A year ago, my sister showed me her new shoes—shoes her husband fondly calls her “Gorilla Shoes.” (They’re actually called Vibrams.)
And yet, a year later, I keep hearing about these things. I meet random people at the coffee shop who rave about them, I had a bicyclist show me how he’d worn holes through the bottoms—and my sister still seems to love hers. Even though I still think they look weird.
But I’m starting to get convinced about these weird-looking footgear, in part because of articles like this one, which reports that running in running shoes causes greater stress to joints than running barefoot or walking in high-heeled shoes.
I’ve spent the past six months working my way VERY slowly up to being able to run a reasonable time and distance. I’ve learned to love my runs. They’re the perfect time for me to ponder story problems; plus, they fulfill my desire to multitask because I’m fitting in exercise and getting the dogs outside at the same time. I find that running is starting to give me all those much-touted benefits that “real” runners claim: I have more energy, improved mood, and improved productivity.
But—I can tell it’s hard on my joints. I have to space out my runs to let my knees recover in between, and I worry about joint issues forcing me to stop again, which would be a major bummer. Maybe going “barefoot,” in weird-looking shoes, is the solution!