As much as we may try to deny it, we are animals. We did not appear on this planet in clothes and footwear, yet we now view these as essential to our daily existence.

In light of this, I wonder why I wear thick soled, gel filled, Asics footwear when I go for a run. Why do I need all of this cushioning, padding, and technology? We are told that it is to protect our joints and bones from the impact, to prevent injuries.

One day I asked myself “How did we do it before we became soft?”. I knew that running barefoot was the answer. I ran cross-country when I was a young-lad (10-14) and I either ran barefoot, or in my socks. It always felt as if I was running quicker than in runners (and I didn’t own spikes).

My feet are too soft to run barefoot on the road right now, so what’s the solution? I remembered looking at the Vibram site before, and their five finger shoes looked great. With such an unusual design, I’m not willing to order them over the internet in case they don’t fit me properly. Plus, they’re not exactly cheap so if it could be a costly experiment.

In the end I decided to wear some old runners of mine. They have soft leather uppers, a rubber sole, and zero padding. There are holes in the sole around the heel, which prevent me from landing heel first when running. So I decided to test them out on a 4km run yesterday.

The run went well, there was no foot or knee pain (which I get sometimes in my fancy pants go faster stripes Asics), and it just felt right. It didn’t feel like something I was making my body do, it was felt like something my body was designed to do.

It’s only been one run, so it’s too early to comment on how successful this experiment will be. I can report that my calves are on strike as they don’t know what’s happened to them. It’ll be another couple of days before I head out for run two.