I had the opportunity to travel to Germany this last week to address a crowd at an outdoor trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany with my friends at Merrell. It was a great opportunity to engage members of the running industry in discussions about barefoot and minimalist shoe running.
My conclusion- Europe (and the rest of the world) seems to be about 18-24 months behind the US. They are experiencing what we experienced in 2009… a small but unmistakable simmering just below the surface. The BFR/MR movement is on the cusp of expanding beyond the few early adopters for the exact same reason it exploded here- those that tried it fell in love with it and shared with everyone they knew.
When I have a little more time, I will elaborate on my thoughts. Shelly and I are frantically preparing to hit the road tomorrow, so I haven’t had much time to write. When I do get the time, I’ll share some of the experiences from Germany, including:
- 40 hour stretch with one hour of sleep,
- Driving on the Autobahn and being passed by a Porche going about 180 mph,
- Language barriers and driving across the country with no money,
- Going three days without seeing a fruit or vegetable,
- A run-in with the police at a beer festival,
- And of course a run-down of the actual trade show.
The best moment- An Italian gentleman asked me what I thought of Vibram’s Five Fingers. I told him I was a big fan and that I ran a 100 miler in a pair of KSO’s. I also told him the Vibram sole was incredibly durable- a friend (Jesse Scott) ran approximately 2500 miles in a pair of KSOs. His response-
“I know, I designed them.”
That moment made my day.
Until I get time to write a formal write-up, I’ll pose a question. I have quite a few international readers. If you live outside North America, post a comment telling us where you’re at and what is the state of barefoot and minimalist shoe running in your area.