No Need For Socks

No Need For Socks

As is customary, I present my running shoes for 2017 - the Nike Free RN Flyknit.

They may not appear to all tastes, but having adhered to and embraced the benefits of barefoot running in recent years, these should provide the stylish protection that my feet require when covering longer distances.

Although they usual retail for £110, upon visiting my local Nike outlet store yesterday, they were priced at £63.00, with an additional 30% off the lowest ticket price. As such, the price at the till was £44.10.

Upon purchasing the first pair, I considered the price too good an opportunity to pass up, so returned shortly afterwards, to purchase a second pair.

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21 Replies

  • Electro-Fast looking shoes!! Many happy miles to you in them :)

  • Thanks John.

    Although they're designed to be worn without socks, due to their proposed level of improved ventilation, Saturday morning will be the first real test.

    Still, even during general use/wear, my feet have never felt uncomfortably warm, so claims regarding their ventilation may well be true.

    Despite going barefoot inside, my feet are also treated to daily application of coconut oil, so risk of fungal infection should be minimised.

  • They look like awesome shoes, good bargain hunting too :)

  • Thanks lois. I certainly picked the right time to visit

  • Nice shoes! Nice shoes!

  • Thanks Jacs. Pleased to hear that you like them

  • Oh wow, I tried on some of those, they are sooooo comfortable! I might have bought them if they'd been available at the time for £63 :)

  • Despite being a barefoot/minalist shoe, they do feel incredibly comfortable. If you're close to an outlet store, make a point of heading down over the weekend. Hopefully the offer will still be on

  • Thanks! Although I found these in the end. And ended up with 3 pairs :D

  • Very, very nice, roseabi. I bet you cannot wait to get out in them

  • Been running in them for a few months, they're great! Hope yours do the job for you :)

  • "Upon purchasing the first pair, I considered the price too good an opportunity to pass up. So returned shortly afterwards to purchase a second pair"

    Ha.. thus spake a true runner.😄 This made me laugh out loud Mr Nice Guy.

    Wishing you many happy sock free runs in them. They look great. x😊

  • Thanks Jan.

    It'd been around six months since I'd last purchased a pair of trainers, so I was due a new pair (or two).

    They'll be enjoying their first outing tomorrow - little beats the excitement and anticipation of heading out in new footwear

  • Oooft!! The only thing better than new shoes is TWO pairs of new shoes. I love a bargain, me.

    (I would love to try barefoot running, having just read Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run").

  • We all love a bargain, not least when it comes to new trainers. It certainly was too good an opportunity to pass up.

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed Chris McDougall's book enough to consider trying barefoot running.

    Although adjustment is required, particularly in strengthening the feet and ankles, simply begin at a measured rate, ensuring that you don't overdo it, while adapting to a mid-foot landing.

    Equally, as the protective layer of fat increases in the forefoot, you'll find that greater distances can be covered, while appreciating why heel striking and over-striding are best avoided.

    Even if you don't progress to running unshod, the array of minimalist footwear now available should allow you to obtain similar benefit, due to lack of cushioning in the heel area

  • Also just finished the same book. It does make you think. Wish I could run like them! But probably left it a tad too late!

  • Oh cute, crochet running shoes!

  • Hmm... you've just got me more interested in barefoot running. May I ask what first piqued your interest in it and what the benefits you've embraced are?

  • Hello Sarah.

    It was back in 2008/09, largely through a desire to improve bio-mechanics and running efficiency, due to blistering upon the fore foot, that I stumbled upon the bare foot running technique, beginning to research it in greater detail, in particular how the foot was designed to move and support transfer of weight, for example.

    Although I was already aware of how a mid-foot landing was more beneficial in preventing injury, compared to heel striking, my research led me to understand that over-striding was just as bad for bio-mechanics and efficiency as heel striking, since it left the knees vulnerable to injury.

    I also discovered that repeatedly allowing the feet to land in front of the upper torso when running at speed (over-striding), for example, also increased friction between the skin and sock, while also forcing the toes towards the front of the shoe.

    Upon beginning to adopt it (following a period of adaptation and strengthening of the feet), I’ve learned that the barefoot running technique encourages a much shorter running gait, allowing the feet to land directly beneath the body on the mid-forefoot.

    As such, a slightly more pronounced bending of the knee allows for greater dissipation of force through the legs with each foot-fall. Rest assured, you certainly can’t over-stride or heel strike when running bare foot.

    Propulsion is developed by the height of heel pick up, which encourages the speed of leg turn-over, also helping to reduce the length of time the feet spend in contact with the ground. However, you don’t drag the feet backwards, since it creates friction and blistering, you lift the knee slightly to provide necessary clearance. See the following for a greater understanding:

    Before watching the video, though, take note of the still. Observe the bend in the right knee, placement/position of the foot on the treadmill (the heel is slightly raised) and the height of the left foot.

    To adapt towards running unshod, foot and calf strengthening exercises should be undertaken, in addition to wandering barefoot (both indoors and out) as often as you’re able, since it’ll allow the feet to move naturally, in addition to increasing density of the fat pad in the fore-foot, providing the metatarsal heads with the required protection.

    Begin at a measured rate upon a surface, such as concrete or smooth tarmac. Upon returning from a run, simply ditch your running shoes and socks, treading slowly, as you perform your cool-down routine. Since your run will have no doubt left you fatigued, you’re far less likely to over-stride, so risk of injury should be reduced.

    Granted, a slight thickening of the skin will naturally develop in the forefoot, but the feet won’t necessarily lose sensitivity to touch. If anything, barefoot running serves to heighten it, since you become intuitively more aware of what the feet are doing when running unshod.

    Since the feet are allowed to move naturally, over time, you may find that the heel appears far narrower than the fore-foot and toes, as strength and shape of the arch re-develops, resulting in a higher instep.

    A strengthened arch can also reduce the risk of pronation.

    If concern is possessed over ruining your feet, when performed correctly and with the appropriate level of after-care shown towards them, bare foot running won’t necessarily lead to the development of calluses.

    You can indeed run barefoot, yet still possess acceptable feet.

    Invariably, calluses occur through the repeated rubbing of skin over a joint, often caused by poor fitting and rigid footwear, preventing the foot from moving as it naturally ought to.

    The daily application of coconut oil and regular exfoliation with a pumice sponge (to simply smooth rough skin), will serve to maintain their condition, alongside ensuring that nail length doesn’t exceed the toe tip.

    Beach running aside, if you can eventually cover up to four miles bare foot on harder surfaces, you’ll be doing well. For covering greater distances, barefoot/minimalist footwear (such as my recent purchase) are certainly worth considering, since they’ll provide protection that your feet require, while still allowing you to reap the benefits that bare foot running provides.

  • Very interesting, thanks for all that detailed information :)

  • Glad to hear that you found it insightful, skysue.

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