§8 – Changing My Feet

(Part 8 of 12 in Changes and Results)

The “minimalist shoes” journey is probably the most drastic change I’ve made in recent decades. If you want to just spin off to the references, here are four to get you started:

The journey began the day before my very first parkour class. Class was on a Sunday afternoon, and Saturday I went shoe shopping. Clueless, I bought a pair of low-cut Keen shoes like these. These are effectively like sticking your feet into solid rubber blocks. During that first class, I realized that I might want my feet to be involved—that I might want to use some of the joints or senses in my feet, and these shoes remove any chance of that.

Back home, I grabbed my pair of Feiyue. These are crepe-soled shoes that I was using for tai-chi practice. At the time, I felt these were like being barefoot. I’d only ever worn them indoors, on padded matting at a martial arts school. I bought a couple pair of the low-cut variety and started into parkour classes. Today, I cannot stand these shoes. They have far too much padding in them. But back then, I couldn’t do anything without feeling I was destroying my feet. I started to run in these shoes… woa, I had to re-learn how to run.

…and then I read, Born to Run by C. McDougall and things started to click.

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