This last year has been a banner year for barefoot running. Here are just a few of the major events that occured:
- “Born to Run” was published. This event really put barefoot running on the map.
- Chris McDougall goes on media tour to promote book, ends up convincing hordes of people to give barefoot running a try.
- The Runners World Barefoot Running Forum is founded and becomes a major resource for new barefoot runners.
- Ted McDonald’s Minimalist Shoe Google group experiences an avalanche of new members.
- Three of us (that I know of) run a 100 miler in Vibrams (I ran Hallucination, Ted ran Leadville, and Leif Rustvold ran Hunderd in the Hood.)
- Rick Roeber is closing in on 50 barefoot marathons.
- Many great barefoot resources become available online (http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/resources.html)
- Several races add a “barefoot division”
- Vibrams become crazy popular; become difficult to find.
- Barefoot Running University was launched. Yes, that’s a shameless plug.
This leads me to my predictions for 2010.
- The soon-to-be-launched Barefoot Runners Society will become a national organizational force in the barefoot running community.
- Barefoot and minimalist running clinics will continue to develop (http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/clinics.html)
- Individuals will continue to push the envelope of barefoot running. Personally, I would like to run a 100 miler barefoot.
- Barefoot running clubs will begin to spring up throughout the country.
- Peer-review empirical research will be published adding further support to the practice (there’s already a sizable collection of empirical evidence supporting BFR: http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/research.html)
- Major shoe manufacturers will roll out new lines of minimalist shoes (ala Nike Frees) to capture the upswing in minimalist footwear interest. They may also remarket their current minimalist lines (racing flats) as barefoot-friendly.
- POSE and ChiRunning will REALLY embrace barefoot running and tout themselves as being THE way to learn barefoot running, which will annoy me even more.
- A host of books and movies will be released about barefoot running (including my own book that should be released sometime in January… stay tuned!)
- More members of the medical community will embrace barefoot running, nay-sayers will point to “too much too soon” injuries as evidence that barefoot running is bad.
- Hollywood will embrace barefoot running which will cause us long-time barefoot runners to groan… we will have officially reached “fad” status when Joel McHale makes fun of us on “The Soup”.
2010 will be a huge year for barefoot running. This is a movement that will reshape the running industry. It promises to be an interesting ride!