Perform Better Show Review: Barefoot Training – Mark Verstegen Part 1

I want to start by saying I enjoyed reflecting on the freedom that we have in our country thanks to the brave men and women that have felt so strongly in their patriotic beliefs to have fought for our country. Thank you for our liberty!

The Perform Better Functional Training Summit is really one of the best. I am going to chronicle my experiences one presentation at a time over the next few weeks. I’ll start with Mark Verstegen and his barefoot training talk. Mark is one of the top performance coaches in the game and has some beautiful facilities in his Athlete’s Performance locations.

The way Perform Better lays out their Summit is each presenter has a 75 minute lecture and 75 minute hands on breakout session that accompanies it. There are up to four sessions that run in each time block and you have to make some tough decisions because there are a plethora of good choices most sections. For you Three Amigos fans…a short 1 minute clip (click on the text)
Do You Know What a Plethora Is?

If you are going to talk about barefoot running, you have to throw out;

Click on this picture for a link to the paperback version of the book for less than $10.

These are what I used to step down from a traditional overbuilt running shoe, or sneaker as we call it where I’m from;
A true classic and you can’t go wrong for under $40. Better than buying a $100 shoe and have to stop wearing them after two weeks because your feet and knees are killing you! I wanted to go slow and Chucks have been a hit in the Kettlebell training community for a couple of years. There is no heel and a relatively comfortable toe box. There is also zero arch support. That is pretty much the point.

I actually went with the KSO Model that will show if you click on the picture. These run @ $80 but have been worth every penny. The KSO’s have a more minimal approach so the proprioceptors in the feet get a fair amount of information and the toes can move independently of one another.  They tend to get pretty smelly but you can machine wash and air dry them. Dr Scholl’s Odor Destroyer works well from what I have heard.
I just picked some up, and it works decent on my KSOs, but I have had them for a long time so the odor damage has been done. I do have a newer pair that I will use the powder with from the start. My wife gave me the Vibram Bikila that is built up more on the bottom than the KSO. Mine are black and gold. They are great for outdoor running, trail running etc.
I wear these when I present because they are in better shape than my KSOs.
I also picked up perhaps my newest favorite yet mid-June when I needed something to wear to a trip to Disney World in Florida with my family. I wore my Chucks there last year and alternated with Chacco sandals, which are pretty awesome.
My friend actually did some work with their organization before they really got going a few years ago, so I have had a pair for a while. So I alternated between the Chacos and Chucks and they did the trick, but I was looking for something with no heel, like the Chucks, and a wider toe box like the Chacos. So after reading and researching for a while, I went out and picked up a pair of the New Balance Minimus Trail Runners. What a great call! The lightest show I have ever worn, only a 19 millimeter heel and very flexible toe box. They help up to the pounding in Disney and have traveled well. I fly frequently and a breathable lightweight shoe is important to me that has no heel and let’s the foot work like it should. They look sharp too. The fitness version of these are a bit ugly to me.

Well I have been typing for a while and I have said almost nothing about Verstegen’s lecture or hands on! I am tired now so I guess I will get into that info in my next post. Until then…

Have an awesome day!

Eric Beard
CEO A-Team
Corrective Exercise Specialist

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