About a year ago, I’ve been exposed to the horrible drawbacks of modern shoes. I was always kinda knowing that barefoot is the way to go, since it simply makes perfect evolutionary sense. Our feet are an amazing outcome of millions of years of walking, running, climbing and jumping barefoot. Why the heck would we want to change it now? Humans are a strange creature.
Anyway, I was looking for the perfect barefoot running shoes right before I hit on my journey back then – 7 months of circling South East Asia with close to zero equipment. I needed something that will be lightweight enough, keep my feet grip natural, be easy to slip on and off in airports, and will be awesome to run with, in case that the terrain doesn’t allow the all-natural fully barefoot feeling. After some research – I found the InvisibleShoes Huaraches. The moment I wore them – I fell in love.
Barefoot Running Shoes – Tarahumara Huaraches Sandals - Invisible Shoes
The InvisibleShoe Huaraches running sandals are a modern take by Steven Sashen on the traditional running sandals of the Tarahumara people in the Mexican copper canyon. These amazing dudes run way more than what we consider to be marathons, on a regular basis, practically barefoot. They wear these thin sandals that keep their feet strike natural, while still protecting them from little rocks.
Why is Barefoot Better Than Modern Shoes ?
Modern shoes cause your body to land on your heels instead of your forefoot. If you think that’s bad – you have no idea how much. By putting the weight and impact on your posterior chain – you set up the stage for back problems, and many people (including me) believe that the number one reason for back injuries among professional runners is the use of modern shoes. Embrace statistics. Shoes corporations be damned.
The muscles, tendons and ligaments simply work naturally when barefoot. Humans have walked barefoot throughout the vast majority of our evolutionary history. This video by Dr. Silverman shows the whole heel strike issue pretty clearly:
My Thoughts On The Invisible Shoes Huaraches Barefoot Running Sandals
From the moment I’ve put these bastards on my feet – I never looked back. They are simply awesome. I did a few test-runs with them here at the beach, and then took them with me for my journey around Asia with no equipment. Been with them through 7 countries, and I just can’t get enough of them. Hiking, trekking, running, walking, everything – these sandals are the best invention since Seinfeld.
It’s also really easy to skim through airport security with them – which is a huge plus for me. They just feel super-comfortable, giving you an almost-fully barefoot feeling, while still protecting your feet from any of the modern ‘obstacles’ on the streets (broken glass, etc). I love it how the toes spread naturally with them, it reminds me of the time I spent with the rural barefoot Pounongs in the mountains of Cambodia. They had this super-strong-looking feet grip with toes spread apart from each other.
Here’s Steven introducing the InvisibleShoes Huaraches in NBC:
Do yourself a huge favor and buy a pair of these Huaraches before you get caught up in your busy life and the thought leaves your mind. Thank me a thousand times later. They are the most comfortable thing you’ll ever wear. I promise. Prepare yourself for many curious looks and smiles in the street as well
Since I got my pair of InvisibleShoes, Steven made a major upgrade to them and in fact they are even better now. I’ve asked him about the difference between the 6mm ‘Contact’ and 4mm ‘Connect’ soles, as I got a few emails from readers. Here’s his answer:
People use both the Connect and Contact for everything from walking to running ultra-marathons. I know some ultra-runners who use the 4mm for running and the 6mm for walking around. And I know some people who do the exact opposite. So, it’s not a matter of one style for a particular use. Really, the question is simple: do you want the closest thing to a barefoot feel? If so, get the 4mm Connect. If you want a bit of extra protection, then get the 6mm Contact.