Usually, I save my rebuttals to the peanut gallery for Flashback Friday, but this one deserves its own post.
So let's cut right through the bullshit: I run better in running shoes.
So why the hell am I fucking around with bare feet and homemade sandals and other cheap-ass alternatives?
Well, for one, I'm a cheap ass. But secondly, these experiments have been good for my running -- I think.
My best running performances have so far always been in shoes, and I feel my running has only improved since I started wearing my Brooks racing flats, which I've been running in since after the 2009 Akron Marathon. In fact, I haven't worn any other running shoe since Feb. 11. Perhaps that is the date that my full conversion to minimalist running began.
I've only had a few injuries in my short running career. Some of those might have been from wearing shoes, but those injuries might just as well have been caused by poor form. And that's where my experiments in footwear have benefited my running.
But the truth remains that I run better in shoes.
Running barefoot and in huaraches and aqua socks have improved how I run: strengthening my running limbs, quickening my cadence, smoothing my form and teaching me how to feel when I run.
I stopped believing the marketing behind running shoes, but that doesn't mean I've jumped on board with the barefoot marketing. Neither the right shoe nor bare feet is the cure-all for anyone's running woes. The cure is the right form.
"There has to be one best way of running," Nike coach Alberto Salazar said recently. "It's got to be like a law of physics."
That's what I believe to be the truth. Running in a variety of footwear on a variety of terrains has helped me realize this, but I still run better in running shoes.
And no, Nitmos, this is only Part 2, because bare feet don't count as something I can put on. Next up: duct tape!