Thoughts on an unexpected winter barefoot run

Barefoot running in winter

Yesterday, I went on my first ever winter barefoot run.

It’s not what you think; or maybe, it is what you think.

Sunny day

Yes, there was still some snow on the ground. But it was purely residual.

It was a sunny day. A warm day, temperature of about 53 degrees F.

Originally I had planned to go for a run like I did a couple of days ago, in Vibram FiveFingers shoes. But I changed my mind when I realized just how warm it was.

Impulsively, I just hopped out the door in my short-sleeve T-shirt and shorts, and barefoot, because it seemed that I could. What other winter have I had, during my lifetime spent in the northern United States, when I could go out running barefoot?

The run

I ended up running less than about three miles, because I faced some annoyances:

Putting on shoes

I ended up going back home and putting on my Xero Shoes (4mm Connect) that have become my favorite running footwear (when the weather allows; I stopped wearing them last fall shortly after the Great Race 10K, which was my first race running in them). I felt much better wearing these huaraches and went back out to run another three miles.

Xero Shoes 4mm Connect

Somber thoughts

I had a good time running outside as though it were spring or fall, but actually, I get worried every time this winter I am able to do something like this.

It’s not normal.

And it’s not good.

2012 was a record warm year for the continental United States.

It’s not pleasant contemplating global climate change.


It’s been nice being able to run in winter here in Pittsburgh without being all bundled up. But that is a constant reminder to me that something weird has been happening to our planet.

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