“Galahad Clark’s ancestors have been making shoes since the 19th century. You could say this seventh generation descendant of the Clarks shoe dynasty is following in his forefathers’ footsteps. It’s just he’s doing it without any shoes on. Convinced that wearing shoes is the cause of a slew of health problems, Galahad is the man behind the £7.5 million turnover of Terra Plana – a company with shops in New York, Vienna and Ljubliana, whose VivoBarefoot shoes with ultra-thin soles act like a scond skin and mimic bare skin.”
“Shoes, according to Galahad Clark, are among the most environmentally damaging consumer products. He should know. He is a sixth-generation member of the country’s best-known shoe empire, Clarks.”
Read the full article at the Times Online
“We’ve long thought shoes were overrated, especially in summer, when there’s little more pleasant than your bare soles scuffing against the sand. But we wouldn’t have thought to run without trainers, especially not in the city, until we heard about the Evo shoes from [Terra Plana using] VivoBarefoot [Technology]. They have an ultra-thin soft rubber sole to protect your feet from being punctured by stray glass but they’re also designed to let your feet and toes move naturally, as they would if you were running barefoot, strengthening your foot, ankle, knee, hips and core. It’s also good for your posture, and they have the science to back it up.“
Here’s what they said about the Evo and their coaching session with out barefoot expert Lee Saxby.
“Last year, I wrote about the barefoot running trend for the New York Times, so when Terra Plana recently invited to me to try out their new minimalist running shoe with a renowned running coach, I was eager to give it a try. I’ve always been a somewhat reluctant runner, so this, I thought, might give me a boost to get in shape for summer.
Terra Plana, run by Galahad Clark, a seventh generation shoe maker (his family owns the footwear giant Clarks), has been one of the biggest proponents of the move toward stripped-down runningshoes that mimic a barefoot feel but provide protection from city streets. In March, the company debuted its first performance running shoe, the Evo ($160). it has a super-thin rubber sole (4 millimeters, compared to an inch or more for a conventional padded running shoe) and weighs just eight ounces.
When I arrived at Chelsea Piers, I was greeted by Lee Saxby, a biomechanics expert and level four Pose Method trainer. Lee had me run on a treadmill in my owns sneaks (a pair of Nike Frees, which have less padding than many running shoes) and videotaped it. I was “sticky,” not “bouncy,” he told me. And although I would have sworn I was a mid-foot striker, the evidence was there in gory slow motion… my heel striking the ground first — a big no-no in barefoot running. “Unless you grew up in a barefoot culture, you have to learn how to run,” Lee explained. Running shoes with big, cushy heels have trained us to take big strides and land on our heels, an unnatural gait that barefoot advocates say can cause injury. The foot is perfectly engineered to run, but encased in modern footwear, our feet have gotten lazy.
Lee explained that good running form is all about alignment, and that many of us who tend to sit atcomputers all day long get locked into bad patterns. “Sitting posture is the devil’s work,” he said (don’t I know that!). He showed me some exercises to do, like squatting jumps with a body bar held over my head, to counteract the sitting posture and retrain my body. Then it was back on the treadmill, this time in a black-and-red pair of Terra Plana Evo’s. Slipping them on, I was struck by the tactile sensation of the ground beneath my feet – just a thin strip of rubber between us. On the treadmill, my form naturally adjusted, helped along by some prodding and pointers from Lee. I could feel my feet flex and push off the treadmill. Playing back the video, we saw that I was landing on the balls of my feet now, and my body was more in alignment. I was even, dare I say it, bouncy.
I left armed with exercises and newfound determination to give minimal running a serious try. After all, summer is just around the corner.”