It was a progression. I used to wear high heels a lot, and my feet would ache. I moved to lower heels, clunky clogs, thick-soled trail runners. My feel felt better and better, and I felt lighter and lighter, but there was still something missing. I sought out the bendiest thinnest shoes I could, and then Born To Run hit in 2009, and everything changed.
All of a sudden there were actual companies out there making minimalist shoes — Luna, VivoBarefoot, Vibram. I tried them all, but once I tried Earth Runners, my search was complete. And when they came out with their leather-laced model, I was so smitten that I could barely believe that a shoe this comfortable existed. Sturdy, comfy, bendy, sensitive, firm-holding and yet velvety-soft and supple. They're the closest that I've ever gotten to wearing nothing at all on my feet. (Yeah, I aspire to total barefootness, but am still a wuss when it comes to sharp rocks.)
I run in these, I walk in these. I leap and jump. I hike in rough steep rocky places. I get them wet and filthy. I wear them in front of "normal" people, and have been told spontaneously on multiple occasions that they "look cute." Yeah, these are really the only shoes you're gonna need, unless it's super-snowy — but their season can actually be extended well into a wintertime with these stylin' toe socks.
There's a ton of evidence for the biomechanical superiority of minimalist footwear, but these shoes go even further — they're grounded! Yep, Earth Runners are not only the most comfortable minimalist shoes ever, but the soles have small metal inserts that connect you with the ground (yeah, avoid stepping on electric fences). The science on earthing is still young, but preliminary studies show potential health benefits, so I'll happily give a ride to some tiny copper discs, while the science matures. Pro tip: run upon wet earth, and the little discs will shiver your feet with a cool thrill.
Yeah, you need these shoes. So head over to the Earth Runner headquarters, and nab a pair. Tell 'em Barefoot Provisions sent you, and use the coupon code BP10 for a sweet 10% discount. Your feet (and your entire mind/body) will thank you.
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