"Is Less More?" article - surely time for separate barefoot forum section now?

Following the UK April 2011 Runner's World magazine article "Is Less More" about minimalist shoes etc. is the UK arm of Runner's World now agreeing that the barefooters and minimalist runners are not bonkers and that it would be nice for everyone if there was a separate Barefoot thread (with a minimal shoe section)?

At the moment I think that the UK Runner's World is likely to see a drain of forum people to the USA .com version of Runner's World where they would seem to be a little more forward thinking and do have a barefoot forum or to the Barefoot Runners Society .org site.

I expect that those who are not at all interested in anything to do with barefoot / minimal running would be delighted to get rid of the "noise" these postings generate. The barefooters etc. would be delighted to be able to focus their UK related discussions without causing the uninterested grief. RW (UK) would be delighted that, now massive companies are getting on board the minimalist shoe wagon, that these huge companies would consider RW a viable place to advertise their new stuff (and focus it on the relevant people).

How would anyone not be a winner?


  • I have emailed them. I'm holding my breath... 
  • KK - I see that your fav' event is triathlon. I think that barefoot is still banned for that if it's an "official" event! I guess it would give you a competative advantage due to not needing to jump in/out of shoes (but still!).

    What's up with your area for giving barefoot a go?

  • She lives on Uranus (teehee)

    It's a bit hot

  • I've seen requests for a similar forum before on here - only a few months back. They didnt do it that time either.  I'd think its a pretty small minority of runners that do it ?  A 'Ginger Runners' forum would probably be more inclusive ?
  • KittenKat

    I've not encountered thorns. I've run across christmas tree needles people had dropped all over the pavement and they were no problem. Ultimately I can see thorns nailing you but "puncture" injuries are usually fixed the next day. I don't think I've seen anyone complaining of thorn injuries so it's not a big problem in general.

    The really tiny stones are a bit annoying to start with particularly if they're the same colour as the pavement (as you can't see 'em of course). After a while you can cope with them. Larger stones you can see and step over. If where you are it's impossible to avoid bigger stones then I guess you'd have to look into "gravel bucket training" which might do the trick, I've not tried it (but it looks like that does the trick to harden your feet to such things). When I was about 6 I could run along a track made of flints to a stony beach where I'd play on barnacle covered breakwaters no problem (until I fell off one) so you can get use to most stuff. That was 40 years ago and I'm now only a few months into going barefoot again so not certain what's possible after such a gap yet.

    I just hop over the poo but I guess if you step in it then it will hose off easy enough. No harder to get off than from a shoe. I seem to live on dog plop ally at the moment (and a close second for glass shard street) but so far zero barefoot incidents of note for me, 1 splinter, (but for the shod kids returning home... we practically have to hose them down by default. Arrrgh!).

    I'm not committed to barefoot in some kind of uber dedicated way, I want to try it, give it a chance, see if it allows me to get back into running, see if it helps with form etc. and may be do some barefoot some shod, dunno yet. So far the barefoot experience has been very interesting and I'm very glad to have done it again, most enjoyable. All my barefoot injuries so far have been trivial except possibly one that I picked up in shoes running to a place I wanted to try barefoot in!

  • I can see a ginger runners forum being more popular, yes!

    The RW article I refer to above does mention that last year it was 2% of runners (barefoot / minimal shoe combined I expect) and that it's now estimated to be 4%. It's growing fast enough for just about all the really big manufacturers to take the market seriously. Time for RW to take note perhaps.

  • I just checked the percentage of ginger people in the UK and (on a quick search) it is ~2% so "barefooters" (including minimal shoe runners) are not particularly obscure (and growing more rapidly than any(?) other group) according to RWs own numbers.


    Where I live there are 2 shops dedicated to "barefoot" minimalist shoes (I've visited one {Terra Plana stuff} and heard about the other {Vibram stuff} ) and only one more specialising in "conventional" cushiony running shoes. I think the commercial weight speaks volumes.

    I will let someone else start the "we want a forum for " [fill in your request here] threads.

    Still waiting for that reply from RW - if they have a reason not to have a separate forum for barefoot then I'd like to hear it... presumably they do have a reason (beyond can't be bothered etc.). My understanding is that it would be extremely trivial from a technical point of view so...


  • Blimey - I'd have thought there were more redheads than 2%.  You live and learn !

    Still, barefoot is a very small percentage. I can only recall seeing 2 people running in Vibrams or barefoot in all the races I've done.

    I know technically it would be fairly easy to create a new forum for them - but is there the need ? Just create a barefoot thread ?

  • A single thread would be way too confused. Imagine if there was just one thread for conventional running. It would be hard to know what anyone was on about! We just need one forum topic "folder" at the top of the forum with all the other (about 11) top level topic "folders" and then all those interested can dive in. See the RW .com site for an example that all those lucky Americans have. I spend a lot of my forum time there now but some of my interest is UK based so it doesn't really fit, I'd prefer to be home, here!

    Perhaps, like redheads, the barefooters are in clusters. Scotland has more redheads than England. Also, a lot of minimal shoes look like "normal" running shoes if you're just giving them a casual glance. I think manufacturers are trying not to alienate people by going too far along the gorilla feet look (while some go the other way).

    There are at least 2 UK manufacturers now who specialise in minimalist shoes including those for running. Neither of these companies make shoes that standout too much. There may be others.

    Big hitters beyond the UK getting on board include Nike, Adidas, Merrell and others. They all have new minimalist line ups. Some more conforming to "barefoot" than others. There is a good reason why these people are making these things. Because people want them and the market is meant to be about 4% this year.

  • You could have a sub section for every type of running, those who like Vests, Men in3/4 tights, Nike shoes etc so no it would be over the top. 

    Off topic I know but it was a shockingly bad edition of RW this month IMO.

  • There is a fundamental difference between heel strike running and forefoot/barefoot/minimalist running.

    The type of Nike (or whoever) shoe will fit into one camp or the other.

    All the other stuff you mention, GraemeK, will make no difference - anyone can use it, it won't affect form  differently for your choice of running style etc..

    Desired running style choice affects loads of stuff.

  • To the OP, count me in. I spend more time on the .com site now because of that exact thing.

    I do a bit of barefoot (I'm too lightweight to properly commit to toughening up my feet, but some nice offroad stuff suits me nicely) but run mostly minimalist (racing flats) now. I've just moved to a city too, so it's concrete all the way image

    ...I also need to change my username to nolongerstuckathome - injury free and midfoot striking better than ever image
  • Concrete is no problem if it's not too lumpy. I frequently run along lots of areas with concrete paving slabs (avoiding landing on the cracks incase they're not even). There's also a section near my house with laid concrete (I guess from a cement mixer) that has grooves embossed (to help you get down the steep hill on a frosty day), easy except the bits where people have chucked grit all over it - can still run it tho' but nicer smooth.

    I like your name change idea "stuckathome", nice one! I would not have thought to try barefoot if I'd not repeatedly got injuries that lead me to seek ways of avoiding them. So far barefoot has let me keep running where shod didn't.

  • Kittenkat: My solution to the what's-underfoot problem was a pair of Terra Plana Neos - or you might prefer the Evos if your feet are a bit narrower. Really flexible, 4 mm sole, no heel.

    I've run barefoot, but only on a sports field after doing a circuit to check for glass, dog poop etc. With the Neos, I can concentrate on everything else without worrying whether I've not noticed something small and nasty to step in (you'll still want to miss the cowpats, large stones etc. of course). I was also able to put a pair of Stabilicers on over them and run on the icy pavements over the Christmas perios, which was useful.

  • And yes, I think a new barefoot/minimalist section in the forums would be useful (at .com they've enough interest that they've been discussing whether to split the minimalist-shoe wearers from the barefoot-or-nothing camp).
  • And there's also the Barefoot Runners Society who have some useful info and so on.

    You can see it here.

    They were mentioned in the above article. Nice bunch of peeps.

Sign In or Register to comment.