Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Runner and Toe Shoes

My friend The Runner read Born to Run just after I did.  He did switch from marshmallow shoes to racing flats, but he never really got the toe-shoe bug, let alone run barefoot.  Unlike me, however, he was and is a really good runner.  If it ain't broke, why fix it?

He seems to view my progression with some amusement.  I think he's a little reluctant to get Vibrams just because I'm so gung-ho about it.

So it is with great amusement that I've watched his boys become infatuated with toe shoes.  The other day he let me know that his older son has not only gotten a pair of Bikilas, but is joining the cross-country team, and will be running in his Bikilas.  The next day he shows up at my house, and his younger son is now sporting a pair of black Classics, with which he is riding his skateboard.  The Runner has his Bikila-clad son run for me, and he points out his good form, and how he's landing properly (not on his heel).

Bikila Boy (real names have been changed to protect the innocent) then informs us that he and my daughter have been "banished to the blacktop" by the security guard at school for wearing inappropriate footwear on the jungle gym.  My daughter was wearing Crocs...  The Runner decides he's got to take up the banner for his son's right to wear toe-shoes, and the following day I receive this email:

"[Bikila Boy] is now allowed to wear the Vibram’s on the jungle gym. I emailed [Nice Guy], the Vice-Principal explaining the situation and he called and said he needed to be educated regarding the toe shoes and was thankful that I did educate him.  [Bikila Boy] is more than welcome to wear them going forward and will not be “banished” to the “Vibram” penalty box.  My guess is the guard is a spy for Nike.  However, flip-flops are not allowed…  "

The vice-principal had never heard of Vibrams, but thanks to the miracle of Google, was informed while on the phone with The Runner, and to his credit, made the right call on the spot.

So the infiltration of toe shoes and the barefoot lifestyle continues...