Category Archives: running barefoot

Tales from the Kitchen: Nike Free

In the early 2000s, Nike’s Innovation Kitchen Director Tobie Hatfield and some of his colleagues cooked the world’s greatest products and technologies that gave birth to one of the Kitchen‘s best recipes, Nike Free, a footwear product that replicated barefoot training while offering the support and traction of a lightweight performance shoe.
This is the story of the advent of Nike Free.


Many thanks to Ogilvy Public Relations, especially to Marco Sindiong, for sharing this material and funny video.

Let Your Feet Lead You: the Merrell Barefoot Collection Debut in the Philippines

Let your feet lead you on a Merrell barefoot adventure!

Barefoot running is not as far-fetched as it sounds. This running technique is so effective that it has enthusiasts and serious athletes trying out “barefoot” or “barely there” running shoes.

This type of footwear allows people to get back outside and reconnect with nature every step of the way.  Its lightweight yet protective design allows wearers to get a feel of their surroundings and develop better flexibility, balance, and awareness. No more waiting in line at the gym or fancy equipment for a day of fun and adventure outdoors. 

Merrell’s Barefoot collection is comfortable enough to let you run and play outside with the kids, cruise the farmer’s market, or complete an urban road race.  Merrell also partnered with Vibram to ensure that each Barefoot shoe model is durable and gives that unique feeling of being almost barefoot. 

Unlike other minimalist footwear styles, the Merrell Barefoot collection is super lightweight, flexible, low profile, beneficial, and stylish.  Its ergonomic designs also strengthens feet and legs, realigns posture, and stimulates the senses.  All of these benefits in one pair of shoes.  

In 1960 Abebe Bikila was a late addition to the Ethiopian Olympic team, set to run the marathon.  When he didn’t like the way his shoes fit before the race, he decided to scrap them and race barefoot, the way he had trained.  Two hours and fifteen minutes later, he was Olympic champion, the hero of a nation and the first big name in barefoot running.

Almost 50 years later, Christopher McDougall publishes Born to Run, a book on the Tarahumara tribe in the remote mountains of Mexico and the unique yet efficient barefoot running style.  Slowly, people started notice barefoot running and its benefits.

With these in mind, Merrell partnered with Vibram® to produce an exclusive Barefoot Collection for the outdoor category.  Minimalist, lightweight, versatile, and efficient, the Merrell Barefoot Collection allows feet to grip authentic natural surfaces and lead sports enthusiasts into their preferred outdoor activities.  

This new footwear style helps create a more natural stride because it encourages a forward momentum and mid-foot landing. It also provides a lower impact and an aligned and effortless gait.  The Merrell Barefoot Collection is designed to stimulate different muscles, strengthen the core, and improve agility. 

Walking, running or going around barefoot is usually a unique and pleasurable experience for everyone. People love being barefoot because it creates a connection with nature and what they’re doing.  But since most people aren’t willing to go to work, hike a trail, or ride a bike completely shoe-less (not to mention most restaurants and shops won’t let you completely barefoot), this new shoe styles are ideal for people who are looking for that connection.

The Barefoot Collection for men includes the Trail Glove, True Glove, and Tough Glove.  All three styles are extremely lightweight and versatile and can take you from the trail to walking around town. 

Ladies will take a liking for the Merrell Pace Glove, Power Glove, and Pure Glove. All shoe models follow the Merrell’s credo “Performance Made Beautiful,” because they fit well and look good at the same time.


Try the Merrell Barefoot Collection now at Merrell concept stores and all leading department stores.  Go outdoors with the Merrell Barefoot!

Barefoot Running and the Advent of Vibram Five Fingers in the Philippines

Vest Friends Forever? Varefoot Friends Forever? Naaaah! Just kidding. VFF is just short for Vibram Five Fingers (VFF), a unique footwear design, which mimics the feeling of being barefoot.

Last year, barefoot running was already a buzz word among runners. But I, for one, ignored it as it didn’t spark my interest. It was not until I came across with McDougall’s book entitled, “Born to Run,” that I began to appreciate barefoot running as a theory.

Photo courtesy of: shodless.com

I haven’t tried wearing the VFF. At some point in time, I did check the VFF branch at Power Plant Mall in Rockwell but I never had the chance to try on a pair. If I have to be direct about it, I was not convinced how beneficial barefoot running is considering that with barefoot running, though being a good one, means running the risk of getting pricked by a sharp object and this may lead to suffering tetanus. Yikes! I know how it feels for I was once pricked by a rusty nail while running around the neighborhood with some friends during my childhood days. And I can only say one thing … it’s really, really, painful.

On a personal note, I’m a believer that the decision to getting the right pair for your feet, be it a normal running pair of shoes or using the VFF technology, at the end of day, the decision really must come from the runner himself. Why? Well, let’s not forget that each runner is different.

I’m no expert about this barefoot running theory. However, it’s impressive to note that there are various articles about barefoot running, both the good and the not so good ones.

What I can share with you, dear readers, is that I personally know a runner who used a pair of VFF during the Condura marathon race, in a multisport race like the Ironman 70.3, and ultimately during the Bataan Death March 102KM race last year.

Ronald Declarador, an ultramarathoner and a triathlete, together with other celebrity athletes and multisport coaches, recently graced the VFF media launch where he shared his experiences wearing the unique footwear. In terms of performance, he improved by an hour. Wearing the VFF taught him to be more aware of the road, especially, with each step that he makes. Now, dear readers, do you see yourself running a full marathon wearing only a VFF? What do you think? What if Barefoot Ted visits the Philippines?

Having a little chit chat with Ronald about his VFF KSO (Photo courtesy of Running Pinoy)

Barefoot Revolution Hits Philippines

This year, the barefoot revolution reaches local shores, aiming to change the lifestyle of the active Filipino one foot at a time. Barefootwear, Inc., the company that distributes the ingenious footwear in the country, recently held a sports-themed media launch at the Metropolitan Club, Rockwell Makati.

With Team Endure triathletes, from L-R: Let aka Running Mom, Ronald D., yours truly, Z, Marvin aka Nuttybunny, and Pio

The event gathered athletes, sports fanatics, celebrities and select health, sports, and fashion media personalities. Gracing the event were celebrity athletes Lorraine Lapus of the Philippine Surfing Academy, Corey Wills of Pulse Yoga, former Olympian Eric Buhain, multisport coach and athlete Joseph Pagulayan, ultramarathoner Ronald Declarador, and Frisbee star Reema Chanco who all profess to VFF’s many advantages. They related their experiences with the very unique footwear, proving the versatility of this new product.

The launch also included the Kettlebell demonstration by the Philippine Kettlebell Club, headed by Nico D’haenen and Running demos by the TRIMAC coaches, headed by Jay Valencia. The activities demonstrated the many benefits of the VFF such as better flexibility, stronger muscles, and improved posture among others. Guests were able to try first hand barefooting while engaging in these activities.

With only just a few months of being available in the country, expect more from Vibram Five Fingers as it continues to break new grounds. As Barefootwear Inc.’s Marketing Manager Cherry Ermita puts it, “The Filipino will never walk the same way again.”

Barefoot Running, Footwear History, and the Advent of VFF

The past years have certainly brought many revolutionary changes to the world. A prime example is the way people use shoes. For thousands of years, people have grown accustomed to wearing closed footwear.

When Vibram founder Vitale Bramani invented the first rubber soles for mountaineering boots in 1935, it was the beginning of a revolution. More than 70 years later, Vibram is still known around the world as the undisputed leader in soling technology for a wide range of quality performance footwear. Today, Vibram manufactures more than 34 million soles annually for more than 1,000 premium footwear brands worldwide such as Nike, Merrell, Ferragamo, Gucci, Cole Haan and Prada, to name a few.

The year 2006 marked the barefoot revolution as Vibram finally unveiled VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS, a unique footwear design that mimics the feeling of being barefoot. It allowed people to experience the sensation and freedom of going barefoot with the protection and sure-footed grip of a Vibram sole. Made by abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric and Vibram TC-1 performance rubber weighing 5.3oz. each, VFF immediately took the world by storm, catching especially the eyes and feet of athletes and sports aficionados. This led to being awarded as one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2007. To date, the barefoot revolution has invaded Europe, North America, Australia and very recently, Asia.

Below is just but one of the many VFF models. I personally chose the VFF W1132 Sprint model because of its bright color. Many regard VFF Sprint as the most versatile footwear due to its adjustable hook-and-loop closures crosses over the instep and around the heel to ensure a secure fit. VFF Sprint is used for light trekking, climbing, canyoneering, running, fitness training, martial arts, yoga, pilates, sailing, kayaking, surfing, and travel.

Photo source: sportsandalbeach.com

Other models include Speed, Classic, KSO also known as Keep Stuff Out, and Bikila. Next to Sprint model, I would recommend for those who are into barefoot running to try Bikila, which is designed for a more efficient forefoot strike and specifically made for barefoot running. Also worthy of note is KSO, which features a thin, abrasion-resistant stretch nylon and breathable mesh upper that wraps the entire forefoot to “keep stuff out“.

I would like to thank Juan Carlos Abad and Cherry Ermita, both from Big Toe, for the warm welcome as well as to Kim Faner for the invite. Trying on a pair of VFF was totally a new experience for me. But to go home with it for FREE was totally awesome. Ah, the best things in life are free indeed. Thank you Vibram Five Fingers!

For inquiries, call (02) 513.1449 or email marketing@barefootwearinc.com. You may also visit the official website at http://www.barefootwearinc.com/. The VFF store is located at Level R1 Bridgeway in PowerPlant Mall, Rockwell.