Looking to start barefoot running please help

Hi everyone, I´m looking to go barefoot running.  I am from Scotland but currently live in Andalucía, Spain. I run 5k every evening.  I am looking for a road/trail shoe as I run on dirt track, dry riverbeds and dry grassy terrain and tarmac too.  It´s not flat and can be quite challenging image  So I would guess i am looking for an all-purpose shoe??

I was looking at the Inov 8 brand and they seem to be good but they over so many models i am not sure which to buy.


Thanks in advance.




  • Can anyone recommend any of the Inov8 shoes?  Have you used them?  What are they like?

  • I had the 155's recommended for road shoe and the 200 for trail running

  • Hmmm, I´d only be looking to buy one pair that would be versatile.  I don´t run on mountains or anything just dirt track mostly with normal roads and occassionally the dried up river bed.


    I was looking at the

    1) f-lite 195

    2) 230

    3) X-Talon 190


  • You could look at the brooks pure grit or slightly more minimalist new balance 110 or you could go 0 drop, depends how minimalist you want to go?

    I haven't tried the inov8 models but have heard good things about them!
  • Hi, I am not really sure.  I would like to have a natural feel but with minimalist shoes i would need to build up with running short distances at first??  I quite like those 3 that I put on, some are 2 arrows and 1.


    Thanks image

  • You mention that you're looking to start barefoot. If you have been using heel planting shoes then you should be fine if you take care, take it slow basically & build up back to where you were. There's lots of info on it, worth a look to save you some big issues. One or two in are mentioned in "Running Desperado" on Kindle (in fact if you search for the book on Amazon you can even read that entry for free by clicking on the "Look Inside" bit on the book picture). There's lots of stuff on the net of course.

    If you essentially already run naturally with a fore/midfoot landing you can probably use many of the minimalist shoes with less of a transition time (Merrell trail glove, Terra Plan / Vivo Barefoot Evo II or Neo etc. etc.). If you have been using cushioned or stiff shoes then, again, take it slow. I use the Neo a fair bit at the moment, didn't get on with the others but some do. These shoes were developed specifically for barefoot style. I don't say that the others mentioned above by others posters are not also specific but those brands seemed to be a bit late to the party, (band wagon & jumping on with lots of marketing $ comes to mind so I'd be wary of how much spin I was chomping on). I've used the Neo on rocky/slippy/hilly stuff in Exmoor plus road, pavement etc. etc. & they were fine for me (but wish this shoe was in 1/2 sizes too).

    IMHO: Basically if you are looking to "start" barefoot then save yourself some potential prob's & perhaps a lot of time with a bit of a read to see how to do it & be able to keep on doing it enjoyably. This way you will probably also get more shoe ideas too and home in on what is right for you. Have fun.

  • Hey, thanks for the info image  I really appreciate it.

    I currently run with Asics kinectic 3 shoes.

  • I had a look at pictures of the shoe you mention, the Asics kinectic 3 and it looks (to me) like a "heel" planter cushioned shoe. If this is the case & that's what you've been using for a while then I recommend you start your barefoot using something like the program mention in my post above (e.g. look at the free bit of the Look Inside example). Going from one style to another can be easier said that done but with the right approach you'll do it.

    Pointing you to a specific shoe would be a bit subjective. Everyone has different likes and so on. You can do a lot of the barefoot "preparation" without shoes & then as you read up & find what sounds worth a try go from there. At the end of the day, have fun!


  • Hey PB

    I would like to really get into the barefoot running, maybe even start with 1 arrow but not at zero (inov8 site).

    I will play it cool and not overdo it, transition with my nike dual fusions as they have less cushioning than me asics. 

  • Joker: Read up on the websites. You want to be running with a short stride and high cadance, keeping quite upright with your feet landing underneath you,not out in front.

    I wear the VivoBarefoot Neo shoes myself and I'm now up to running marathon+ distance in them - aiming to wear them for a 50-miler in August.

    But do NOT try to do long distances. If it feels good on your first run you're likely to want to try a few miles. DON'T or you will regret it the next day. Most of the barefoot running sites suggest starting off actually barefoot, because that way the tenderness of the skin on your soles stops you going too far too soon - which is great if you have a safe area to run on. I used my Neos because I didn't want to risk standing on glass etc.

    Inov8's shoes are pretty good, with a good range - the two arrow are 6 mm heel-toe drop, the 1-arrow are 3 mm drop. I'm waiting for them to make one of those with a wider forefoot.

    You want a really FLEXIBLE sole as well as minimal cushioning and minimal/no heel-toe drop. Old fashioned plimsoles are one way to go, if you can find ones that fit.

  • Hi Debra, I´m female and also think unisex would be ok for me.  I am a little concered as the land in Spain is very dry, sandy and dusty especially the river bed that I run on which has rocks too like a shingle beach.  I run through sand too on the beach and my shoes do get wet would that be ok?  I dont want them to fall apart, wasn´t sure if i could run on the beach close to the sea..


    Would 5k be ok per night?  Generally thats what I do 6 days per week.  I run better here than in Scotland with the drier climate.

    I generally don´t land on my heel, kind of regret buying those asics and decided to start using my nike dual fusions.


    I also tried jogging by our pool and i enjoy the feeling of barefoot (feels more correct) but it would be very painful as our villa is near a dirt track image lol


    Thanks and take care.

  • On the plimsole front that Debra mentions... I found that you could get them for £3/pair or £6 at Asda on-line some time back. I got some of those & then took one pair to bits {weird perhaps I know - see "Running Desperado" on Kindle if you must find out why} and they had a whopping 12mm thick base. Of plimsoles are probably made in a zillion flavours but that's just something to be aware of.

    Joker86, if you have a pool, you presumably have a smooth surface around it. Possibly great if not too wet/slippy for a bit of early barefoot (no shoes) to get you going... I'd not do anywhere near 5K (or probably not even 1K) from day 1 tho'.

    Honestly, do a quick read up, it may save you a lot of time in the long run.


  • Hi, I have been reading and its interesting.  Been using the smooth tiled patio to accustom my feet to the feel of barefoot running and not overdo it with my muscles.  The last thing i want to do is cause any injury. 

    I´ll keep you all posted on my progress image

  • Joker: If you're used to midfoot landing already that should help, but the usual suggestion is to start with perhaps 1/2 mile of barefoot and work up from there... How about 1 k, then change back to your normal shoes for the remainder of the run. If you already have midfoot landing and high cadence (180 steps/minute or more - i.e. 90 with each foot) then transition to minimalist shoes will probably be faster than if you're used to a long stride and low cadence.

    Also try massaging all the muscles in your lower legs - calves, but also those on the outside of the shin at the front) every evening after running - and in the morning as well if they are at all tender.

    Watershoes - very cheap - can also be used. They are quite thin-soled and very flexible, and great for situations where they're going to get wet, but won't last very long if running distances on hard surfaces.

    I would expect both VivoBarefoot running shoes and Inov8 running shoes to be able to cope with getting wet, but I'm not sure how well they'll do with getting soaked in salt water repeatedly - they may be fine; why don't you send an e-mail and ask. VivoBarefoot do make a running shoe called the Ultra which is designed for wet environments, including the beach - the upper is honeycombed to let water drain out freely. You may want to try those

  • Hey Debra.

    Yeah I think it may be a little easier for me to transition a little bit quicker.  My strides are quite long too but i´ll take all on board and practice more walking barefoot.  I have snorkeling shoes (Cressi) do you think they will suffice?

    I quite liked these shoes they´re just out



    Seems they´re multi purpose which is ideal for me because where I run just after the dried out river is a B road (tarmac).

Sign In or Register to comment.