Hello World! New Team Member Joins Feetus

Wow, have we had a busy year here at Feetus!

The biggest news is that this year, Feetus has been growing an actual fetus, and our small team increased by 1 in November! While it may be a while before she is running around, she certainly has us running around after her!

We have also been very quiet on social media, as for the last 6-8 months we have been working on our new website, back-end ordering system as well as moving premises. This has caused us a lot of tech issues, which has disrupted our usual level of service for a lot of this year, and for that, I can only apologise! I want to thank all of our customers for sticking with us, and anyone who has been affected by any of this, we will ensure that we make it right.

Adebe Bikila

The History of Barefoot

Barefoot Running: A Brief History

Minimalist and barefoot running has seen a surge of interest recently, but barefoot running has been a strategy for champions for decades and beyond!

Natural running dates much further back and there have been ancient tribes throughout our long drawn history who have lived close to nature, in every terrain with only the soles of their bare feet doing the talking. In fact this concept of a natural running style has been recently popularised by Christopher McDougall’s book- ‘Born To Run’ based on the Native American tribe The Tarahumara Indians – known for their amazing ability to run barefoot for miles and miles is not some deep ancient hidden secret.

Daniel Lieberman, professor of human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University says:

“Our Feet were made for running. Humans have engaged in endurance running for millions of years, but the modern running shoe was not invented until the 1960s. For most of human history, runners have been barefoot or wore minimal footwear such as sandals or moccasins with smaller heels and little cushioning.”

Barefoot Champions

Even in competitive sports history, the first to race an Olympic marathon barefoot was a Tswana tribesman Len Tau representing South Africa in 1904 and then came Abebe Bikila an Ethiopian whose bare feet scorched the streets of Rome to give him the Olympic gold medal in a world record time and making it the most famous barefoot victory in modern history. More recent still, Zola Budd set several World Records in the 1980’s and make a big impact on the running world by training and racing in bare feet.

Benefits of Barefoot/Minimalist Running

Running barefoot forces you to land on your forefoot and midfoot instead of your heel, as you do in the longer strides you take in constructed footwear. The result is more efficient transfer of energy; reduced impact on the joints in your feet, ankles, and knees; and strengthening of the muscles in your feet.

And the one major benefit is the experience of it that stays with you and develops a ‘feel good’ factor, which is incomparable. Running barefoot or minimalist style is hugely liberating as having next to nothing on one’s feet brings you closer to mother earth in every possible way. You are also able to feel the real difference in running between grass, pavement, dirt tracks and every possible terrain. Also the idea that less weight on your feet helps you go faster is not rocket science, nor an ancient secret preserved over thousands of years by lost tribes.

Graphic on how to land barefoot when running
Notice how the foot lands

Get Started with Barefoot Running

Whilst minimalist running is the strategy for champions, for most of us the transition from regular shoes to minimalist/barefoot running shoes must be gradual, else it comes with its own set of health warnings. If you have spent most of your adult life in highly constructed trainers then switching suddenly to barefoot shoes requires a certain amount of ‘breaking in’. Your body needs to adjust.

Take your time to first wear them indoors for a few hours each day; go for walks with them and, as you grow more comfortable with the fit and the feel, that’s when you start to begin your ‘minimalist training’ journey. Take it slowly and easily, speed and endurance will gradually follow.

Don’t forget, in nature, even evolution and adaption is a gradual thing.  Only fools rush in, as they say

So get started folks and in the next blog – we shall talk about the different types of barefoot shoes.

In the meantime feel free to mail us and ask questions on any thing running related or about the shoes we have on offer. Contact Us.

Footsteps on beach
Get Running. Barefoot!

 Adios and happy barefoot running…!

Born-to-run-cover

Born to Run features in Amazon.com’s ‘100 Books to Read in a Lifetime’

McDougall’s Born to Run featured amongst ‘A bucket list of books to create a well-read life’

Who would have ever thought that a book about running would be regarded as a classic, and feature amongst other literary classics such as Orwell’s 1984, Nabokov’s Lolita, and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (not to mention Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar)?

Well, the international bestseller took the word by storm in 2010, and has made Amazon.com’s cut! Incredible.

Amazon.com’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime:

Title Author
1984 George Orwell
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers
A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning: The Short-Lived Edition Lemony Snicket
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
Alice Munro: Selected Stories Alice Munro
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
All the President’s Men Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt
Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret Judy Blume
Bel Canto Ann Patchett
Beloved Toni Morrison
Born To Run – A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Christopher McDougall
Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
Charlotte’s Web E.B. White
Cutting For Stone Abraham Verghese
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead Brene Brown
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 Jeff Kinney
Dune Frank Herbert
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream Hunter S. Thompson
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brown
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared M. Diamond
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
Life After Life Kate Atkinson
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Moneyball Michael Lewis
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On the Road Jack Kerouac
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay Michael Chabon
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X and Alex Haley
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz
The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
The Color of Water James McBride
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America Erik Larson
The Diary of Anne Frank Anne Frank
The Fault in Our Stars John Green
The Giver Lois Lowry
The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The House At Pooh Corner A. A. Milne
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot
The Liars’ Club: A Memoir Mary Karr
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) Rick Riordan
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales Oliver Sacks
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Michael Pollan
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel Barbara Kingsolver
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York Robert A. Caro
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Shining Stephen King
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel Haruki Murakami
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

Feetus.co.uk Bring Luna Sandals to the UK

Luna Sandals: Now Available in the UK

We’ve got some great news. You no longer need to order your Luna Sandals from America (and subsequently pay over-the-odds on shipping fees, then customs and duty charges). That’s right. Luna Sandals are now available from your favourite barefoot and minimalist running specialists, Feetus.co.uk.

“Have You Read Born to Run?”

If you’re reading this, the odds are that you’ve probably read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. And if you have, you will definitely recognise the name Barefoot Ted.

Well, that crazy guy from Born to Run was inspired by the Tarahumara Indians to create his own version of the huarache ‘barefoot’ sandal, and called it the Luna Sandal.

Here’s the Luna Sandals story:

Once upon a time, Ted McDonald took off his shoes and started running. After a lifetime of being shoed and cast with modern footwear, it took him years to rehabilitate his feet and legs and establish himself as one of the forerunners (get it?) in the field of barefoot running.

Manuel Luna making Ted his first pair of huaraches at the 2006 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon in Urique, Mexico
Manuel Luna making Ted his first pair of huaraches at the 2006 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon in Urique, Mexico

In the spring of 2006, Barefoot Ted visited the Copper Canyons of Northern Mexico with a group of elite ultra marathon runners. It was there in the rugged Sierra Madre mountains that Ted met Manuel Luna, a local Tarahumaran, who helped him make a pair of traditional huarache sandals out of an old tire. The seed for Luna Sandals had been planted.

Fast-forward to today, and Luna Sandals now operate from Seattle in North America.

I Love Them… But Aren’t They A Little Expensive?

Yes, they are expensive. But let me tell you a thing or two.

I picked up a pair of Venado Luna Sandals three months ago. I was very sceptical: “Will people really pay £65 for a pair of flip-flops?” Initially, I was impressed by the quality, the fit, and the look. The look was definitely the biggest plus at first – but I still could not understand the price tag, despite knowing that the sandals had been hand-made in Seattle, and were equipped with the best-quality Vibram soles.

Comfort

It wasn’t until at least a month later, I found I was wearing my Luna Sandals every day. I like to work in different locations, and often cycle to-and-from, and my Luna Sandals would travel with me in my bag. They became my most indispensible item of footwear.

Versatile

True, if I’m hitting the trails I will always opt for my Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport Sandals, or if I’m on the road I’ll don a pair of Seeya – but my Luna Sandals have been great because they travel with me. If I fancy going for a run and I don’t have my Vibrams with me, I just have to reach in to my bag and pull out my Lunas. Bingo.

Barefoot-Ted-Running
Barefoot Ted showing us how its done!

No Smell. No Odours

Another big selling point for me is that they don’t smell. I am always conscious of giving my Vibrams a good air out. I learned the hard way and left my first pair of KSOs damp. That was it, I could never get the smell out. I am much more careful now though, and I always get them dried as soon as possible – but with Luna Sandals, this is never an issue.

ATS (All Terrain Strapping) Lacing

And the laces. You don’t realise how functional the ATS lacing system is until you use it. Having used Xero Shoes extensively over the last 12-months, it can sometimes be a fiddle getting the laces right. If you wear Xero Shoes – you will know exactly what I mean. Can you ever get them to stay right where you want them? With Luna Sandals, you’re safe. The laces are comfortable, and stay put!

So, in summary.

Luna Sandals are expensive, I agree – but this is what you get for your money:

  • A durable, top-quality sole made by Vibram
  • A hand-made sandal (not from China. These are from America!)
  • A unique ATS lacing system (that works very well!)
  • Fresh-smelling
  • Comfort like no other sandal
  • Versatility. The Luna’s do-it-all.
  • Suitable for Vegans
  • The novelty: You loved Born to Run. You loved Barefoot Ted. And now you have his shoes.

OK, So What Styles Are Available?

The Venado (Deer en Español)

Lightweight and minimal: 7mm sole weighing just 3.9oz. The Venado was ‘The Original Luna’ and comes with ATS lacing, MGT (Monkey Grip Technology) non-slip footbed, and 6mm of Vibram sole.

Luna Sandals 'Venado' at Feetus.co.uk
Luna Sandals ‘Venado’. Notice the minimal sole thickness.

The Venado will serve you well if:

  • You’re road running
  • You want a casual, day-to-day sandal
  • You are looking for a lightweight travel companion

The Mono (Monkey en Español)

Billed by Luna as the ‘do everything, go everywhere sandal’, and it’s easy to see why. The 12mm sole provides cushioning and stability. The grip on the bottom will keep you on your feet. The Mono also comes with ATS lacing and MGT footbed.

Luna Sandals Mono
Luna Sandals ‘Mono’. Take them outside.

The Mono is for you if:

  • You’re looking for a sandal that is tough and durable
  • You run on road and trails
  • You like to run, walk, and trek long distances

The Mono Sole: A Closer Look
The Mono Sole: A Closer Look

Free Delivery Too

That’s right. Buy your Luna Sandals from us and don’t worry about shipping costs. Delivery is diddly-squat. Free of charge.

Who Are Vibram FiveFingers? Past and Present.

Many of us see Vibram FiveFingers and think ‘Vibram? They’re a new brand. I don’t know whether to trust these or to stick with Nike / Adidas / Asics / New Balance / etc [delete as appropriate].

But Vibram have been around a long, long time. In fact, Vitale Bramani founded Vibram the same year that Dame Shirley Bassey was born; the same year than J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published; and back when our George VI was still King.

You may recognise the yellow octagonal Vibram logo. It can be seen on rubber soles around the world on shoes and boots designed for outdoor purposes, fashion, performance, work and orthopedy. Having almost 80 years in the market, Vibram is a renowned leader synonymous with performance, quality, innovation, design and safety.

Vibram created the first sole made from vulcanised rubber, after Vitale Bramani applied the same technique used by tyre manufacturer Pirelli, applying the rubber under his mountaineering boots.  That kind of performance, reliability, and durability had never been seen before, and since then Vibram has been the sole of choice for outdoor shoe manufacturers.

Vitale Bramani, mounaineerer and founder of Vibram
Vitale Bramani, mounaineerer and founder of Vibram

To further elaborate on the strength of the brand, here are some other brands that are now industry standard:

Gore-Tex Waterproof Logo
Think ‘waterproof fabric’– You think of GORE-TEX.

Thinsulate - Thermal Fabric
Think ‘clothing insulation’ – You think of Thinsulate

The world-famous Vibram logo
Think ‘durable soles’ –You think of Vibram.

Since 1937 Vibram have applied their experience and unique know-how to develop the worlds most technologically developed soles. Today, 99% of the US Military wear Vibram soles.

An old Vibram advert
An old Vibram advert

An old Vibram advert
An old Vibram advert

It is fair to say that Vibram revolutionised the world of mountaineering, and now, with Vibram FiveFingers, they are revolutionising the sport of running.

Even Vibram FiveFingers are not as new as we think. Many of us think that they have only been around a couple of years at most. In fact, it was 2001 when the idea of Vibram FiveFingers was first proposed by Robert Fliri, an industrial designer, to Marco Bramani, the grandson of Vibram founder, Vitale Bramani.

2004 saw the patent filed, and in 2005 the Vibram FiveFingers went in to mass production. Soon, Fliri arrived at Vibram to begin his work in a team of experts to redefine and realise his idea of a shoe especially created for bare feet. The minimal footwear revolution was born, directly inspired by the barefoot phenomenon. Vibram had developed what is often referred to as a ‘barefoot shoe’: a flexible glove for your foot, with a Vibram rubber sole, each toe (finger) having its own ‘pocket’, helping the articulation of the foot, whilst stimulating the muscles of your lower limbs, thus giving a higher sense of wellbeing to the whole body.

 

NEW FOR 2013: The Vibram FiveFingers EL-X
NEW FOR 2013: The Vibram FiveFingers EL-X

Vibram continue to dedicate themselves to innovation. Their appreciation of continuous development and improvement has seen Vibram open their mega Technology Centre in Guangzhou, China. If you’re wearing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, you can bet they’ve been researched, prototyped, tested, and manufactured inside this 41,000 square-metre innovation plant.

 

Impressive huh?

Who wants a pair? Click here to see our full range – and remember – every pair of Vibram FiveFingers comes with FREE DELIVERY and a FREE FEETUS NECK TUBE.

 

Born-To-Run-Christopher-McDougall-Jake-Gyllenhaal-Barefoot-Peter-Sarsgaard-Film-Book-Vibram-Fivefingers-Shoes-BLOG

Will ‘Born to Run’ bestseller get film adaptation?

Will there be a film adaptation of Christopher McDougall’s bestseller Born to Run? There has been talk of it for years, with rumours that Jake Gyllenhaal was going to play a lead role, and that his step-brother Peter Sarsgaard (An Education, Garden State) would be in the directors chair.

If you’ve never read the book, here is an overview:

“Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.”

Have we been waiting in vain?

A simple Google search can yield thousands of results covering the possible adaptation, some dating as far back as July 2010. After years of waiting (in vain it seemed) there has been dwindling talk of the film, but this week, several online resources released information that McDougall had taken the reins instead of Sarsgaard:

McDougall told Relaxnews that the film adaptation negotiations have recently been “on the griddle,” with him taking on the project after finding Sarsgaard’s screenplay to be misguided. Sarsgaard also was hoping to make this project his directorial debut, but McDougall, who was excited about working with the “Jake/Peter combo,” said the working relationship with Sarsgaard has become acrimonious.

I would interpret this that it may be many, many years before we see anything come of this. Perhaps this story has been reignited in the media lately to help boost interest in McDougall’s new book.

Another adventure story

McDougall adds that he is also working on a book project, “another adventure story.” While he won’t give away too many details, he said he is looking at how “natural movement played a pivotal role in resistance fighting in World War II.”