Running Week 2: Contemplating Hobbit Shoes

Week 2 is here. I’m not really going to talk about my run workout today. I’m just going to talk about a pair of shoes that have been on my mind for a couple of weeks now.
I didn’t know what they were called, so I typed in the first thing that came to mind.
Hobbit Shoes.
I was close, but not quite. So then I tried, “Hobbit Running Shoes”. Google was a little bit more successful this time. Eventually, I realized that people aren’t as Lord of The Rings crazed as I am, and tried a term a little bit more practical – “the shoes that look like you’re running barefoot”.
five-fingers-451x300
They’re called barefoot running shoes (which is probably the term I should have gone with in the first place), or minimalist shoes, and the ones I’m talking about basically look like gloves for your feet. Other minimalist shoes look like regular running shoes but are simply more thinner and less cushioned to bring you closer to the ground. They’re all part of the barefoot running movement that is quickly gaining popularity but is also hotly debated. 
After reading a couple articles online, the main idea of the answer to “why barefoot running?” is that it changes your running style so that you strike the ground with your mid- or forefoot rather than your heel, which is argued to absorb impact better and be more energy efficient. The evolutionary argument is that it brings us back to the type of running we did in the days of old, when we were running away on our bare feet from dinosaurs and woolly mammoths – we must have been very good at running then. The scientific data is still out on this, with some studies suggesting that barefoot running has huge benefits, while others stating that there really is no difference between the efficiency of running styles.
As some of the articles have suggested, I totally agree with the advice of going to a podiatrist and to implement the five-fingered/minimalist shoes slowly (so please, don’t go on a 5k run the first time you try them) into your life. I wouldn’t do TriDu in them, but I definitely want to try them in the future, if for no other reason than no other shoe has managed to make me feel incredibly happy just by looking at them.
But really, if we’re being completely honest, I just want to wear them so I can secretly pretend I’m going off on an epic quest to save middle earth.
Articles for you to check out:
Wikipedia
Runner’s World Articles
The New York Times
P.S. If you’re curious about the run workout I use, I just follow the Sun Run training guide. I figure that training for a 10k would make a 5k at the end of a swim and bike seem less daunting.

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