When you google ‘Natural Running’ it throws out almost 700.000.000 results and you can easily add another 5.000.000 for the term ‘barefoot’ running and 16.000.000 for ‘minimalist running’. Reason enough for us to take a closer and longer look at this topic in the early season.
There is a vast number of new running shoe companies flooding the natural running market such as Stem Footwear, Fut Glove and Skora Running – there is older more established ones like Vibram 5Finger or Vivobarefoot but even bettern known running and outdoor brands such as New Balance, Merrell or Adidas are making their push into this steadily growing market.
The shoe alone however doesn’t make you a natural or minimalist runner and that’s why there is a growing offer of educational and inspirational books as well as natural running workshops! It is worth taking a look at books like Born To Run by Chris McDougall, the Barefoot Running Book by Jason Robillard or ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer. Those are only 3 choices out of many! Companies like ChiRunning and Newton offer their own running workshops or even natural running coach certifications (of course each certification has a different name but it all comes down to a similar technique)
There you go – you got your minimalist running shoes, you got your technique going, you are running less pain free (potentially! – we’ll find out) and you sit at your next runners get together telling your mates that you’re a barefoot runner now and the runner hiding in the corner suddenly goes all ballistic on you. ‘WTF just happend’ might cross your mind. Don’t you worry – that was just one of those running snobs. Yes, they do exist not only in golf, high society or lawn tennis but also in running. You will find an elitist group that insists on making a difference between natural running, minimalist running, barefoot running and so on. We will try to explain the difference during the months we are taking a closer look at natural running. Should you cross path with one of those guys in the future simply hold it like our man Jason Robillard who simply decided to say: If you’re not running barefoot but minimalist shoes, call yourself a ‘barefoot shoe runner’!
With those final words – we are very much looking forward to testing all the different shoes coming our way – we have Kigo, Vivobarefoot, Merrell, Newton, Leguano, Sole Runner, Nimbletoes, Inov-8, Vibram 5 Fingers, Saucony, Ecco Biom on board already and there will be more coming! We will also be looking at different educational books, running seminar. We’ll give you advice on how best to transition from cushioned shoes to minimalist shoes, talk about the advantages of barefoot running to your body and mind, look at other sports that are adapting to the minimalist shoe style, introduce great website and blogs where you can find your regular natural running update (yes, for now we’ll call it natural running or should we say Barefoot Running. Arrrg, We’re so lost :-)) and tell you everything else there is to know about this growing movement.
Rock on and stay tuned!!!