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weldonius in Tokyo

Hi All,

Been running somewhat seriously for almost two years now, and all of that has been in minimal footwear with a decent amount of barefoot as well. My goals for this year are to get some fast times for some short races and as close to 3 hrs as possible in a marathon. I'll be shooting for my first 100km race next year to celebrate the big 40. Let me know if you live in Tokyo!


Answers and Replies


Welcome! What is the barefoot/minimalist world like in Japan? Do you think it is more or less "accepted" by the general public than other parts of the world?


Hi Damien. Sorry, it's taken me forever to respond. I can't compare the BF/minimal culture in Japan to other places, because I only know what I've experienced here. I get the sense that Japanese people do tend to run in relatively more minimal shoes overall just judging by what you can buy here. I've only ever seen one other person out running in vibrams, although I did see a sort of barefoot club at a track workout I was at one night, so it definitely is going on to a certain extent. Born to Run has been published in Japanese, and is on sale along with another book about running barefoot by a Japanese author (my Japanese is not up to reading it, though). My sense is that while I think some people will try it here, overall Japanese runners are much too concerned about making a fashion statement with their shoes to go without. And they are very clean conscious as well, so the idea of running on dirty streets and tracking that back into their houses is a bit of a reach. I personally plan on getting in lots of BF this year when things start to warm up a tad in a month or so. Cheers!

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