• What motivated you to take up BFM running?
I was motivated to take up barefoot/minimalist everything after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and having my feet destroyed by a pair of Montrail Hardrocks. The shoes forced my feet to point the toes up in an unnatural position. I ended up with extreme foot pain and shooting electrical pains that ran up my legs. I had to quit the trail. I went online to figure out what happened to my feet and found information from some barefoot enthusiasts that explained foot deformation and other problems caused by shoes. I healed my feet walking barefoot and then started learning to make my own shoes so I would no longer be crippled by over-built shoes.
• How did you transition to BFM running?
I made all my own shoes and used them for every activity. I got used to flat shoes by walking, hiking and wearing them every day. When I run, it's just casually for fitness and only off-and-on. I've run in my own homemade sandals it has seemed way more natural than to run in anything else.
• Has BFM running influenced your performance?
I run casually. Being in minimal footwear all the time probably makes me a little slower since you can't just crash your heels into the ground to go faster, but I don't really care about that. I just want happy feet.
• Has BFM running influenced your injury rates?
Well, it cured the injuries that set me looking for a fix. Other than that, I don't get injuries and never really did.
• What barriers have you experienced/ overcome (if any)?
Learning to make shoes was a significant barrier. And once I learned, there were finally a lot of decent options for shoes to purchase. I still think my sandals are superior to any other commercial shoe. And they are not like huaraches. The worst thing about minimalist shoes on the market are they still tend not to be wide enough, there's still a tendency to make the bottom of the sole too molded, and there's this silly belief among runners that you have to feel every sharp thing under your foot for a shoe to be minimal. I really just want perfectly fat really wide shoes that let my feet be feet and keep the sharp stuff from hurting. So whenever cushioned versions of minimalist shoes come out, the runners tend to scoff but I think there's the shoe for me! I wear them hiking and backpacking.
Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.