‘Barefoot’ Ted McDonald: The Philosophy of Getting Back to Natural
February 29, 2016
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Barefoot Ted McDonald spent over a decade mastering natural running techniques, and is an accomplished athlete known for self-experimentation and testing his natural human capabilities. He is founder and president of LUNA Sandals, the adventure sandal company based in Seattle, and Solowheel Seattle, the one-wheeled urban transporter company he started in 2014.
On this show we learn about the philosophy of what it means to run barefoot and naturally:
- Ted’s quest to discover primal natural human capacities. What does that entail? What got him on this path in life?
- His SoCal background growing up surfing, skating, and loving brands like “Hang Ten”
- His philosophy: Self-experimentation is key. Find your own path. Share what you discover. Repeat.
- Patience and mindset when pursuing barefoot/natural running.
- It took Ted about 10 years to master barefoot technique, and in that process he regained connectedness, mindfulness, and presence in running and body.
- What does Ted see has come of the minimalist craze and injury rate, has it gotten away from what barefoot/minimalist running should be about?
- Getting back to the root of why we participate in outdoor activity: whether it’s spirituality, connectedness, achieving the state of flow, etc.
- Sport: Don’t get caught up in results and competition; it’s ok just to get out there, move, participate and feel
- Anarchistic philosopher J. William Lloyd in 1890 wrote the first treatise on running where he suggests that health and pleasure should be our primary motivation for movement, not competition.
- Lloyd wrote in a paper on coed running clubs and games in the 1890s:
- “I would advise that each runner leave shoes and stockings at home, but of course this should be optional with the individual; next to bare feet are sandals, next to sandals moccasins, next to moccasins, soft, low shoes.”
- How people can safely transition from a life-time of shoe-wearing to barefoot/minimalist. Hint: It depends.
- From Ted’s blog; his three goals to master barefoot/minimalist running
- 1. Master gentle, quiet, forefoot-centric landings, silent and smooth.
2. Quicken your cadence: Running in bare feet encourages this naturally.
3. Stable upright posture: balanced head, core engaged, unbent torso, the feeling of balance, relaxed, yet strong.
- The inspiration behind LUNA sandals, the design and how they came to fruition
- LUNA’s vs. Vibrams or other minimalist run shoes
- Comparing LUNA wearer’s to “more traditional” runners
- What your footwear says about why you are running
- What’s the deal with his latest business: Solowheel Seattle?
- “Choose the simplest solution that works well”
hi ted. i have been running barefoot and walking and overdone it on rocky terrain. i have a high arched foot and i wonder if it is a good idea to run barefoot with a foot shaped like that. my injury was in the sesamoid bones although i bent the knees and applied a good barefoot technique, or i think so. do you have any advise?