Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recovery, It's Part of the Program: Barefooters Review

When I first started running, I just went out and ran, pretty much every day.  I wasn't running far, usually about 4-5km a day.  I ran that same 5km from Monday to Friday and I'd take the weekends off.  That was my little routine.  The weekends were my recovery time.  Once I started doing longer distances, I found that I needed to start incorporating things like massage into my routine to help me recover.  As I got older, things like compression gear and ice baths also became part of the regular routine in addition to massage.  The more things I had in my arsenal to aid in the recovery process, the better. 

Enter Barefooters.

Late last fall, I was approached by Michelle Clarke, a fellow runner, to see if I wanted to try out these recovery shoes.  As a runner, my feet take ridiculous amounts of abuse.  Our feet need to be treated with TLC if they are going to continue to allow us to run.  I'd seen Krysten wearing these shoes on instagram and then she mentioned how much she liked them in a blog post so I thought, why not?  I spend a lot of time on my feet on weekends when I really should be sitting down and relaxing after my workouts (have I mentioned that I have a hard time sitting still?).  I usually spend 2-3 hours doing some sort of food prep on the weekend so of course, I'm standing.  And I'm standing on a hard tiled floor in either my socks or my slippers.  Not the best choice, especially after a hard long run.  But, meal prep helps fuel my training so it's not something I'm going to skip either.  So, I started wearing my Barefooters inside during my meal prep.  GENIUS if I do say so myself. 

What makes these shoes so great?  Well for starters, they make your feet feel awesome.  I'm attributing that to their Oooaaahs reflex insoles (seriously that's what they're called!).  They are "removable insoles designed with reflexology principals in mind. The bumps are there to provide stimulation and to support the natural movements of your feet."   They are so much more supportive than my slippers (uh, hello!) and that makes a big difference in terms of how fatigued my legs end up feeling after standing around for 2-3 hours.  Especially after doing a long run.  The insoles actually make my feet feel amazing after a long run.  I totally get why they called their insoles "Oooaaahs" - I'm pretty sure that's exactly what came out of my mouth the first time I put them on. 

Unlike some other popular clog type shoes, these actually stay ON your feet.  These fit my feet perfectly without any slippage.  The fit is glove-like without being too tight.  I have room around my toes which is important to me especially after a race.  My feet take a pounding when I'm racing and I usually have a blister or two and some sore toenails if it's been a longer distance race.  I don't want anything touching them.  There is enough room in the toe box of these shoes that I don't have to worry about that.  Add a pair of compression socks and I'm good to go!  Needless to say, I will definitely be taking them with me to Boston for my post race walk to MJ O'Connors pub!

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The really exciting news (for me at least) is that Barefooters have just recently added a flip flop to their line up.  This is my kind of shoe.  I LIVE in flip flops in the summer and would love to get my hands on a pair of these.  I'm hoping they expand the colour range beyond the brown and black.  I could definitely see myself taking a pair of these to Europe this summer and wearing them every day.  Barefooters, you need to make these in white!

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If you're looking for a comfortable, eco friendly shoe and you believe that the road to good recovery starts with your feet, then I highly recommend you get yourself a pair of Barefooters and experience what it's like to Feel Great.  

Disclaimer:  Barefooters gave me these shoes in exchange for a honest review.

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