I’ve crossed some line…

I think I’m becoming the neighborhood eccentric. Over the past several weeks, I recognize that perhaps I don’t come across as the sanest person on the block. For instance:

  • I’m often seen walking the dog in my bare feet
  • I am standing up at my desk instead of sitting (by the way, I really LOVE this little experiment)
  • Several of my neighbors have seen the toe spacers (Correct Toes–review to come) that I wear most of the day.
  • I head out for a run in my bare feet, then circle back around to stick on my shoes, which await me at the end of the driveway.
  • Today while running barefoot, I scraped the top of my big toe. After I put my shoes back on to finish the run, the blood gushed all over the top of my shoe. Walked the kids to school like that.
  • I’ve got my kids running/walking in minimalist shoes and will be pushing bare feet as much as possible as the weather warms.
  • I pretty much walk around preaching the minimalist gospel.
War wounds from today’s 10 minutes of barefoot running

I know this is potentially obnoxious behavior, but guess what? I don’t really care. I’m doing what works for me and really, there’s no harm/no foul. So I’ll gladly play the role of “strange lady” on the block!

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  1. Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS says

    Ha – I love it!
    Do you have any kind of plan for using minimalist shoes to strengthen your feet?
    I went to the local running store and asked for "the most cushioned shoe to train for an run a marathon in." He gave me an answer, but then said cushioning is bad, and talked me into buying a pair of inov8 f-lite 230's.
    He made me promise to work into them 1/4 mile at a time.
    I know I'll never end up using these as my main shoes, but I'd like to have some kind of plan for using them as a strengthening tool.
    Any advice?

  2. Big Daddy Diesel says

    Next thing we will hear is that your racing barefoot, the crazy no shoes lady coming to a race near you

  3. Run with Jess says

    Okay, so I love barefeet… I rarely have shoes on, but how on earth do you run barefoot?! Do you run on grass? I would think the gravel/stones on roads kill your feet?!?!!?

  4. Jogging with Fiction says

    Haha, you're awesome. My husband actually has people yell at him when he runs, like "hey! you forgot your shoes!" and a few times I've had people in town ask me if it's my husband they see running down the main road shoeless. He's also prone to wearing holey clothes and has a beard, i think people might think he's homeless. More power to you guys! I love people thinking I'm just a wee bit off.

  5. Melissa Cunningham says

    love this post!
    so what if your the crazy lady on the block,ditto to what BDD says!
    your awesome!

  6. AM-GoalsfortheWeek! says

    look at YOU! I'm right behind ya on this adventure…(but a lil' more behind at the moment…;-)

  7. Mamarunsbarefoot says

    I scraped my big toe a couple of times!! It's normal. It just means you aren't picking up your feet/foot enough. It takes time to relearn how to run without shoes. I'm happy to say I don't scrape my toes anymore :) I'm looking forward to bare'ing my feet again when I'm done with this marathon!!! BTW thank you for the nomination on Jason's blog!!!

  8. Lyndy says

    Can someone with flat feet practice minimalism? I was told I needed running shoes for people who were overpronators…?

  9. Evolving Through Running says

    That toe is looking rough …. but war wounds are definitely cool. I say if you're going to go barefoot – go all in. The neighbors (and all of us slaves to our shoes) are just jealous.

  10. Matty O says

    I NEED TOE SPACERS, have issues with my toes crushing each other, right now I think I might be slowly breaking one of my little toes on my left foot. Constantly swollen and tender to the touch… I will be looking those up and buying them ASAP.

    My Dr. told me one thing though, if you pronate, DO NOT do minimalist running. You will do A LOT more damage than good. Make sure you check your kids :)

    GLAD you found your mojo. Everyone is different and everyone has to find their nitch as to what works for them… We found ours, THANK GOODNESS! :) HAPPY DAY!

  11. Fran says

    Holy … I was stupid enough to enlarge the pic of your toe and got the shivers immediately. That must have hurted!

    I'm different than most of the people in my street (mostly because of our way of living) and I don't care either.

    We have to do what's good for us and what feels right for us and it doesn't matter what others think about that!

  12. havedentalflosswilltravel.com says

    Ha, I love that you've got your kids running barefoot, too. Snap a photo of 'em and send it to McDougall!

  13. Marlene says

    I LOVE that you are embracing this whole-heartedly and sharing it with the world. No matter WHAT you do, there will always be people who judge – so we might as well go with what works for us!

  14. Michelle says

    Love that you've found something that's working for you — like you said, who cares what others think! Take care of that toe – ouch!

  15. Running and living says

    Awesome! I am getting more and more into minimalist shoes. In fact, I can't even run in my 8 ounces Mizunos anymore, too bulky:)

  16. Rene' says

    oooohhhh…the toe doesn't look good. i am loving following the barefoot running, I am so interested in it.

  17. Luke says

    my coworkers think im weird at my desk. sometimes I stand, sometimes I kneel on one knee at it. Just mroe comfortable to me. I sit on the floor at home.

  18. *~* *~* Tracy says

    I'm very happy to be a member of the crazy lady transitioning to barefeet club. My son's track coach thinks I'm a nut but I'm ok with that. 😀

  19. Julie says

    HA! I totally don't care what the neighbors think, what my family thinks, what the heck anyone thinks very much anymore. As long as I'm not hurting anyone… 😀

    I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to quit spending so much time on what other people think!!

  20. Fair Weather Runner says

    good for you, who cares if people stare or what they think. i love that you embrace the minimal! and those battle wounds.

  21. BabyWeightMyFatAss says

    ow!!! My husband used to get a lot of comments but mostly more questions about running barefoot or minimalist. It's really a conversation starter!

  22. Lisa {eatprayrun-lisa.blogspot.com} says

    I was just remembering the one and only half marathon I've "run" (the Va. Beach Rock-n-Roll Half in 00'–yeah, it's been a while). One of the participants in that race was "the backwards running guy". Now, I never actually saw him during the race–he was WAY ahead of me. But, I saw a shot of him crossing the finish line in the paper the next morning. Couldn't believe he ran the whole dang thing BACKWARDS. Makes running barefoot seem, kinda, well…normal. Looking forward to hearing all about your perfectly normal barefoot adventures! (Hey, at least you've got all those nice paved HoCo paths to run on!!)

  23. Amanda@runninghood says

    nothing wrong with passionate people who are enthusiastic about what they are doing! :) You go girl!

  24. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says

    Set a trend!! If YOU feel good, I don't care what you are or aren't wearing!! ha!! I bet you will met more people this way too!

  25. Candice @ I Have Run says

    I can think of a lot of things that are crazier than minimalist footwear. Your neighbors should be happy!

    And that toe picture made me cringe. Take care of it!

  26. Victoria Elizabeth says

    Who wants to be what society deems as "normal"!!! Good for you for doing what you love and not caring about the judgement of others!

  27. Jen says

    I love it! I wish you were my neighbor so we could be freaks together. I get some pretty weird looks too. Wait until it's around town and you're carrying your shoes with you. I used to be so embarrassed but now have come to embrace the weirdness that is me.
    I've stubbed my toe before too but it's been in my minimal shoes and I was glad for the extra protection.
    And by the way, no one has ever proved pronating is bad for you. Anyone can run barefoot. We weren't born wearing shoes. Just my two cents. :)

  28. Jill says

    YAY for NOT caring and doing your thing! I was just emailing Tara today about how my head is swimming in so many people telling me try this or that; no wonder I am so stressed. I guess it's one thing when you feel better and know what's working opposed to still in pain and not knowing. It's good to see light at the end of your tunnel.

  29. Pam says

    OUCH!!! That toe looks painful! "Scraped my toe" is putting it rather mildly! Is that a big chunk of toenail gone, or is it just covered in blood?

  30. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says

    I do think my barefoot time over the winter on the treadmill has helped strengthen my feet and ankles for this spring racing. I still do very little barefoot outside (just the half mile in front of my house) and I don't know that I'll ever be doing a trail run in minimalist shoes but I do think training barefoot even a fraction of my total mileage helps keep my feet in better condition.

    As for you being a crazy lady in the neighborhood, if barefoot is crazy that's an okay role to have. At least they are noticing and maybe they'll try it out too.

  31. chris mcpeake says

    Poor toe, yikes. You can never be to crazy. Think of all the great gossip you are personally fuelling in the neighbourhood. Thats awesome.

  32. Penny says

    Actually when I first saw someone at a race with the vff's shoes, you do think there are kind of odd. But it is different once you get more info on the shoes or running barefoot. It intriged me I bought some VVF'S and am working on transiting to them. So I think that is a normal reaction. Ouch on the toe. I had my vff on the other morning and trip over my own foot go figure. KEEP IT GOING MISSZIPPY YOU ARE DOING WONDERFUL.

  33. lindsay says

    now that you mention it – i wonder if running around barefoot all summer when i was a kid helped build/strengthen my feet/legs … hmm. yeah barefooting is totally normal down south here, you'd be normal :) hurts to step on acorns though.

  34. thea says

    Ouch! I think that's exactly what scares me most, but still can't help be read with much interest. So glad you're sticking with it. It really does seem like the way to go. I like to think you're neighbors appreciate that you fly your freak flag with pride!

  35. Terzah says

    Love the part about getting your kids to go around barefoot. I plan to do this in the summer too. I look at their awesome strong little feet and want to keep 'em that way.

  36. Katie says

    I've been running in minimalist shoes lately. I tried running barefoot a few times on the treadmill. I had trouble with huge blood blisters though. Ouch!

  37. Sarah Kopf says

    I think that is so great! You run in your bare feet; someday I want to join you! (There is snow on the ground here.)

    Sorry about your toe. Hopefully its healed up soon!


  38. Angie Bee says

    Yay for barefoot!! I can't wait for my coaching course with Lee Saxby. Two whole days of science and bio-mechanics. Sweet :)
    Love that you are so happy!

  39. Richelle says

    You're doing what's best for you and that is all that matters! Besides, we runners are a little nuts anyway. 😉

  40. Gracie (Complicated Day) says

    The first time I ran barefoot I did three miles on rough road and literally wore through my feet. I had big bloody worn patches and the end of one toe was just …sponge. Then I ran a 30k three days later. Oh holy pain.
    So thrilled to hear the updates, I think minimalist is probably where it's at!

  41. Johann says

    Maybe you'll start a new trend. Here in SA most people go to the mall with bare feet. Nothing strange about it here so maybe not so strange anywhere.

  42. Mark says


    keep it very gradual and slow. your feet will immediatley tell your brain what the progression should be….something that cannot happen with shoes. I do about 25% of my running barefeet and these are much slower miles. perfect for recovery. Barefoot activity gives the body a perfect reset/recovery at minimal impact.

    owner Two Rivers Treads and barefoot runner

  43. Dash says

    Take care of those tootsies! You probably already were considered eccentric by them, being that "runner" and "marathoner".


  44. Joanne says

    In our neighborhood, no one would blink an eye. STranger goings on around here than you could ever imagine.
    Keep up the great work. I'm such a barefoot fan but don't think I'd risk running with out shoes. I like my cushion.

  45. The Happy Runner says

    No harm/no foul is right.
    If you lived near me we could be eccentrics together — my neighbors all think I'm whacked. When I was running while preggo a few of them even told me that straight out — kindly, but still.