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WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU RAN BAREFOOT!!!!

It’s been a crazy few days, and in the daily balancing act of Marriage, Kids, Workouts, Blog, the Blog has been taking the backseat in lieu of accomplishing other things. Monday’s WOD was pretty easy, with the exception of the accompanying run… I have continued RUNNING MY @$$ off and slacked off a little on the cross training. Monday evening I ran just a smidge over a 10k (6.24 miles, 01:01:03)with the Alamo Running Buddies, BAREFOOT.

yes, I ran this barefoot!

Tuesday morning I didn’t get to the gym to workout,(those pesky responsibilities!) but I did manage to squeeze in a 7-Mile Recovery Run in the evening. I donned my KSO’s for that run since I would be out after the sun went down… too much risk to my feet when I can’t see the running surface in detail. I ran a very similar route with a 1 mile loop.

Wednesday morning saw a light cross-training workout (by my definition) with a 5.5 mile recovery run (HR below 140) in 01:05:00 (max treadmill time)

I fear that I have “tweaked” something in my left wrist, so I am babying it a little by slacking off my weights and upper-body Plyometrics.

After the gym/shower/lunch/Thing’s Three down for a nap, I sat down at my computer for a few minutes, fully intending to write a blog post. I visited BirthdayShoes.com, (one of my favorite sites) to see what was happening in the wonderful world of bare feet. As fate would have it,  this was the newest article: (go ahead and read it, I’ll wait…seriously, you need to read it…go I will be here when you are done)

Kids Huaraches Review (And How to Make Kids Minimalist Sandals)

The author, Justin Owings, went into such great detail about every step of the construction, I decided I had to “ATTEMPT” to make a pair for myself. (Quit snickering, I am actually pretty crafty)

The first thing I discovered: Finding a sheet of rubber 5-10 mm thick is NEARLY impossible…seriously, I hit craft stores, hardware stores….(gasp) Even Walmart didn’t have anything resembling a solid sheet of rubber. I have considered a welcome mat, but couldn’t find one that didn’t have a design on it.

I decided not to stress about this hurdle, and I simply used a strip of Vinyl Floor Molding  ($4.97, Home Depot) to attempt a “proof of concept” model.

I followed the instructions on BirthdayShoes.com, and using some things I had around the house, I ACTUALLY managed to create a functioning, wearable pair of Huaraches

 I would NOT RECOMMEND making a pair out of the same materials I used, the vinyl I used only lasted an afternoon. (I actually didn’t think they would last that long) If you wish to make a lasting pair, get a kit, or use a mountain bike tire(if your feet are thin enough)

Here’s the Journey:

I started with a foot tracing…(note the contrasting lines of my “VFF Tan”

…then I cut out the aforementioned tracing…

…then I traced my foot tracing onto the vinyl…

…then I cut out the tracing…

I pulled the laces out of my old (and not worn very often nowadays) combat boots (note: they have a vibram sole that has outlasted 5 years of service, with a tour in iRaq…HOORAY Vibram) and punched holes with a hole punch…

…after meticulously following the lacing instructions on Birthdayshoes.com, I managed to conquer the daunting task of lacing my huaraches…I don’t think I could possibly explain this without making a video, and that video would have many do-overs and cuss words: here’s the final “prototype”:

AND there you have it, I managed to make my first pair of huaraches…. and THEY WERE ACTUALLY COMFORTABLE!!!

I decided that the materials I used were great for a proof of concept/lemme-try-this-with-stuff-I-have-laying-around-the-house attempt, but I knew the vinyl wouldn’t be strong enough to last more then a day, and the boot laces were a little on the abrasive side…. so off to Target I went in search of better materials to make a functioning pair.

After Wandering the aisles for about 20 minutes,I found Nylon cord in the camping section ($2.99 for about 50 feet) I came upon a 26″ White-Walled “Street Cruising” Bicycle tire…not only was the white-walled tire cheaper, but I think white walls show a little class….

Yes, I went “classy” with a “White Walled” Street Cruising Tire

The worst part of this build was my failure to realize there is a steel band along the edges of a bicycle tire (or at least this one had one) Man, oh man, was that sucker tough to cut and pull out…it wound up being a test of perseverance and brute force, but once that was done, the rest of the build was fairly simple and straight forward…

The EVIL steel cord

pulling the cord out of the tire

the curve of the tire actually helps to keep the ends (toes and heels) from dragging, but it made it a challenge to accurately cut the outline out

almost done!they are not very pretty yet…but they are wearable, and comfy…

and here they are, my DIY running sandals…I know my feet are ugly….I am part Hobbit…

Thing #1 and Thing#2 liked them so much, they wanted their own, and I was only too happy to make my kids their own pair! (Thing #3 wasn’t so impressed, and actually didn’t want her own pair, which is fortunate as I ran out of tire)

I wore them to the gym this morning, and they caused quite a stir. I have to admit, they do seem a “wee-bit” out-of-place in that environment. They weren’t the best for my usual QM warm-ups, as they slid around a little bit, but they were fine for a dumb bell circuit and Pull-up/Chin-up/leg-lift/Dips circuit found them comfy and functional as well.

Then I hit the treadmill…..

After a few minutes of adjustment and getting used to them, running in them was PURE JOY. I am a barefoot runner, so I didn’t have to adjust my gait much…I just had to get used to how they felt. I also quickly found that when my form was off, even a little bit, they made a lot of noise, (presumably from the mid-soles slapping up against my foot) when my gait/technique was wrong/off.

All in all, if you want a pair of Huaraches for running, there a several great companies , such as Luna and Invisible Shoes that make them available as both a finished ready to wear product and as a complete DIY kit…

Or you can go to the store and get yourself a bicycle tire and some nylon the end result may not be near as pretty, but it will be functional! …DON’T forget to get yourself a hole-punch too!

The first picture in this post was created with the aid of an electric leaf blower.

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