At my class reunion a couple weeks ago, my friend Chris showed me the goofiest looking pair of shoes I have ever seen, Vibram FiveFingers. But when he explained why he had them, it didn’t sound goofy anymore. In fact, he convinced me to learn to run barefoot.

Most of the running injuries I have experienced, and every one of the running injuries I have heard of, seem to result from the forceful impact of your heel hitting the ground and traveling up your leg to your hip. By running barefoot, your forefoot absorbs all that energy instead. This diagram is the best description I found for this school of thought.

I am near the end of my running days unless something changes, so I am willing to try just about anything I can afford.

My experience running barefoot, so far, makes me think it will remove the impact problems and injuries. But now the problem has shifted to the skin on the bottom of my feet. I just can’t see actually running barefoot on pavement without as many injuries, albeit new and different ones, to the skin on my feet. So I went in search of new running shoes in an effort to avoid the same goofy shoes as my friend.

I think I found what I was looking for: water shoes.

barefoot running shoes (water shoes)

Nike Sneakerboat ($20 on clearance)

barefoot running shoes (water shoes)

Generic Water Socks ($10)

After running a mile barefoot last night, my lower legs and feet are still sore, so it will take a few days before I can give these new shoes a good test run. I’ll probably post comments about how it goes on my Twitter feed, so follow me there if you’re interested. (I marked each related post with a ‘hashtag’ of ‘#LTRB’. You can search Twitter for this string, #LTRB, and it will show you all my posts.)