The almost universal response when people hear about my barefoot running is “oh, do you mean in those toe shoes?”
No. No, I do not wear toe shoes, and I’m not recommending them.
But how to convey this diplomatically? First I had to practice stifling my frustration, but fortunately years of meditation have worked their magic. I’m serene, like a Red Sox fan with the Yankees ahead by two at the bottom of the eighth.
Over time, I’ve tried different responses; lately it’s been something like this: “Do you have an extra 90 bucks? Great. Why don’t you buy three copies of my book, one for yourself and two for your running friends, and then you’ll be running injury-free and still have 45 bucks left over. Everyone finishes ahead!” [Except for Nike and their podiatrist buddies.]
Seriously. I don’t object to minimalist shoes per se. But they’re a terrible transitional device, providing a false sense of security to someone coming off a lifetime on crutches. Your feet need to rehab, and rehab requires that they feel the ground and learn to move with it – gradually. Once you’ve learned to move (barefoot) with good form, which will take at least several months, if you happen to move to Minnesota to become a Garrison Keillor groupie, then by all means invest in a pair of running mocassins.
Take it easy. Give your body time. Make haste slowly.