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My Running Huarache Sandals

Hi all, I'm getting closer to what I think is the ideal Huarache design for new/intermediate barefoot runners as myself that aren't so light on their feet. And I would like to share it with you.

My Huarache design is home made so anyone can make it. I've used salvaged materials some from the house and others from specialty stores to reduce my environmental impact.

although I'm now thinking that an old hoop polyester jersey should only be cut up when it can no longer be worn.

The new design features include:-

A sole designed to be stiffer and correct my foot position to promote a mid-foot strike.

The sole also has a recess groove design so the straps do not make contact with the road and don't wear down.

A twin hole design in the sole prevents the straps from sliding around and allows the forefoot end of the strap to be knot-less.

The Straps are wider for reduced pressure and friction on my skin (especially when wet) and they cross over differently providing a securer fit and more lateral support/stability a the base of the sandal.

The moisture management straps :)) are made from polyester jersey textile which also has some stretch for added comfort.

For more photos check out:-

Happy Huarache making.


Shoes for a beginner

Over the last several years I've noticed that my ankles tend to get stiff and sore in regular shoes and was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a shoe that is fairly low around the ankle.

Since I'm just starting out working out again, I'd like a fairly multipurpose shoes. One good for walking or running that doesn't break the bank.



Last time I ran, it was because my dog got loose, but I really do hate regular shoes

Hi, I'm a 49 year old woman who made a typo earlier and claimed to be 40. I started wearing orthotics in 1992 while I was still in the USAF. I'm retired now. I've recently had 2 operations on my left foot and one on my right. While I was stumbling around with the surgery shoe and a pound of bandages, I got lots of $5 cotton tennis shoes to wear. I wore them after the bandages came off too. Orthotics rip right through them, so I quit wearing them "for now."

They really didn't work so great, so I tried moccasins. Since my feet were so wide to begin and now amazingly swollen, I had to make them. I would buy cheap leather clothes from charities and make the Viking or Iron Age shoes shown on Of course that kind of leather with no sole only lasts a short while on the sidewalks.

Its been 2 years since they operated on my right foot and it still isn't 'level' on the bottom. They offered me a new orthotic. It hurt. I have been putting sheepskin in my moccs. That fixed it but I have to wear it all the time. There are worst things.

Here's a couple things I just made. No idea what I'm going to do this winter because I live in Ohio and I'm not putting my current snowboots back on,


Greetings from Colorado

My name is Bill and I am a 57 year old "barefoot" runner. I started running in my 20's when I found out it was something I could do because I wanted to, not because the coach was making me run laps because someone in the class did something wrong. It was a revelation.

I would say I enjoy distance running the most,15 miles or more. I have run lots of marathons and have decided to make the jump to ultras. I would welcome any suggestions as to good resources of information regarding ultras.

I converted to barefoot about 3.5 years ago and found it life changing. The sense of freedom and joy I experience is hard to put into words. I do the majority of my running barefoot but if I need a shoe, for trails etc., I go straight to my Invisible Shoes. The 4mm Connect is my shoe of choice whether running or going out for a night on the town. It's a fantastic shoe!

The transition was, and continues to be, an endless source of fascination for me. To say my feet have changed would be a gross understatement. They are the healthiest, and sexiest, ever.

Strong feet, strong body.


VivoBarefoot's "Barefoot Running Coach app"

This app looks interesting:

It will be launched on Wednesday, and the launch event (in London, UK) will include a presentation by Lee Saxby at 7pm BST (UCT+1)

"This app closely follows the coaching methodology of Lee Saxby, allowing you to compare yourself to common running forms. Following Saxby’s mantra: Posture, Rhythm and Relaxation, along with foot strike, you will be able to self-diagnose your form and learn tips and drills to help you transition to skillful barefoot running."


Howdy from Oregon!

I'm 26, a big guy (6'6", 240 Lbs), I have been running with slowly increasing seriousness and frequency over the past two years.

About a year ago, I picked up some "nice" running shoes (a pair of higher end Asics... the gel, bouncy, high heel type. I loved them! I was clomping around on my heals more comfortably than ever. I raised my mileage, frequency, and speed, and was enjoying myself. I haven't had an injury yet, but I do suffer from sore knees and hips quite often.

Then it came time for new running shoes, my beloved Asics were dirty and worn down. So I started looking around at reviews and what not, and somehow stumbled upon an article talking about how shes were like casts for your feet, and that feet were meant to walk and run, and they are plenty capable of doing it on their own. I think i'd heard this before, but it never really clicked. But this time it did. I spent the next few days reading basically everything about the subject, and trying to practice changing my stride a bit.

Ive always been a shoe guy. And socks... I liked them both. They kept my feet safe and supported, and I could walk however and wherever I wanted with sturdy shoes. I was like a tank! And I never saw any reason to change. I remember a time when shopping for shoes that I didn't buy them if i could feel rocks and pebbles and things under my sole.

But reading about it created a major shift in my thinking, suddenly i didn't want my thick shoes anymore, I wanted to strengthen my feet and feel the ground under my feet and the grass between my toes!

So, that pretty much brings us to where i'm at now. I've been going barefoot more, I found some Sanuk shoes at Ross for 20$ to get me out of my clunkers while I'm at work. They have pretty thin soles, zero drop, and have plenty of room for my toes, and I can wear them without socks.

I also have my eye on the Merrell trail gloves, and i'm just trying to get up the guts to drop 110$ on them. In the meantime, i'm exercising more, and doing it barefoot.

I even went on a short jog around the neighborhood in nothing but the shoes evolution gave me. It was raining out, and 6:30 in the morning, i ran by one of my neighbors in my rain jacket, shorts, and bare feet and he looked at me and said barefoot?!?! I just smiled and said "Yep" and kept jogging.


Minimalist injury?

Well I've injured my foot and feeling a bit glum about it. Anyone else experiencing any injury possibly caused by going barefoot? Anyone have experience in needing to do less bare footing?

So here's the background info. I've been barefoot/minimalist for 2 1/2 years now. I generally believe I have strong well developed feet and never wear traditional shoes these days. I work on my technique to be a mid foot striker with knees betpnt etc.

Recently I've significantly increased my level of activity from normal hiking to some long days hiking fast and hard for an endurance event I'm working on. Training involved hiking 60ks mostly in off track country and running 5-16ks. When I push hard on longer trips I am getting some strong pain under my big toe which I believe to be Sesamoiditis. After resting for a couple of weeks the pain goes away. Unfortunately it came back when I did a 13k run yesterday (merrel road gloves).

I'm finding it hard to find some information that understand why we go barefoot/minimalist. Most health professionals I've spoken to and sites I've visted believe in padding, arch support and orthotics.

I plan on letting my foot recover and then to try and do something in slightly more traditional footwear. I'm not sure if this will help.

Any comments, help or recommendations welcome.


Minimalist Combat Boots are finally here!

Most servicemembers desire combat boots that are lightweight yet still provide extra thick soles and stiff ankle support. There are, however, those of us who want a lightweight combat boot that has a very thin sole and little to no ankle support, yet still looks like a combat boot so that the Sergeant Major doesn’t freak out when he sees his soldiers wearing hippy moccasins. Bates has created such a boot!

The Bates Zero Mass is a 13-ounce boot, made from canvas and Wolverine Warrior leather. This leather is made from pigskin and basically has the same properties as GORE-TEX®. More information about Wolverine Warrior leather can be found on Bates footwear website.

The first time I tried on my new Zero Mass boots, I was very pleased with the weight. These combat boots are lighter than some running shoes I’ve owned in the past. I was disappointed, however, with how noisy they were. Every step I took sounded like I was walking on paper bags. I was also concerned about the way the canvas part of these boots rubbed my Achilles’ tendon. By the end of the first day the noise had quieted down considerably, and by the time I got to work I had already forgotten about the rubbing issue.

I wore my Bates Zero Mass boots everyday for two weeks and they required no breaking in. After week one, I got my first opportunity to put them to a test outside of everyday wear, and took them on a hike up Thumb Butte, near Prescott, Arizona. The trail up Thumb Butte is a pretty easy trail, so I ran part of the way up, and the boots felt great during the run. Personally, I like my shoes a bit wide, and this pair of Z-Mass is normal width, however, I was very comfortable running up the trail in them. Running down the trail was also easy and I experienced no technical difficulties with the boots.

Miller Creek runs along the bottom of Thumb Butte. It just seemed natural to test my new boots in the water, so I walked a short distance in the creek. I absolutely hate wearing wet shoes, so normally I’ll take my shoes off to walk in water. However, I felt it necessary to try these boots in the water. The boots have two drain holes and the uppers are made out of canvas, so I knew these boots would not be waterproof. However, it took almost a minute of standing in the water before I stopped feeling water coming into the boot. The drain holes worked well and allowed the water to leave the boot almost as fast as it entered. The worst part was wet socks, which I think weighed more than the boots. Within 12 hours the boots were dry. If I had left them outside where there was a breeze or set them next to a hot wood stove or campfire, they would have dried much faster.

The Z-Mass soles are not nearly as minimalist as I’d like, but they do look like normal combat boot soles, while still giving the wearer the best “ground feel” I’ve ever experienced from any combat boot. I’ve gone through dozens of boots in my military career – everything from jungle boots, to steel toe cold weather boots, to lineman’s boots, to all sorts of desert boots. Before Zero Mass, my favorite boot was Bates Desert Tactical Sport. The sole, flexibility and weight of Zero Mass is superior even to the Desert Tactical Sports.

My second hike in my Z-Mass boots was up Mount Elden, near Flagstaff, Arizona. The Mt. Elden trail is considerably more difficult than Thumb Butte, with plenty of rocks, steep climbs, and prickly pear cactus hiding behind rocks waiting for the unaware hiker. I do not recommend these boots for people with weak, inflexible ankles if they are going to be navigating rough terrain. But for barefoot runners and people who prefer to have minimal ankle support, these boots are excellent.

During my Mt. Elden hike, the rocks proved to be no match for my Z-Mass. Coming back down the mountain, I did slip a couple of times on loose rocks, but there is no footwear (short of something with metal spikes) that can prevent the occasional slip coming down Mt. Elden. Also, I am very aware of my surroundings, so I never did accidentally stumble through any cactus. So, in order to put my boots to the test, I intentionally brushed against a prickly pear cactus pad. The sharp spines of the prickly pear were no match for the Wolverine Warrior leather. I did not try to test the canvas upper against the cactus. Perhaps I’ll put that part of the boot to the test on another day!

My third hike out in my Z-Mass boots was in the Superstition Wilderness east of Phoenix. This area is filled with several kinds of cacti, various rocky terrain, washes, lava-flows, and can be extremely hot. The Zero Mass boot handled this desert like it was designed to, and gave my feet just enough protection to keep long spines and sharp rocks from damaging my feet while still providing excellent ground feel.

Cholla cactus is the most abundant cacti in these desert mountains. Cholla goes into skin almost painlessly, but has tiny barbs that make pulling it out very unpleasant and difficult. Naturally, I couldn't resist testing the boots out against what many people call “jumping cactus.” I kicked a Cholla pad that was on the ground and it instantly stuck to my sole. No way those barbed spines were getting through the Bates rubber sole. The next Cholla pad that got me was by accident, but the Wolverine Warrior leather completely protected my feet from the spines – something many other shoes I’ve worn in the desert failed to do. So far, these boots have passed every cactus test I’ve put them to.

I plan to wear my Zero Mass boots in the snow, the mud and desert and mountain rocky terrain. I believe they will serve me well, and will continue to report how they hold up during long distance runs, forced ruck marches, and crawling around the various environments.

My overall assessment of Bates Zero Mass combat boots is that they are lightweight, comfortable, provide excellent ground feel, do not need excessive break in time, and are quiet once you have broken in the canvas upper. They are not waterproof, but dry quickly and, unless you are submerged for more than a few seconds, will keep your feet from getting soaked. They cause no fatigue during long or strenuous hikes, and provide a fair amount of protection from sharp rocks and cacti. These boots were designed for people who do not want ankle support or excessively thick soles, so if you are looking for a boot with stiff uppers and 3-inch thick heels with inflexible soles, this is not the boot for you. However, if you like Merrell’s barefoot series of running shoes, or are looking for a combat boot that gives you ground feel, is lightweight and still conforms to military standards of appearance, the Bates Zero Mass is the best that's out there!

Robert Freese served 10 years in the US Air Force, 5 years in the Georgia Army National Guard, and is currently a member of the Arizona Army National Guard. He is a “minimalist shoe” runner, and sometimes runs barefoot. He firmly believes that the more natural one’s footwear, the healthier their entire bodies will be and that footwear should not over-protect your feet in order to have the strongest, most flexible, healthiest feet you can have.


Hello from Fort Wayne Indiana

Hello to all, I am from Fort Wayne. I have been here since 1980, having been in the service before that.I was born and raised in New England. Mystic Ct to be exact. Growing up I was never into physical fitness at all. It was not until I was in the Navy Reserve that I took up running as part of the Navy physical Fitness program. Long story short, I have been running for about 25 plus years. I also swim laps 3 days a week.

Recently about 2 months ago I purchased a pair of Vibrams KSO off of Ebay. I started to walk and slow run in them and am now up to 30-40 minutes of a continuous run. I have managed to get a big blister on the bottom of my Right big toe. Having read quite a few barefoot/minimalist sites I corrected my form. Now I run free of aches that I would get with traditional running shoes......


Gossamer Gear Treadmill Desk

In case you were concerned by the subject line - no, Gossamer Gear is not getting into building treadmill desks :-)

I just got some more pictures from another successful treadmill desk project. This one was done by Grant Sible (president of Gossamer Gear

Grant's design is quite clean and elegant. He was able to use this off-the-shelf laptop table from Amazon . He also uses it in combination with a wire shelf (barely visible in the photo) which he pulls closer if/when he needs to have other reverence material close at hand.

Grant tells me he is also tredmillin barefoot, and loving it!

Note: For those of you who would like to know more about Grant and his company, check out the great interview over on Hiking in Finland:


"One Day Without Shoes" Movement

Yeh, at first when I saw this I thought London had seen the light, but read on. Have you ever seen anything more barmy??

"Many children in the developing world grow up barefoot, putting them at increased risk of injury and soil-transmitted diseases. Children whose families cannot afford to keep them in shoes also risk missing out on their education, as shoes are often a required part of their school uniform" (my italics).

Easier solution: leave shoes out of compulsory school uniform. Duh, duh and double duh.!/TOMS


Natural Running Coaching Site is live!

I wanted to get it out there that I have teamed up with Tina Dubois and went live with our Natural Running Coaching website.

We are both Vivobarefoot Certified coaches. We were a part of the group of ten that were invited to NYC to be the first to be certified by Lee Saxby.

We are the first Natural Running Coaches to offer online virtual coaching with a huge collection of videos etc. to aid in finding efficiency and improved economy. Come check us out!


Hi from Quebec city QC Canada

Some of you might already know me from my posts on Barefoot Ted's, Ken Bob's or FRA's (The Fell Runner Association) forums.

I wish I could run barefoot all year long though obviously with Crazy Canucks weather I have to deal with shoes for too many days when running outdoor.

If you plan on going to Quebec city, Montreal or another city in Quebec province let me know. I might be able to make your experience in Quebec province more enjoyfull.

Have fun running! 8:-)



Hi, from Los Angeles

In 1996 I was a sophomore in high school when I started playing with the idea of shoes that connected the form of the foot to the ground. I think it was during an English class that I started doodling designs. To my chagrin and dismay I lost interest, because that's what sophomore boys do...and pursued teaching, because everyone else told me I should.

A couple years ago I ran my first marathon in some traditional running shoes (Nike Air Pegasus) and damaged my knees and ligaments in my foot...I knew something was wrong. I'm so pleased to see such a burgeoning community of like minded thinkers...and a renaissance in footwear.

I guess I should have dropped out of high school and started making shoes.

Anyway, I love my Vibrams...but I'm really encouraged to see mainstream manufacturers getting on board with 0 drop tech, and super flexible soles.

I'm now a personal trainer, and the first step for all my clients is to get their feet on the ground.

Walk On.


Easing into barefoot summers when climate requires shod winters..

I live in Michigan and can't handle the freezing temperatures during winter barefooted. Last summer, I went barefoot most of the time (carrying a pair of light shoes for situations where I was asked to don footwear), and I loved it, but my soles were a little raw at times. I naturally have very soft, sensitive skin, so I don't develop thick callouses on my feet (despite forever being a "barefoot in the house" kind of girl, and recently going barefoot much more often).

So I'm just looking for tips on easing into being barefoot more often as the weather starts to warm up a bit. Lately, I've been taking off my shoes as I walk to class, but my feet are starting to feel a little tender already..