Today I went for a three mile run; I have completed my 8 week transition I created and have now moved into longer runs. Unfortuneately I was unable to do all 8 weeks, I was cut short at 7 about two weeks ago due to the cold. I have decided that below 55 it is too cold to run 100% barefoot. At this point, one's feet begin to numb and you cannot receive the signals from the ground that one needs to maintain proper form. However, while running 100% barefoot means your feet touch the ground, minimalist shoes put a layer of material between you and the earth, allowing you to......run colder!
Here in Vermont it was 50 degrees today, real feel of 45 with a light wind. Sounds unpleasant? Not for a barefoot runner! After having played around with wearing my softstar original runamocs and my invisible shoes, I decided to wear my huaraches on my run today. It took a little bit to warm up but after I did it was smooth sailing. I actually think I ran faster and better today than any other day so far! My form constantly improves as I run in minimalist footwear, especially huaraches, which let my feet be the most free and let me feel the ground excellently! Remember, with my Invisible Shoes there are only 4mm between me and the earth! So my point is that wearing minimalist footwear lowers the threshold for running in cold weather. Creater of Invisible Shoes, Steven Sashen, says it does so indefinitely on this post about cold:
Now I don't know if I could go as far as he can this year, but it is definitely something to experiment with. Another note, I just bought a pair of Smartwool Toe socks today! I got the toe sock mini crew and tried them on briefly when I got home. They do feel wierd when you first put them on, like your circulation is being cut off a little, however I think part of that was the toe compartments stretching to the different lengths of my toes. Injinji's FAQs about toe socks says that after a couple of wearings and washings, toe socks sort of "remember" the shape of your feet and become easier to put on. Although I found the socks easy to put on, espeically having worn VFFs. They do feel very warm considering I haven't worn socks in two months. That said, I'm hoping they will be a less rigid alternative to my runamocs in the winter when I'm lying around at home.
I learn something new everyday it seems as we move into winter. Stay tuned for my experience with barefoot running in the Vermont winter, my justification for huaraches as the best form of minimalist/barefoot shoe, and my barefoot transitioning plan. Stay bare and Feel the World (shout out to Invisible Shoes)!