To paraphrase Jason Robillard, there are three kinds of barefoot/minimalist runners:
- Barefoot purists - Strictly barefoot.
- Moderate minimalist runners - Mostly barefoot, but accept minimalist shoes as tools (Jason Robillard, Michael Sandler).
- Minimalist shoe runners - Only minimalist shoes.
I'm sure there are some people that are mostly minimalist shoe runners that barefoot once in a while, but that's beside the point. I think I've decided which category I fit in. I'm fairly sure of it in fact. I'll tell you which and why.
First off, since I started barefoot running, I've become more and more aware of the thick heels in normal shoes. The big block heels in my dress shoes drive me up the wall. They make me walk funny. I don't know how girls wear high heels, and I can't see why they think they make them look better. I personally think girls' barefoot posture is very attractive. I remember thinking that well before I ever thought about going barefoot myself. My Chacos, which I used to worship, are now a pain. Barefoot feels much more comfortable and natural to me now.
Not only does barefoot feel better for standing and walking, but running as well. When I run in shoes, I really notice the impact. My impact is hard even when I run on the balls of my feet. They talk about how if you run gently, you can run in anything, but I just can't seem to run gently in shoes.
My Merrell True Gloves are the best I've got, but even they seem to keep me from landing softly. I feel like the balls of my feet are smacking the ground. I can't even walk normal in them. Given, it's alot better than when I'm wearing anything else. But I think I'm pretty much decided. Unless I really need minimalist shoes, I'm going barefoot.