Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yet more barefooting

This time by a fairly hefty guy in the snow

And to top it off, it's for a good cause.


I was down at the local outfitter's that sells Vibram Five Fingers Here in West Michigan and the girl who was waiting on me told me that they sold out of the new model, the Trek, in 24 hours. She found it interesting because last year they couldn't sell their stock of Five Fingers at all.

I guess that the whole barefoot/minimalist movement is really catching on.

Yea feet!


Mo'in said...

Dear Mushtaq,

Thank you for sharing this video, yet another fine example of the value of barefoot/minimalist running.

All good wishes,


Salma said...

Dear Mushtaq,
Yea! Ouch! Yea! Ouch! Yea!
I'm trying..... S

sabiwabi said...



I think that's where I'd draw the line. He's nuts.


Steve Perry said...

Still, there are the gloves, hoody, and shorts. If he was doing natural, then he'd be naked ...

Mushtaq Ali said...

Good point Steve, but in my experience, if you run around the streets naked you tend to end up in the psych ward rather than the "human interest" section of the local news. I'm not sure that would work so well for raising money for charity. But who knows.....

"Make your pledge today! only $10 for every 5150 Rick gets written on himself, only $20 for every night Rick spends in the local locked ward of the county hospital

We may be on to something here, an overlooked area of fund raising.

Salma said...

Dear Mushtaq,
Honestly, I doubt that anyone would even think it anything out of the ordinary, in this day and age. Given that a plunging neckline on a teenage girl (and the teachers themselves) is considered to be acceptable school attire and boxer shorts are just extensions of the waist of a boy's pants. There used to be a time when a girl was mortified if her bra strap accidentally slipped into view. Now, they are just part of the "look". Sorry, but this seemed to be a good place to rant about the things I am forced to look at every day at school and feel powerless to change. Society has gone to pot in my opinion. That being the case, you've got a great idea for a fund raiser afterall!! So what if he runs around naked? S

Steve Perry said...

I was just razzing Mushtaq about the "natural" movement, as he well knows.

Ain't no such thing as "natural" these days -- certainly nobody who has a computer and gets online to read about it can qualify.

Depends on where one draws the "natural" line, of course, but if you go back to the pre-tool days, then we are all sleeping under trees, or in caves, living short and probably not too happy lives, and dying young. Bad to catch pneumonia or get clawed by a big cat when the nearest doctor is ten thousands years away ...

Civilization brings its discontents, and among them will be busted glass on concrete sidewalks, jagged metal bits hither and yon, and other insults to feet not conditioned to the strength and durability of, well ... shoe leather. As soon as we left the tropical savannas, we had to adjust ourselves to a world hostile to naked apes. Brushing your teeth, shampoo and hot water on tap, that nice wool overcoat on a winter's day in Fairbanks? All unnatural things ...

Mushtaq Ali said...

Razz to your heart's content Steve :o)

It doesn't really change anything though, biology supersedes philosophy, physics supersedes biology.

The fact of the matter is that there are ways to use/move the body that are effective/efficient and ways that are not. If this were not the case then you might as well study Tai kwan do as silat.

If you support and immobilize a part of your body it gets weak, if you use it, it gets stronger, that is a basic fact of biology.

There are ways of using the body that promote health and longevity and ways that promote disease, also a fact of biology.

When I use the term "natural" I am doing so in the biological sense, not the philosophical. The latter is a fairly useless debate while one can find some semblance of objective data.

For instance. The bones of the human foot form a geometrical arch. This means that when pressure is applied from above the arch strengthens, when pressure is applied from below, the arch comes apart (In a very broad sense). This is why a foot can be rigid for running yet form itself around irregularities when walking.

If that arch is supported constantly the foot never has a chance to stabilize and damage will occur over time, not just in the localized area but up the support chain. That is not a philosophical statement it is one of physics.

So please understand that I am not using the term "natural" in the Luddite anti-technological sense (antibiotics are evil and people should be allowed to die from infections as nature intended)I am using it in the biological and phyological sense (There are ways to move efficiently and effectively that will strengthen the body and promote health and longevity and ways to use the body that promote disease, degeneration and atrophy)

So I suspect we may be talking about two different things here.

Steve Perry said...

Indeed, the philosophical and mechanical hair is being split here.

To continue doing it:

In the warm days, we work out in the sand pile in my teacher's front yard and most of us, certainly i, do so sans shoes. Our feet do pretty well on such a surface.

On the chilly and rainy days, we work out in Cotten's garage, and since our feet were originally built in the tropics, don't do well on concrete when it is cold, I wear shoes. And sometimes a hat and gloves.

There is hard pan out on the veldt, but we weren't evolved to run on it, (or anything else. Running down deer is a long an slow haul, and inefficient at best. Running from the big cats is a way to die tired.)

Our physical make-up is a hodge-podge. No claws, dull teeth, no fur, we are slow, we take to long to mature, and if it weren't for the big brain and opposable thumbs, we'd be everybody's prey.

Running barefoot in the snow is a gimmick, and iffy. If your feet are numb from the cold -- and they will be -- then you can't feel the imperfections in the road any better than you can in thick-soled running shoes.

The degree of training necessary to get your soles in shape to run on concrete involves building sufficient callus to deal with repeated landings and take-offs on a surface that eats soft tissue. You can do it, but it's rather like pounding a steel plate to toughen your knuckles ...