Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 04/23/2009 10:05:21 MDT Print View

People have hiked the AT barefoot. You couldn't ask for a more rocky muddy trail. If people are having foot problems walking without "support" then they have foot problems plain and simple.
I grew up without a whole lot of money so none of my shoes ever had support. I only needed to make sure the shoe was long and wide enough and didn't rub the wrong way.
Either your shoe will conform to the shape of your feet or your feet will conform to the shape of your shoe.

As a side note, I have wide feet and I cant stand shoes with any "support" since I grew up without it. the funny thing is Ive noticed that inexpensive shoes like Payless or Walmart tend to have lots of wide shoe sizes. Compare that to the shoe selection at REI ect. and the overwhelming majority are very narrow, you really have search for those few shoes that come in wide widths.
So I have a theory on why this is, Im thinking that companies who make shoes know that low income people tend to have more physical jobs and will be on their feet most of the day compared to people who can afford the 100+ bucks for shoes at places like REI who most likely spend the majority of their time sitting down and grew up with "supportive" shoes causing narrower feet and weaker arches.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 04/23/2009 10:22:23 MDT Print View

>Im thinking that companies who make shoes know that low income people tend to have more physical jobs...

Actually, my mother worked in the shoe industry for 25 years. The answer is far simpler than them determining their market's characteristics - support is more expensive to make (we're not talking about much expense), thus it doesn't go in cheap shoes.

Insoles for typical shoes cost 1-2 cents each. Typical "supportive" insoles cost upward of 5-10 cents but really only have a higher arch. Custom orthodics are much more expensive, but have no or minimal break in and are fit specifically to your foot.

The reason "support" shoes don't fit you is that you most likely have a low arch and support shoes start off assuming a high arch and then "wear" down to the shape of your foot - it's a very uncomfortable process and takes about 2 weeks. This is true for most superfeet users if you read up on them. And no, despite the pundit's stance, it doesn't change your arches height to the support, it's just an uncomfortable process to mash it to a true fit.

In a perfect world, you'd see shoes with typical sizing, width sizing and a arch sizing. That would cost shoe companies a lot of cash to put those options out to manage the returns and increased inventory needs.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 04/23/2009 10:26:46 MDT.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Feelmax on 04/23/2009 11:06:42 MDT Print View

Another pair of shoes that support the barefoot concept are Feelmax shoes. I have yet to try these but I will probably get a pair.
Oh and for those of you who do use Vibrams for hiking, about how many miles would you say they last? I would love to hike in my Vibrams, but as I said previously, I just can't afford to go through a lot of these.


Otto Samuelsson
(otto27) - MLife
Danisch shoes on 04/23/2009 14:28:10 MDT Print View

The danisch shoe manufacturer ECCO has developed a shoe concept around natural barefoot running. The heal cushioning varies depending on how fast you run.

Also the Feelmax shoes looks interesting to me.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 04/23/2009 18:32:53 MDT Print View

>Hydropel seemed to slick up the footbeds of my vibrams a lot.

Is that a bad thing?

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 04/23/2009 18:41:42 MDT Print View

>>Hydropel seemed to slick up the footbeds of my vibrams a lot.
>Is that a bad thing?

Yes, the inside of the shoes are essentially fake leather and rubber - neither absorb the lubricant and it causes your foot to slip around worse than if you get them wet. Thankfully they are a tight fit, but it leaves your feet slipping around more than normal.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 04/23/2009 18:42:18 MDT.

Willie Evenstop
(redmonk) - F

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 04/23/2009 19:11:43 MDT Print View

I first heard about the feelmax shoes from playing hack.

Edited by redmonk on 04/23/2009 22:39:53 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 04/24/2009 05:47:19 MDT Print View

Ok, That can happen if you are not wearing socks or 5fingers are a little big.

I did lot of research to find a alternate.

A barrier cream is a topical formulation used in industrial and medical environments to place a physical barrier between the skin and contaminants which may irritate the skin and cause contact dermatitis or occupational dermatitis.

Medical application
Barrier preparations which can be a cream, ointment or aerosol spray often contain substances which repel water such as silicon, zinc oxide or dimethicone. Typical applications are in occluded skin-to-skin contacts such as body folds or flexural areas. A common use for barrier creams and ointments is nappy rash or diaper rash.

Zinc Oxide is an alternative.

I studied the ingredients on many different products. In the end the Bodyglide SPF 25, Anti-Friction & Sun Formula looks great multiuse product. Footglide is similar w/o sunscreen. Google it for reviews.

Active Ingredients: Benzophenone 3 (5.5%) (Sunscreen), Octyl methoxycinnamate (7.5%) (Sunscreen), Octyl Salicylate (Sunscreen), Zinc Oxide (1%)??

Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Vera Extract, Bisabolol, C18 36 Acid Triglyceride, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Tribehenin, Tocopheryl Acetate

Note: Bodyglide original anti chafe doesnt contain zinc oxide. The active ingredient is Allantoin.

I also came across old threads where use of zinc oxide as deodorant is discussed.

I think zinc oxide may not be as durable as silicone lubricant but it looks like a good alternative.

Edit: Dermatone Zcote looks even better.

The sunscreen component -Zcote is actually microfine zinc oxide. So total percentage of zinc oxide is much higher.

Edited by huzefa on 04/24/2009 09:35:47 MDT.

Brian Strong
(bmstrong) - F
Two interesting sites... on 04/24/2009 09:34:56 MDT Print View

Feelmax looks interesting. I wonder how they hold up? Do they ship to the US?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
+1 for Vibrams on 03/03/2010 09:04:52 MST Print View

I wear the Neoprene ones during the cold months and add the wool toe socks mentioned above. Besides the lack of blistering and other benefits mentioned above, they also are amazingly protective of the bottoms of your feet. That's some tough rubber, you betcha.

Even when wet, the neoprene Vibrams keep da feets remarkably warm. Also, as has been suggested in other threads, they are fantastically adherent to most surfaces, especially the Achilles heel of most shoes, wet, slimy rocks.Apparently, they are popular with scuba divers.

The only drawback, IMO, is catching the ubiquitous Ohio greenbriar between the toes.

You'll get some funny looks on the trail, but you won't be taking a dive on stream crossings they way others will.


Edited by nerdboy52 on 03/03/2010 09:07:08 MST.

carlos martinez
(gokyo) - F

Locale: west coast
barefoot'in nepali porters on 03/04/2010 13:21:09 MST Print View

I was amazed at the 100lb plus loads these guys carry with minimal or no footware.If, you need evidence that people are capable of handling rough terrain with minimal footware check these guys out.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Barefoot Running and Shoe Companies on 03/04/2010 13:44:37 MST Print View

Hi Joe

> my mother worked in the shoe industry for 25 years.
Your mother's observations are most revealing. Thank you!
(I agree 100%.)


josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
sigh on 03/04/2010 19:08:21 MST Print View

sometimes people just feel the need to do things differently just for the sake of being different. there are 1000 reasons to wear shoes. not a single reason not to

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: sigh on 03/04/2010 19:42:33 MST Print View

"Sigh" right back. There are a thousand reasons not to wear shoes, too. And some of them have to do with people liking it that way. I certainly prefer to walk barefoot as much as I can, simply because, to me, it feels so much better.