The very best way to run is barefoot. I have no doubt about this, though you may, and if you read anything about running barefoot, you will see there is controversy.
Your shoes are the problem. Almost all shoes form soft casts around the foot, hindering it from working properly.
Your foot is a beautiful work of architecture, a flexible, cushioned suspension arch that compresses into a solid structure and becomes fluid again and again as you walk or run. It does all this without a conscious thought on your part, unless it fails. Then you pay attention.
The desert is no place to run barefoot. I agree with you there, but while in Michigan I began to experiment with it, moving from shoes to those gloves for your feet, to thin sandals to minimalist shoes. I have run thousands of miles in little more than slippers, or even less.
When I say the problem is shoes, what I mean is that the problem is the way our feet work or don’t work in shoes. They are not allowed to flex, compress, and strengthen properly.
When running barefoot became a big craze a decade ago, a whole lot of people ran outside in less and got injured more. If our feet are so wonderfully designed, what happened?
We simply weren’t ready to run.
When I got my first minimalist shoes, the aforementioned gloves that my daughters prohibited from public view, I ran five miles in them because it felt so freeing! I had been running in pretty simple shoes before then, and I thought I would be fine.
I limped for a week. My feet hurt. My ankles hurt. My calves hurt. My . . . you get the point. It took a couple of years to honestly rebuild my feet and legs to run barefoot.
The same things happens in our spiritual lives as we begin to grow into Christ. Christ wants you to be free and mature. You are made to be flexible and strong at the right times and soft and fluid at others. The mature Christian knows without thinking when to do which.
But most of us have spent too long in either fashionable ideas or straitjackets of one kind or another. Learning to move in Christ’s freedom will take time. You may be sore at times. You may fall down. But, eventually, with growth and patience, you will find your feet in his Way.
Keep taking baby steps with us into Him.