I'm in north Florida, so obviously it dosen't get very cold here (I used to live in Denver before barefooting, and I can't imagine getting many barefoot runs in during the winter there without wearing Five Fingers or some kind of covering). Maybe everyone goes with minimalist footwear on cold/snowy runs?
So, my "coldest" runs have been a couple of times in the mid-forties. I don't think I could run barefoot in less than 40 degree weather. A couple of times my toes almost felt like your fingers do when they get too cold, but not quite. I think in the 30's, my feet would get numb.
I've thought about running BF on the treadmill when it's too cold, but I have gotten a blister doing that (from the friction of the belt, I guess). And, most gyms want you to wear shoes.
MTA: I googled Barefoot Ted but forgot he lives in sunny Calif.
"I can do 440 in 220" Half Fanatic #846 "90% of running is half mental" If I collapse, please pause my Garmin
Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k
I've used winter weight socks when my feet get to numb. I also use them to test my form ( I read in BF running book about socks and being able to run w/o holing them if form is good). Last year I only got about 8mi before holing rt heel. Haven't used them this year because of HM training where I use minimal shoes, VFF Sprints or Saucony Hattori. Have also been running with a group in a non-BF friendly neighborhood where even socks wouldn't really work for me.
bob e v 2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?
Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full
Break the 1000 mi barrier!
History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.
I live in central SC and manage to run through the winter with bare feet. I do pick and choose more carefully when to run, though.
I find that I can run down to at least 30F in dry conditions and to about 40F in wet conditions. My feet often go numb during the first few minutes of a run and take about ten to twenty more minutes to warm back up to normal. I just have to pay more attention to form during the numb period.
I have yet to run in much snow, as we don't get much here normally. I have walked around for a couple of minutes barefoot when we have had snow and have run through the thawing snow when there wasn't much left.
I ran a long run today that started in mid-20's temps. I wore socks until I started and was well bundled up from ankle to head, and my feet did much better than I expected. It was my longest barefoot run to date.
I live in Cambridge, and it does get cold around here. I also went to college near the Twin Cities. So I have lots of cold weather bare experience.
I've tried to run barefoot in the snow. I simply can't do it. I think the 40's, especially if it's wet, is even worse actually.
I just can't do what Michael Sandler does here for more than .25 miles.
Honestly, it's a bit too risky for me too. I know that if I'm in minimalist shoes and I get hurt, tired, or whatever, I can walk without worrying about my feet needing to be amputated when I arrive at my destination.
I realize you can put a lot of preparation into this to make sure it probably won't happen, but that's a lot more preparation than I want to go run for an hour every day.
So my experience is, gradually build up some barefoot on the treadmill (don't overdo it or you will get blisters, even if it's just walking), and find some kind of shoe/mocassin/sock that you are comfortable that if you had to walk for awhile in, you wouldn't worry about gangreen.
I wrote further about my experimentation on my blog a few years ago.
These days, when it's really cold up in MI, I rely on my RunAmoc with socks. Even running in VFF I've gotten frostbite, especially when you get them wet from road slop. It's a brutal healing process once you get frostbite on your toes.
MTA: Most of my runs are 1 hr+, so of course YMMV.
Creator of RunForth | @robraux | shodless.com
We experienced a rough winter here in New England, I got through most of it barefoot. I reached some new comfort levels to extreme cold temps this past winter. I actually got in my first official barefoot snow run as well.
interesting topic. I am having some hot weather barefooting issues right now. I am about 1 month into barefoot running. Twice now, the road has been too hot for me. I did much better this last time, but I worry about the heat and cold.
sumdeus thank you for posting about the concern of frostbite.
I would love to leave one set of barefoot tracks in the first snowfall. Before the ground is frozen solid.
Right now my weekly milage is about 8 miles barefoot. I'm really trying to go slowly.
RUN SAFE. Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28
Sun 9/7 - 6am (volunteer- Womens TRI) -
Sat 9/27 (scheduling conflict) Hogsback HM - October Hartford Marathon. November - Spartan Race with DW in Fenway
I don't know what your schedule allows, but I solved the hot pavement issue by running earlier in the day before it has a chance to warm up too much. Probably early evening would work too. If you're talking about running with a group at a certain time, then you are locked in. That's when to wear shoes if the pavement is hot and consider it as giving your feet a break.
Make sure you don't burn your feet. I haven't ever blistered them, but I came close a couple of years ago and had to take a few days off from running.
I find my feet do gradually adjust to hotter surface temps (as in I can run on slightly hotter pavement this year than I could two years ago), but I have to do like Bill and run early in the day. Or wear huaraches if I'm running with an afternoon group--or pick a very shady route.
Hey all - Barefooting still going well. Getting closer to the name of this thread. "Winter-time barefoot experiences?" - I have gotten through the hottest days of the year, and I know that 88 degrees with the sun beating on the blacktop all day, is too much for me this year. Not sure exactly where my cry-off point is before that, but I know that was too hot for me this year.
I am working on toughening up my feet. I ran a group run last week which turned out to be my fastest 5K pace ever - and it was a BF run ! I am doing about 25% of my runs BF. This Sunday, I have a 5K race coming up which will be my 2nd 5K BF. I picked up an end of season pair of water-shoes for $8, so I have 2 pair to choose from. Im hoping to get some actual bare foot winter runs in. Already imagining the foot print in the snow. At the same time, I dont want to be stupid and get frostbite.
After this weekend's race, I have 6 weeks to prepare for my Mud Run 5K, my HM and my 10Miler at Disney. (all back-to-back-to-back). Right now, Im thinking I can do the Mud 5K and the 10M BF, not sure about the HM just before vacation.
I truely enjoy BF running. I am still a bit shocked at how shocked everyone else is to see a person without shoes. Oh- I bought a Go Pro camera! I wont have it for this run (due to arrive Monday) but I look forward to using it to capture some shots of my feet on the ground. Might give me some feedback on form too. There is a 1 mile timed run on Tuesday I plan to do. Hoping I dont burn my feet too bad Sunday so that I can do the 1 m BF. I have found when I really try to go fast, I am still "Pushing" off with my feet. I know its wrong, but especially when I get tired, my form suffers.
I've been at this since 2009, in a climate that's about 10 degrees colder in the winter than Barefoot Gentile's.
First things first - don't run on numb feet. You'll injure them.
What I can say is that everyone differs in what their "bottom temp" is. Most people can run barefoot down to around freezing if it's dry if they just layer up on top. But for some people, the lower limit is around 40. Me? On dry days, I can go down to 20.
However, you need to keep water in mind. Up where I live, they use some low-temperature road salt. When this stuff is out, it lowers the temperature of the puddles to around 15 degrees F. (If you' live in a slightly warmer climate, your road salt will only lower the puddles to 25 F). So, even if it's 40, if there are a lot of snow banks and puddles, I can't run barefoot because the puddles are too cold. Also, the shoulder of the road is typically narrow, so I have to jump in and out of snow banks.
What's my solution?
It's shoes. There are really good minimalists options out there nowadays. I've never had a problem getting back to barefoot in the spring. I don't "lose my callouses" - it's all about skill. Over the years, I've learned not to scrape my feet on the pavement, and I can get out there and run 6 miles bare on the first day I take the shoes off.
SILLY C - thanks for the feedback. I matched my PR for GUN time, but think (if there were a chip) my time would be about 2 seconds pace faster. I also did a 1 mile Mondo track run this week. It was a starting point for me to test my speed. What speed? LOL - I was the slowest of those above 19. Most of the kids were faster than me too. But I did see an 8 minute miler out there. anyway, it was BF.
Sorry- SILLY C- my question was- how many miles per week are you doing Shod and how many unshod? Just curious. I am doing about 5-10 miles BF and about 10-20 with shoes. Lately my miles have been off because Ive been putting in some Bike miles. And schedule is a mess until kids are back in school next week.
My mileage per week?
Between 15 to 40 mpw barefoot, and from 15 to 35 shod.
I'm an ultrarunner. I wear some kind of footwear on trails, but I tend to only hit the trails on weekends.