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Barefoot sports "shoes" (for protection)?

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  • Barefoot sports "shoes" (for protection)?

    Hi Groksters,

    I've recently started playing weekly football (not american) where most players are wearing football boots with studs on the bottom as it is played on grass. I only run barefoot or in Vibrams these days and really would rather not have to move to an elevated platform which could open me up to ankle rolls like in the past. Playing the sport in Vibrams is fine (I just did it, and some guys wear sneakers), however there is a huge risk of a studded player stepping on my foot, which is a very common occurrence. This can cause injuries even when wearing a solid shoe!

    Is there a barefoot or minimalist shoe that provides some decent protection on the top whilst still retaining the basic thin soled feel? Obviously I am willing to compromise some degree of "barefoot" for protection.

    Cheers!

  • #2
    As thin as soccer shoes are getting stepped on is as bad as if you were barefoot. Regular soccer shoes really don't provide a whole lot more protection from cleats then a minimilist shoe would. The only thing you are sacrificing on turf is the traction that cleats provide.
    Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MightyAl View Post
      As thin as soccer shoes are getting stepped on is as bad as if you were barefoot. Regular soccer shoes really don't provide a whole lot more protection from cleats then a minimilist shoe would. The only thing you are sacrificing on turf is the traction that cleats provide.
      Thanks, but based on my experience I believe they do, for starters soccer boots allow you to kick the ball as hard as you can with the top of your foot. There is now way I can do that in my Vibrams. On top of this, I went around and had a close look at some of my team mates studded shoes today and the layer of leather is quite firm and certainly does provide some protection. I think a key feature is it spreads the force of a single stud over a larger distance.

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      • #4
        With proper technique you can kick a ball just as hard barefoot as you can with a shoe on. Soccer shoes are built to be more lightweight then to provide protection from getting stepped on. I am not saying they provide no protection but it is minimal at best.
        Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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        • #5
          I played soccer for a number of years, I’d suggest just getting the cleats. You’re going to sacrifice traction with any type of minimalist shoe. You can give Converse a shot (chuck taylor’s) but they’re slick, my guess is you won’t be able to turn, twist, etc, like you need to without the studs. If you’re doing this consistently do it right and suit up.

          Typically when playing soccer you’re going to be jogging or sprinting, when you sprint your body moves very naturally, meaning you’re landing like you’re supposed to (have you ever seen anybody heel strike when sprinting? Nope) so minimalist/barefoot isn’t entirely necessary, you can apply the same mid-food strike when jogging, etc.

          Finally, try to look for old school cleats, I only use Copa Mundial’s from adidas, old school studs (none of this spike shit) and the build is old school too, no futuristic sideways laces or anything like that. My friends spent a good amount of money on Adidas “predators” when those were “in” but they were too expensive and I wanted to wear the cleats my pop used to and those are the Copa Mundials. Highly recommended. I outgrew the pair I have, but those are still strong.
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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          • #6
            Sorry perhaps I should have been more specific in my original post.

            Firstly this is not soccer (touch rugby). Secondly, it IS fine to run barefoot. I tried it today, no problem whatsoever (we were born to run remember!). Third, I do believe shoes provide significant enough protection, and as such are looking for a barefoot shoe with something ontop more than vibrams.

            What I am after is some product suggestions if anyone has any ideas? The best I have so far is the Nike Frees and manually removing some of the sole to make it thinner like a video I saw posted here recently.

            Thanks.
            Last edited by evolution; 01-11-2011, 07:46 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by evolution View Post
              Sorry perhaps I should have been more specific in my original post.

              Firstly this is not soccer (touch rugby). Secondly, it IS fine to run barefoot. I tried it today, no problem whatsoever (we were born to run remember!). Third, I do believe shoes provide significant enough protection, and as such are looking for a barefoot shoe with something ontop more than vibrams.

              What I am after is some product suggestions if anyone has any ideas? The best I have so far is the Nike Frees and manually removing some of the sole to make it thinner like a video I saw posted here recently.

              Thanks.
              sorry about confusing the sport. Look into swimming shoes/pool shoes, super cheap, super thin soles, easily removable in-sole, extremely durable for the most part. Might just be what you need.
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #8
                Well rugby is completely different and those aren't cleats they are posts. I would not venture out and play rugby without a proper boot. Unless you are playing 7's which I am guessing you might be. You will never get the traction you need with a minimilist shoe that is why the other players are using boots. I understand your trepidation in using a proper shoe and I am completely on board with going barefoot but you will never get the performance out of vibrams or any other minimilist shoe as you will out of boots on a rugby field.

                P.S. You can drop kick the pill just as far barefoot as with boots, I have seen it done.
                Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MightyAl View Post
                  Well rugby is completely different and those aren't cleats they are posts. I would not venture out and play rugby without a proper boot. Unless you are playing 7's which I am guessing you might be. You will never get the traction you need with a minimilist shoe that is why the other players are using boots. I understand your trepidation in using a proper shoe and I am completely on board with going barefoot but you will never get the performance out of vibrams or any other minimilist shoe as you will out of boots on a rugby field.

                  P.S. You can drop kick the pill just as far barefoot as with boots, I have seen it done.
                  there are about 5 words in there I have never heard before. I just remembered though, you're definitely getting stepped on in the scrum, boot up dude.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                  • #10
                    I love my Nike Free shoes. I use them for CrossFit and running and they're great. Minimal 'support' but I still feel more protected than barefoot (I can't get on the Vibram bandwagon as much as I try).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by a_morgan24 View Post
                      I love my Nike Free shoes. I use them for CrossFit and running and they're great. Minimal 'support' but I still feel more protected than barefoot (I can't get on the Vibram bandwagon as much as I try).
                      Yes, the leading candidate right now is Nike Frees with the heel shaved down... Or these:
                      http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Prod...ot-Trail-Glove

                      Still love any further ideas if anyone has any!

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                      • #12
                        I've started running in New Balance WT101s while trying to transition to minimal running (I tried using huaraches this summer and ended up with a blunt-force crush injury to my forefoot from doing too much too soon), and they promote the proper footstrike, while still having some protection. Plus, they don't have the little grooves that pick up crud, like the Nike Frees. The most common complaint about the Free is that gravel and crud gets stuck in those grooves. I think the men's version is called the MT101.

                        Plus, they're only like $75 and they sell them on Endless.com. I used credit card points to pick up an Amazon gift card, so I only paid $25 for mine.

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                        • #13
                          The nike vapors that I use to wear, were pretty minimalistic. They do still have rigid sole, but it is fairly flat with little if any elevation in the heel if I am remembering correctly.

                          I loved them for that reason, they felt more barefoot by wrapping my feet. They are super light and the thinness gives you a great feel for the ball. It also makes getting spiked with them on pretty much like being barefoot (ouch).

                          I agree with the other poster about kicking barefoot. With the correct technique it does not hurt much. The old school Brazilian national players like Pele grew up playing the game barefoot. And on my recent trip to S. America I noticed that kids still grow up playing that way there.

                          Like being barefoot in general some of this is just your feet toughening up. If I am just knocking a soccer ball around with friends I don't mind going barefoot.

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                          • #14
                            You could try to inov8 baregrip Inov-8 Bare-Gripô 200 Lime/Black.

                            I'm not sure about protection on the top but it has good grip like a normal studded boot. Is there perhaps a substance that you could apply to the upper to toughen it up a bit?

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                            • #15
                              Maybe something here will work for you.

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