Last week, we profiled Christopher McDougal's book Born to Run, which told the world of the hidden tribe of Native American super runners, the Tarahumara. The leather sandals that the tribes' people wear to run a hundred miles at a time were mimicked with rubber soles and nylon strings to create Xeroshoes.
American Master Sprinter Steven Sashen, together with his wife, Lena Phoenix, founded the company in Boulder, CO, where the shoes are now manufactured. The company is a committed supporter of the Tarahumara people.
Xeroshoes give no resistance when your foot bends. They allow complete, unrestricted movement of the foot for walking and running. Photo by Vincent Gerbino.
The writer of this blog attests that these sandals are fantastic for running, especially for folks still a bit too skittish to run totally barefoot. The shoes will allow your feet to move as freely as if unshod and insulate you against those pebbles you fear, or perhaps you're just bugged by the idea that the ground is dirty.
Whatever your view on running barefoot, these shoes are as close to barefoot as you can get without being totally barefoot, which I still encourage you to try. Even as I run barefoot almost always, I encourage you to get a pair of Xeroshoes. Unless you live in a warm climate, there will always be days with cold and wet pavement where you'll need the sandal in order to avoid skipping that run you just really want to take!
Besides, these shoes are cool enough to wear as regular shoes, and a great choice to wear when you must have shoes n even though you'd rather be barefoot!