[Image credit: Mouldfish]
I spent days pouring over what little barefoot running content was available online. Remember, this was 2002. Before Vibram FiveFingers, before Nike Free and before hundreds (probably thousands) of media articles and blog posts about barefooting.
I couldn't help but feel betrayed by the footwear companies. Lied to by my favorite running magazine. Saturated with a renewed knowing of how I should run, I planned my inaugural barefoot run the following day.
It was a mild mid-Spring day in Calgary. I suited up and walked out my front door, barefoot. Well, okay, I took a pair of dusty old aqua socks with me - just in case. I walked to a nearby greenbelt, marked my starting line by tossing the aqua socks on the dew soaked grass and began to run.
I've always enjoyed being barefoot, but the sensation of running unshod was surreal. I not only ran for 30 minutes that day (longest run in nearly a year) but I run pain free. This was it! I found the Holy Grail of healthy injury-free running. No need for therapy or orthotics or cushioned shoes. Just a return to natural human movement. I took it slow at first, listened to my body and feet. Rested when my feet felt tender, ran in aqua socks in the rain as to not shred my soles, and generally relearned how to run.
I ran on grassy fields, sidewalks and on the street. I began to play with the environment. Testing my body and my feet. Over the coming weeks I made new friends with neighbors and fellow runners thanks to my naked feet. Sure, there were times I felt uneasy running barefoot. Early mornings made it difficult to see the path ahead - and my patience for aqua socks was, well, drying up. They were slipping around my foot constantly and stretched too easily to depend on to stay put.
It was then I knew that I needed a minimal 2nd skin to protect my feet once in a while. But there was nothing available commercially.
The idea for Skora was born.