I used to wear heels every day, and bigger heels at weekends. When I wasn't in heels I’d be wearing my supportive, shock absorbing, high-tech trainers. After a lot of running I ended up with shin splints, apparently cause by incorrect over pronation. My physio had some impressive equipment & software which took measurements of my running and feet, to create a pair of orthotics to put in my shoes. These forced my feet into the correct pronation.
Since I've been leading a Primal lifestyle, I became very interested in barefoot running.
At PrimalCon earlier this year I was fortunate enough to have a lesson with Barefoot Ted, which was an amazing experience. I'd never given much thought to running style before, so it was very eye opening. When you try to heel strike with barefeet it is not easy to do – yet when you wear trainers with lots of cushioning, it's easy – and lots of runners do heel strike. Running in shoes constricts the natural movement that your feet would otherwise take. Our ancestors had to hunt for their food and walk and run considerably more than then average office worker today. So it makes no sense that we now need to wear expensive high-tech shoes, in order to be able to run safely.
I now wear very soft soled ballet style shoes every day, and of course vibrams as often as I can the rest of the time. Since doing this I've noticed that my footprint has changed – indicating that I have managed to improve my pronation. I've had no leg or feet related injuries – despite now walking (with the occasional sprint) my daily 5km commute to and from work.
Vibrams are great practical way to go barefoot around the city. Tomorrow I'll share my tips about buying a reasonably priced pair in Australia.