Like quite a few people, I got into running barefoot (in fact, running in general) after reading Born to Run.
Back then - this was way back in 2009, after all - I remember discussions being about taking it easy, learning from mistakes, people comparing 'ouch' moments, and people sharing success stories.
But it was pretty much all about running without anything on the feet.
When people like me found that we could run longer distances, we began experimenting with varying surfaces - either by choice or necessity.
Still the emphasis was on running barefoot, although now the discussion included the option of using shoes for very rough surfaces. Most of us found that we could make do with either VFF, cheap water shoes, or perhaps a pair of racing flats.
I hate to sound like a know-it-all, but I found my natural running style by running barefoot. I had it totally dialled in before I tried to emulate it in shoes.
I tried running in minimalist shoes before I ran barefoot and I ended up injured - twice. I got my form down pat, then tried shoes, and I haven't been injured since.
Recently, there seems to have been a shift in the discussion about 'barefoot' running. As I mentioned yesterday, people say they are running barefoot when in fact they are running in shoes. Even some of what may be considered the 'pioneers' of barefoot running now seem to spend more time endorsing, selling, or talking about shoes rather than talking about running barefoot.
It doesn't bother me - people should do what makes them happy.
But I can't help but wonder, with the influx of barefoot footwear, whether anybody actually runs barefoot.
Do I? Well, yes, but not very often.
I love trail running, especially on mountain trails. I am much happier running on trails in the racing flats I bought last year, and I'm happy to say that since finding a natural running form, ny shoes still look like new despite having many miles on them. When running on asphalt for runs up to 15km, I run barefoot. I simply enjoy it more than wearing shoes. More than 15km, or on smooth trails, I tend to go for water shoes (the same pair I've been wearing for three years) or VFF (also three years old).