looking for is "minimal shoes". With literal barefoot running, your nerves get the quickest response from the ground allowing your body (and particular its natural reflexes) to act quickest. Quick reflexive reactions maximizes learning good form and minimizes injuries. A protective layer deadens the nerves and your reaction time is slower by a few hundredths of a second allowing an ankle roll to go from a harmless stumble to an injury.

    Nonetheless, the idea is pretty interesting. I'd be curious to know how well they hold up. I have $5 water shoes from ye olde K-store that I bought many years ago and they have sustained more than 100 miles and are just starting to wear thin. I run in them when the temperature dips below 35°F or so.

    1 reply

    I agree with the barefoot vs. minimal definition. Barefoot is barefoot. I use the title "barefoot shoes" because that's what a lot of people search for when they're looking for minimal shoes. Personally, I prefer running totally barefoot. I like minimal shoes for going places where people expect shoes. My daughter prefers the Plasti-socks, so that's why we made this Instructable to share.

    Water shoes are the most substantial shoes I ever wear. These Plasti-socks are much less substantial. Minimal shoes probably make a nice transition for someone between regular shoes and barefoot if they're so inclined.

    I concur that liquid electrical tape and Plasti-Dip both work well for gloves, though I'm no longer in any condition to run. More inspiration from gloves: I wonder if you can get wide enough pieces of Kevlar to make socks, then spray them for grip? Then you could make urban environment barefoot socks!

    This is fantastic! My Mother now has balance problems. Coating some comfy socks with this Plasti-Dip should be just the ticket to help her from slipping and breaking a hip!
    Oh, and I too am a barefoot person. I cannot wait to try these for myself!

    This is brilliant! I make felted wool slippers and sometimes end up outside where they get wet. I can't wait to try this. Thank you!

    So far so good. I've been using mine for about a year. I imagine you can reapply the Plasti Dip if it looks thin. I haven't had to yet, though. And, of course, it's easy to make a new pair.

    Are you just using them to wear around, or for running sports such as Track?

    My daughter and I both use them for running pretty much everyday. We run on sidewalks, roads, and hard packed sand.

    I might do this instructable then. Might I suggest that you put a mannequin foot inside the socks, then put the Plasti-Dip on while the mannequin foot is in it. Then you could have arch support?

    So, you are saying that you completely miss the point. What i mean is that you aren't supposed to have any support at all with minimalist shoes. (this next part is sarcasm) i have a better idea - take a pair of these, dump them in a bucket of molten plastic, let them harden, then call them Nikes - oh wait, someone thought of that already

    In most running sports such as Track and Cross Country, the coaches expect you to have shoes with support in them. I do understand that minimalist shoes aren't supposed to have support in them, but in my case I would need said support. Brand name running shoes such as your suggested Nikes, can be expensive at times; whereas, using this instructable to make shoes that are usable in Track and Cross Country would be more financially feasible for me.

    If your coach is serious about running and is open-minded, you'll probably be allowed to train in whatever you want, even if you have to wear "real" running shoes at meets. Just say "Hey, I want to try this thing which will improve my running motion, my joints, my arch, and my muscles."