Barefoot ambassadors

Individuals whose experiences create moments of inspiration for the Vivobarefoot community

 

“barefoot is the way i want to be. to feel nature around me.”

Michael LemmelMichael Lemmel

Michael Lemmel

Race Director of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series

Nothing makes me feel better than to get a feeling of being in tune with nature; be it water, snow, earth or rock.

Over the past 25 years I have been fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time in extreme nature and it is not until now that I have found a shoe which let’s me feel the ground. Be it the Tracker for rough mountain trails or the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun shoe for transitioning between land and water. Every day that I must wear a shoe, my first choice will always be a Vivobarefoot shoe.

“I’m a totally free runner, nothing will ever take that joy and happiness away from me”

Jennifer AspJennifer Asp

Jennifer Asp

Trail running athlete, 1st place Bydalen fjällmaraton 50 km, 2nd place AXA fjällmaraton 44 km

I had a dream of being totally free, of running without pain or limits. It all started when I was 14. I was a pretty good athlete. I got sick though, and the only choice I had was to quit running. It took me 4 years to be healthy. At 18 I started running again. The feeling of letting my legs do what they wanted to was so overwhelming. But I started to get injured. I had 5 stress fractures, nerve damage and countless other foot problems. I became so tired of pain and the hours of rehab that, one day, I said to myself; “OK, do what you believe in. Reset your body and let it take the time needed for the pain to go away.” I just took my shoes off and I started to run.

Nobody believes me when I say I ran in socks, but I did. I felt in my head that it was healing me. It’s amazing how fast I started to get healed and balanced. We aren’t born with any padding under our feet. If you want to be a skilled runner you can’t use padding, it will make you use your body in the wrong way. I’m 24 now. I have lived in Vivobarefoot shoes for almost 2 years, and have run in them for a year. Now, I’m a totally free runner, nothing will ever take that joy and happiness away from me.

“I love to promote natural movement through barefoot running…”

Majo SrnikMajo Srnik

Majo Srnik

LONG DISTANCE ENDURANCE ATHLETE

“For over 30 years I was a rock climber and that affected my life growing up. I always loved nature, mountains and pushing the limits of what I could accomplish. In the last 4 years I have started focusing on Ultra Running,  I love to promote natural movement, barefoot running and a very minimalistic approach in the mountains; light & fast kinda style. The last two winters I have been doing Skimo for off-season training, but still focusing mainly on ultra-long events, usually longer seems better for me …

I really try to spend as much time as possible in the mountains.  Depending on the time of year and conditions: running, skimo, ice climbing, hiking, mountain biking or road biking. Looking forward to be in motion and racing is something that helps give me focus and meeting my goals … I absolutely love long endurance stuff, not necessarily seeking fast times but exploring, when you need to dig really deep, that’s where I find that 'ultra-beauty' if you will…”

“Foot health affects the whole body and so, ultimately, our health later on in life”

SINTA SOEKADAROVASINTA SOEKADAROVA

SINTA SOEKADAROVA

Trainer, Movement coach & yoga teacher / Global

"Throughout my career as a model, dancer and personal trainer, my path has developed towards health, fitness and yoga. Studying barefoot movement made me re-discover the natural way of running. It has become my moving meditation and heart strengthening staple form of cardio exercise, alongside my yoga asana.

I found Vivobarefoot in 2014. Since then, I don’t have foot ache, blisters and cramped toes, sore knees or a painful lower back. I have never been so pain free, being on my feet all day. Being “barefoot” has also greatly improved my asana practice. With strong, stable feet I can hold postures easily and effortlessly. The benefits extend into my dancing, running and gym studio work. I hadn’t previously appreciated what a huge impact wearing the wrong shoes made, on just about everything!"

“For me it´s about feeling natural while running, I like to move light and feel light…”

maja teschmaja tesch

maja tesch

SWIMRUN ATHLETE

“I started to run 2012, initially in padded shoes and probably poor technique. I did my first SwimRun race in 2014 and physically, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Later that summer I won the ÖtillÖ World Championships. I got a stress fracture due to insufficient recovery and probably because I increased the level of training too fast - that's when I was introduced to Vivobarefoot.

It took me one year to build up strength in my feet but now I exclusively run in Vivos and I haven’t been injured since. Usually I run on trails and rocky islands, I prefer to run long distances at a slower pace. It’s a great feeling to realise how strong I’ve built my body and my feet, only by letting them do their thing!

“I started my quest to better appreciate (and strengthen!) my feet”

Scott ColeScott Cole

Scott Cole

MULTISPORT ENDURANCE ATHLETE, COACH AND SPEAKER

Scott is also an environmental economist and co race director of the Åre Extreme Challenge.

"Several years ago I met my girlfriend, also an endurance athlete, and she showed me her Vivo shoes. I remember saying: ‘Cool that you can train in those, but can you really race in them?’. Guided by curiosity, I started my quest to better appreciate (and strengthen!) my feet.

As a coach, teacher, and speaker I rely on nature and an understanding of the human body to motivate my students to natural, sustainable and healthy movement. I’ve never met a trail, a mountain, or a river that fails to inspire an appreciation of the body’s unique endurance potential.

I also work as an environmental economist. Individuals (and society) make better decisions when they see how our well-being is connected to nature’s ability to provide fuel, food, fresh water, biodiversity, habitat, and not least, the recreational opportunities upon which my sport (and our health) depends.

“When you run barefoot, your movement adapts to the terrain, becoming much stronger.”

Bennie RouxBennie Roux

Bennie Roux

Endurance Runner / South Africa

Bennie is an endurance trail runner, winner of Munga Trail Run 2017 (402 km course in just over four days, with less than 12 hours sleep) and 2016’s Addo 100 Miler.

"Why do I run in minimalist shoes? Well I’m convinced less is more, and in this case less shoe and more feel! I love to feel the Earth. 

What is the single most important part of your body while running an ultra-marathon? It is by far your feet. When you run with Vivobarefoot you concentrate on foot placement, your foot adapts to the terrain and becomes much stronger.”

Competing in endurance races has changed my live. I've overcome so many fears for this race and distance. If there was a prize for an athlete with the least amount of blisters it would go to me, I am often the only one running in Vivo and they usually gain everybody’s attention. All the critics are silent at the end of a race - Not a single blister and not a single injury."

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