A Comprehensive Product Review of the Xero Shoes Minimalist Footwear for (Almost) Barefoot Running, Walking, Hiking, Yoga, and More! (aka “Invisible Shoes”)
Note: Xero Shoes were formerly branded as Invisible Shoes. The product is one and the same, but you should know that this is technically an Invisible Shoes review because I got my sets before the company re-branded. I don’t think it matters either way.
It was 10 degrees below freezing this morning, and I can’t think of a better day to publish my review of the Xero Shoes, which is really more of a high-tech sandal or flip flop than a shoe. I may not be going to the beach anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to bring you this review of a superb minimalist footwear option.
I started evaluating these early this year – somewhere between the transition from Winter to Spring up here in New England. And I’ve put them through a lot of use in a lot of varying conditions and situations to see how they measure up.
So far, I’m pretty impressed and heartily recommend them to most people – given the right conditions. In particular, if you’re at-all interested in an affordable minimalist footwear option for normal minimalist footwear reasons, and/or you’d entertain the idea of getting a set of high-tech flip flops, that in my opinion, are way – WAY – better than normal flip flops for a number of reasons, then you may be interested in Xero Shoes. However, if you live in Siberia, then I wouldn’t throw away your Mukluks just yet.
All of the pros and cons of the product will be covered in this review, where hopefully, I’ll help you decide if Xero Shoes are right for you.
Continue reading Review of the Xero Shoes Huarache-Style Minimalist Sandals (aka Invisible Shoes)
Transition to Barefoot Running with this Complete Program Designed to Strengthen Your Legs, Increase Your Speed, Avoid Injury, and Help You Have More Fun on Your Runs
It’s not uncommon for someone to learn about barefoot running, decide to try it out for themselves, and then wind up hurt, injured, and frustrated in a few weeks or months simply because they didn’t really know what they were getting themselves into. I’ve heard many of the stories and wanted to create something to address that.
So, below, you’ll find my comprehensive guide for transitioning from shod running to barefoot running. This is not a scientific approach, but merely one that is based primarily on my own finite experience and on the many anecdotes I’ve collected since going barefoot in 2008. It is merely one data point based on the vast collection of data points I’ve accumulated over the years. Also, it should be noted that this is not a comprehensive barefoot training guide, just a blueprint for making the transition. There are several other elements involved in successfully going barefoot (like learning how to run barefoot with optimal technique, for example) and it’s up to you to fill in the gaps.
If you’ve decided that you want to run barefoot – that is, completely barefoot – and are looking for a way to do it safely without injury or incident, then check out the program below.
It will serve you well!
Continue reading The Definitive Guide For Transitioning To Barefoot Running
Note: I got this question from one of my readers not too long ago, and thought I’d post the response as a Q+A for you here.
There was a time in my life when I ran six days a week, and almost every single run pushed me right to my limit. I ran myself so hard for so long that I developed debilitating injuries that ultimately took years of rehabilitation before I could even run again. Yes, I was dumb, and needless to say, I’m a little wiser for the wear. If I was going to start running that much again, my approach would be completely different from what it used to be – light-years different actually. So, if you are at all interested in high-frequency or high-volume running, then here is a laundry list of tips for you – tips I gave to a man who has a goal of running every single day for a year.
My challenge for myself this year is to run 365 days this year. I’m a runner. I love running. I am not perfect and I’m still overweight, even after all the running that I do. Do you have any tips for an [relatively] extreme challenge like this? – Joshua
There’s so much I could say. So, I’ll just point you to a handful of resources to help you get started…
1) First, definitely read Joe Henderson’s short book Long Slow Distance, which is available for free online. I wrote an article highlighting some of its lessons on my site and you’ll see a link to the book in this article: The Little-Known Philosophy of Gentle Running
2) Second, I would HIGHLY recommend beginning a daily pre and post run practice involving some joint mobility and yoga compensatory routines that are specific to running. This is especially important since you’re a little overweight. Your body has more stress on the joints and soft tissues and you’ll want to go above and beyond on this prehabilitative work. For perspective, if you were my personal training client, this would be required. It’s that important.
The DVD called RMAX Powered Running by Joseph Wilson is a perfect program for this and will cover almost all of your bases. There’s some more info about the program in this article:
How to Run Better for the Perfect Run: 5 Things That I Do Differently Now That I Know Better
Continue reading How to Run Every Single Day For One Year
I’ve been going barefoot since 2009 – walking, running, hiking, training, playing, and just otherwise being barefoot for the vast majority of my lifestyle. It’s been great and I love it, but that’s not what this post is about. You see, in that time, I’ve had to adapt my social skills to include a large selection of quick responses that must be ready at a moments notice. If you’re already a barefoot runner, then you know exactly what I mean. You just never know when someone is going to publicly announce their opinion about your feet, and it’s immensely satisfying to be able to respond to these poorly thought-out remarks with flair. And let me warn you, these foot-stalkers can come out of nowhere!
Case in point. I was running with my dog on one of our usual routes, a portion of which is frequented by walkers, runners, and cyclists. It was pretty cold that day, and it was raining with a thick, foggy haze, too. Then it happened. A single humanoid figure started to appear in the fog ahead – walking toward us. My dog, Ronin, perked up immediately, raising his imposing posture to appear as large as possible (not hard for him) and directing all of his attention on the mysterious, approaching figure with a “let me at ‘em” expression. I whispered “easy boy” and reminded him that he had already eaten breakfast that day.
It was at this moment that something just told me that I wasn’t going to get past this person without receiving at least a small dose of teasing – maybe it was the high-tech shoes he was wearing, or his awkward stride, but deep down, I knew what was about to happen. I was going to get the “treatment.”
I prepared myself as best I could with only the few moments I had. As we got closer, I could see that it was an older gentleman with a cheerful smile, which quickly turned to a scowl as he said to me, “my word! Your feet must be freezing,” to which I responded, “daaaa, guuhhh, duhduhduh – yeah.” And we kept running past him – hardly breaking stride. Needless to say, it wasn’t my most shining moment, but I was now determined to succeed next time this happened! So, I literally spent the rest of my run thinking about what I should have said (does that make me weird?). Next time, I wouldn’t be caught off guard!
Continue reading Barefoot Running Lingo + Things NOT to Say When Running Barefoot
Interview with Damien Tougas About All-Things Minimalist Footwear
You know it’s a good day when you open your email inbox to find an interview that you’ve been waiting for nearly a month to get back, and that it was more than worth the wait. This is one of those interviews that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside – something I’m proud to publish. While reading through it this morning, I kept muttering to myself, “this is good stuff.”
It’s no surprise, of course, because Damien Tougas is truly a minimalist footwear expert. He’s been experimenting, testing, and reviewing all kinds of footwear options for years. So much so, that every time I’ve visited him, he’s got a huge bin just stuffed full of shoes just waiting to be worn for the first time. Yep, all the major footwear manufacturers send him free minimalist shoes, sandals, slippers, boots, and moccasins, among other things because they want his opinion.
On top of that, Damien is also the founder of Toe Salad: the Internet’s premier minimalist footwear website, but he’s the real deal not just because he’s tried a lot of shoes and has a snazzy website about them. He’s the real deal because he’s found a way to truly help people understand and benefit from proper footwear choices – and it’s not hip, trendy, new-age nonsense either. Damien is a really down-to-earth guy and he wants simple solutions that are practical and based on common sense. Personally, I consider him THE go-to guy for all things regarding footwear. Damien also happens to be a friend of mine, and he’s a very cool guy who enjoys a lot of outdoorsy interests. What can I say – I’ve got cool friends.
So, let’s get right down to it. If you are at all intrigued by minimalist footwear (or going barefoot) – perhaps on the fence about it – then this interview is for you. You will learn a lot – as I have. You’ll also notice that there are a lot of very useful links spread throughout. They’re included for a reason. So, don’t be shy – check them out!
All right. Enough blabbing from me – enjoy the interview.
Continue reading The Minimalist Footwear PRIMER Featuring The “Man Of Many Shoes”