Posted by: timvanderveer | July 7, 2010

So, what do we wear?

Great updates from Rob on barefoot running and shoes. I thought to give you some impression of what kind of shoes the members of this illustrious project wear…

Here is a fantastic picture taken by Alaude (who made most of the nice pics on this site). At the front the powerful legs of Sudip (this guy is so strong, you can’t believe it), at the back Mister Super Sports Man, Bed. I guess that the shoes they are wearing are the kind of 5 dollar rip offs that you might find in the very worst shoe outlet dump stores where you don’t want to be seen by your friends. I’ve studied Sudips and Beds shoes carefully when I was there and I can tell you: they can just as well or maybe even better run barefoot. The cushioning is totally gone, if it was ever there. Sudips sole is worn off at the outside because he has a slight supination in his run. Bed runs completely neutral but his shoes can’t be called neutral. Any intended design in their shoes is vanished.

But it can always be worse. I’ve just added a bio on Ramesh, our fantastic coach and manager in Nepal. Read about Ramesh here. When speaking with him about his long and amazing carreer in the famous Gurkha brigade and as a sport man, he told me that in the seventies he was one of the first Nepalese who started running for fun. People in Nepal have no time for fun or leasure, so he was and probably still is quite exceptional.

When asked what sort of shoes he ran on, he had to think very hard but then remembered two Indian brands: Ashoka and Bata. Unfortunately I haven’t found a picture of Ashoka running shoes yet but here are the amazing Bata SuperPro’s. Pretty cool for a vintage rave party but I guess at the end of a night of being the dancing queen, you’ll have some painful blisters…

“Spoiled” people like Michael and myself of course have at least 5 pair of different running shoes.

Have a look at Michael’s latest purchase. The Newton Performance Trainer.

A minimal shoe with an interesting but also suspicious theory about absorbing energy when landing and giving it back when bouncing back up.

Yeah right, whatever… The design is really cool, Michael! And I know you’ve done a fantastic half marathon on them in Switzerland!

Will you wear in them Davos?

So, finally my shoes… Have a look at those muscles in the middle. Yep, that Hulk there is me between Bed and Sudip. I’ve got the Nike Free’s, Vibram Five Vingers, Asics Racers, Asics Trainers, Adidas Sequence, Nike Triax, Inov-8 Roclite 320 and two pairs of Asics Kayanos.

My excuse is that I write for Runner’s World and need to stay up to date with new technology…. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty sick.

My real believe though is that it doesn’t really matter what type of shoe you wear. Technology is highly exaggerated and although gagdets are fun, if you want to run fast, you simply have to train hard.

Eat that, Nike…



  1. I still have my trusty pair of Brooks something-or-other that have run over 2500 miles, on four continents, and still going ok

  2. Guilty your honour. I’m a proper spoiled git. I do indulge for too much in new running gear – even when I don’t need it. It’s an addiction and I know it. I have at least 3 pairs of trainers on the go at one time. It’s a comfort thing I suppose. The irony is though that I ran my marathon PR in a pair of knackered old Saucony’s. The inside heels had worn away so I used cotton wool to replace the missing cushioning in the heel. Proper old school or what!

    On the Newtons – dodgy sales gimmick and way too expensive. However, dead light, fast and comfortable; even for a big fella like me. Sadly they will not be joining me in Davos. My Salomon SpeedCross 2’s are going to do the job. Cheers.

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