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vibram five fingersI get way more comments from some of my distribution channels, facebook or twitter, than directly to my blog itself.  Some are strange enough that I don’t even understand them, but unless they are clearly from an ad-generating machine, I don’t moderate or censor.  The comments I received today, which I’ve included below, came to me via email.  They are clearly designed to goad me to respond.  Like it takes some really clever rhetoric to tempt a blogger to write online.  Thanks for the content Blaine.

Irony is so ironic at times.  I just came in from a 4 mile run in my minimalist Merrell Trail Gloves to read Blaine’s observation.  He hasn’t read all my blog entries.  I’ve written well over 300 in the past 3 years.  I should point out to my readers that the search bar in the upper left works quite well.  It doesn’t just find tags, the entire blog is indexed.  You want to know if I have ever mentioned your name?  Use that search tool.  I’ve written extensively on minimalist shoes and barefoot running.  And I’m a fan.  I’m not able to fully transition to the method myself.  Too old and delicate.  But I support the concepts behind the trend.

I will never consider the “five fingers” types of tread.  They freak me out.  Not looking at them on the store shelf but when running behind another athlete, in a race, who is sporting a pair of five fingers.  I get the sense I’m in a Terminator movie or something.  I say this without irony, they don’t look natural.  So I go with a standard tread, yet with a zero heel-to-toe drop that meets minimalist specs.  For the uninitiated, heel-to-toe drop is what largely defines minimalist running shoes.  The heel of a shoe might have 20mm of thickness and the front might have only 5mm.  The 15mm difference is referred to as the drop – 15mm is fairly traditional.  I don’t really know the exact specs but I believe a drop between 4mm and 10mm is considered minimalist.  Under 4mm is referred to as zero drop.  I’m not certain what defines a shoe as barefoot.  Apparently more than just the near-level slope.  It likely refers to very little thickness anywhere in the sole.

I ignored the minimalist trend for several years.  I changed my mind after reading, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  Unfortunately for me, I ignored all advice.  Rather than transitioning into them slowly, I ran in mine non-stop for two weeks, culminating in a foot injury during a 14 mile trail run.  Something popped.  I never fully understood what the injury was but had to take off 6 weeks to recover.  I now only wear them on very short runs, generally 3 or 4 miles in length.  But I think they’re great.  They assisted me to modify my running form from less heel strike to more mid-foot strike.  This is how I ran when I was younger.  The change in stride helped me to heal my plantar fasciitis.  Blaine, I hope you’re satisfied with my transparent response.

————————–unsolicited comments—————————-

I sometimes browse your blog, cleverly disguised to be about running, to see what you’re not writing about. So far, you seem to be checking all the right boxes:

…women popping a squat on the running trail. check.

…purposely running behind the “talent.” check.

…feigning modesty by wearing your running shorts to a massage knowing full well that you are under strict orders to do so. check.

Now, imagine my surprise when I went looking to see what Ed’s take was on these Vibram Five Fingers running shoes…and there was nothing!

“Set the fleet to condition one,” I thought. Something is wrong.

The truth is, I’ve often wondered if you’re actually some Cylonic skin job masquerading as Ed Mahoney for another attack on us poor humans.

If I’m suspicious, then think of your actual readers.

Do not answer me directly. Publicly explain on your blog why you haven’t written about these shoes. I don’t care anymore if they work or don’t work. Frack, I’m not even a runner!

I just want to know why you haven’t mentioned them. Prove you’re not a Cylon skin job!

Accidental? Purposeful? Distracted?

Don’t dawdle too long. People have been thrown out of airlocks for hesitation.

So say we all,