Friday, October 12, 2012

Barefoot Running Movie Giveaway Winner!

The winner of my giveaway of the film Barefoot Running by Michael Sandler is user "Chris at Barefoot beginner." Shoot me your shipping information via email, Chris, and I will get it out to you as soon as possible. I hope you learn from and enjoy it.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I hope I can do more of these in the near future.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Minimalist Shoe Hack - Skora Base

I recently posted my review of the Skora Base, a really neat shoe concept with a flaw that made it a real challenge for me to wear and enjoy. This is largely due to my oddly long, skinny feet. I also previewed how I went about solving this problem.

Well, here is the full explanation of how I solved my quandary of the overly loose velcro strap.... in picture form.

Putting my newly-acquired sewing skills into practice. I simply doubled over about 1/2 an inch worth of strap material to shorten its overall length.

The aftermath: you can see my understated handiwork on the portion of the X-strap on the outside of each foot. The shoe fits much, much better now with the tighter range of adjustment.

Close-up. This was the cleaner of the two sewing hacks.

More close-up. Not bad, eh?

The machine tracked a bit off for this side (yeah, it was.... uh.... the machine! that's it, the machine goofed up.). Either way, it still works and is almost unnoticeable.

Good look at both shoes together. You can see the difference.  :(

All buttoned down in "on my foot" mode. Fits perfectly with the velcro portion fully... er, velc'd? Cro'd? With all the hooks on the one part hooked into the loops on the other part. 

Other side.

You can see that tightening the straps did not cause the upper to wrinkle too awful badly. That was a concern when I started, but it is not noticeable during normal wear. 
So there it is. I took my Skora Bases from almost unwearable for running on my skinny foot to delightfully snug. Also, I discovered that these shoes work better with a medium-to-thick sock than they do sockless. They are going to be my winter shoe of choice.

Next up: The thumb holes on my rad Mizuno WP (windproof) soft shell jacket are tiny - apparently designed for tiny Japanese runners. I have fatty American thumbs. How will I go about fixing this one? Maybe then I'l channel my inner Krupicka and start hacking away at my New Balance MT 100s that see no use these days.

Reminder to all readers: my giveaway of Michael Sandler's Barefoot Running movie ends tomorrow evening! Check out this post see how to enter. Stay tuned, and until then, happy running!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Movie Review and Giveaway: Michael Sandler's Barefoot Running

Oh, boy! The "trend" that is barefoot running has officially hit the small screen. The authors of the book Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch With the Earth are now the stars of the informational movie by the same name. Barefoot Running is available now on DVD from the RunBare website: a fantastic, well-designed resource for all things barefoot.

The movie.
After a representative for Michael Sandler (it may have actually been Michael, I have no idea) touched base with me about the upcoming release of his movie a few weeks ago, I was pretty stoked to see Michael spreading the good news of barefoot running in an other-than-text media. Obviously video can touch a different audience than books can because of the time and effort one must invest into reading. (I teach 7th grade reading and English; I know a thing or two about this.) I was fortunate enough to get a chance to see the film and have a copy to give away!

Here is a preview from the website:

I thought I might give a breakdown of the information you will find in this video with a short review/critique. After all, why would you visit my blog if you didn't care what I thought, right? The list below is a summary of the content of the video. It contains information on:
- Michael and Jessica's personal barefoot running stories: their respective history and how they discovered the joy of running shoeless.
- The biomechanics of barefoot running with practical tips and shoutouts to Barefoot Ted, Christopher MacDougall, and Dr. Daniel Lieberman of the Harvard Biomechanics lab
The instructional portion contained info about:
- Posture
- Core engagement
- "The String" ala Danny Dreyer/Chi Running
- Arm positioning
- The "Controlled fall" idea
- Definite forefoot strike instruction; without heel touching but sometimes "brushing" the ground
- Lots of borrowed/synthesized material from various sources (POSE, etc.)
- Grounding - a bit hokey and hippy-ish, but whatever.
- Pre-run meditation "listening to your body" - "syncing with nature"
- Great foot strengthening and warm-up drills
- Pretty, natural feet, wider forefoot for yoga platform
- Form drills: "pelvis to neutral," etc. - one of the video's biggest strengths
- Err on the easy side - never to the point of blistering
- Foam roller and ball technique (tennis)

Barefoot Running is a great resource that all avid barefooters should take a look at, but it is best as an introduction to running without shoes. Michael and Jessica's personalities are hilarious (they are huge nerds; I identify with that), and the instruction has an overall very hippy-esque taste to it. Regardless, there is a ton of great instruction on how to transition properly to running roads and trails with the least possible separation between you and nature.

Now on to business! Here's how the giveaway will work; you must complete one of these steps for one entry with the possibility of completing all three for a total of three! (confusing, I know).
- Post below in the comments = 1 entry
- Post a link to my blog on Facebook = 1 entry
- Do something creative to get people to visit here and post up (anything goes)= 1 entry

*Update: Tweet a link with the hashtag "#unshod" and consider that an extra entry! Contest ends on Friday, October 14.

Let me know in the comments which you have done. Enjoy, and best of luck.