The start of this blog also coincides with my recent purchase of Vibram Five Fingers shoes (2 pairs: Classics and KSOs) and reading 'Born To Run' by Christopher McDougall.
The History: 'Why Barefoot?'
After 4 years in the Army and 10 years of road running post-military using typical running shoes I started to develop lower back and knee pains. Visits to VA doctors, Primary Care Physicians, Chiropractors, and Oriental Medicine Practitioners failed to fully relieve the pain. However, the Chiro suggested I take up Pilates to improve my stretching and flexibility.
I learned through Pilates, Yoga, and Martial Arts how much more aware your body becomes of balance when barefoot. But going unshod was always something I just did in the studio.
I figured if my balance improved in the studio when barefoot then maybe my golf game would improve if I played barefoot. After all, golf is all about balance. Sure enough, after a few sessions on the driving range I ventured out playing golf barefoot and enjoyed several pain free rounds. But the social mores of the golf club house discourage this practice so my quest turned towards finding some shoes that would simulate playing barefoot.
This led to the recent discovery of Vibram Five Fingers shoes and the re-learning of many activities, such as Golf, Hiking, and Running in VFFs (my wife even tried her hand at playing Racquetball in VFFs... not something I'm ready for yet :-) ).
I'm hooked. The VFFs have strengthened my feet to the point where true barefoot running and hiking are becoming more feasible and I intend to push the limits of barefoot training activities this Summer (2010) and post my discoveries here. And oh yeah, I shouldn't forget the most important part. I'm enjoying these activities virtually pain free!