Soft Star Running Experiment - Final Notes
After wearing my Soft Stars exclusively to work/play in all of 2009, a few months ago I started to experiment with running in my "minimal" Soft Stars on the advice of our customers. After 4 months of trying out both moccasins and ramblers, I'm happy to have graduated to actual "running" a few miles at a time several times a week. It has been a great method for getting back into running mode as it forced me to really listen to my body, right down to the toes (and heels and fore foot, mid foot, arch, calves, etc.) ... which would have to be the most notable point - minimal shoes really make you incredibly mindful of how you move.
For those of you wondering what this is all about, the debate of shoes vs. barefoot/minimal is presented in a balanced fashion this week by Runners World author Amby Burfoot—click here to for a great summary of pros and cons. (I get a kick out of someone name "Burfoot" specializing in "Barefoot" articles - thanks Bruce!)
I've discovered running in my Soft Stars is "funner" (as my six-year old would say). On earth trails, the moccasins make me feel like a kid again. My almost-new pair of sneakers I purchased last summer to motivate me are languishing at home. Wearing the sneakers now make me feel a bit clunky, and because I've changed my form running in Soft Stars to land more on my forefoot, the running shoes are a bit uncomfortable now as well. As versatile as we elves are, I'm sure it would just take a few weeks to get acclimated to them again - but why? As an elf I can make my own beautiful running shoes, and "funner"works in my book. The ramblers were definitely the easiest transition given the extra layer they provide on gravel, whereas the moccasins require more easing into / running shorter distances at first - but both have been serving me well.
Thanks for all the supportive comments via phone, blog or Facebook. The Elves are looking to introduce an even more "minimal" and durable Rambler style this spring or summer for adults - stay tuned.
Illustration by Edel Rodriguez