I have bore my Soles 7 times now and love it. I do feel little awkward running past people barefoot. I don't know if it's in my head or not, but some seem to look at me a little cockeyed. But, here in Santa Cruz there are weirdos everywhere. I'm just keeping Santa Cruz weird I guess. It has been fun trying something new. Usually when I start running on a regular basis, I am injured two weeks later due to shin pain, knee pain and/or hip pain. I have no pain now.
"Doesn't that hurt?"
When I tell people that I'm going to run barefoot in my next triathlon they look at me cockeyed and by their facial expression I know their internal dialogue is something like 'that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.' Then they force an awkward smile and ask, "doesn't that hurt?". My answer is, "No, not really it actually feels good." If you run 10 miles the first day then, yes it will hurt.
You are using muscles that you have never used before. As you transition to barefoot running, you should start slowly. Ease into your mileage and listen to you feet. Most runner’s require 3-4 weeks before achieving ~80% of their regular mileage. Over the last three weeks I have worked up to 1.5 miles (yesterday) and everything feels great. I listen to my feet. As soon as they begin to ache (the arches usually), I stop.
I was introduced to barefoot running by my friend Sam Jones who was raving about a book called BORN TO RUN. This New York best seller seeks to dispel the myth that you need an overly supportive, cushioned, orthopedic shoe-boot in order to push the limits of human potential in running and exploring the world joyfully. I Highly recommend this book. I read it in a day and it helped me understand why I kept getting injured.
Barefoot running may not be for everyone (Eric Hanson who is a Pansy). But don't knock it, till you rock it! Let go of the stigma and set your feet free. You'll instantly run softer and your biomechanics will automatically change, by running more on your forefoot instead of heel striking (which cause more stress
and torque on your knees and hips). Besides.....its fun to be a hippie! Try it!