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running in the nude

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  • running in the nude

    I know there are some runners out there and I have a question about footwear. I'm sure it wouldn't be a good idea to run on a hard surface barefoot, but what about on a beach? I want to do a little running on the beach this Summer and was wondering what I should wear on my feet, if anything. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    I know there are some runners out there and I have a question about footwear. I'm sure it wouldn't be a good idea to run on a hard surface barefoot, but what about on a beach? I want to do a little running on the beach this Summer and was wondering what I should wear on my feet, if anything. Any suggestions?

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    • #3
      There are beaches and beaches. Anything from soft deep loose sand to firm hard-packed sand.

      I'm comfortable in bare feet under most circumstances, but that's the Australian way, a lot of us are.

      One of the world's most outstanding middle distance runners, Herb Elliott, trained by running in the sand dunes at the back of Scarborough Beach, Perth WA. I don't know if he trained barefoot at times, but it would not surprise me.

      But we're all different. Try it and see.

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      • #4
        If you're running near the water, the sand will be hard and you will want to wear running shoes. If you run in loose, soft sand, it probally doesn't matter.
        I've ran on the beach a few times and always stayed near the water, wore shoes, and it was nice.

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        • #5
          Unless you are on one of the rare beaches with vast expanses of pristine sand, some foot protection is in order. Most natural beaches abound with sharp fish bones, shells, and (sadly) broken glass. Often just below the surface of seemingly smooth sand.

          -Mark

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          • #6
            I agree. Anything below the sand level can do serious damage. Especially, if it's old rotting fish bones; that's blood poisoning waiting to happen. Not to mention that even though most people respect the fact that one doesn't use glass or bottle caps on a beach there's ALWAYS that one person....Plus, I don't know about elsewhere but in Michigan the beaches are loaded with plants that send out roots that can go right thru your foot.
            I say, don't take the chance. Wear shoes or even beach shoes (designed for using in the water and rocks) that you would run in anyways.

            Steve

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            • #7
              "Unless you are on one of the rare beaches with vast expanses of pristine sand, some foot protection is in order. Most natural beaches abound with sharp fish bones, shells, and (sadly) broken glass. Often just below the surface of seemingly smooth sand."

              Once again I'm realising how lucky we are.

              Have you ever heard Australia called "the Lucky Country"?

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              • #8
                not to mention sands that are volcanic in origin and will grind away the bottoms of your feet in short order...

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                • #9
                  A lot of Bali beaches are black volcanic sand and that's not a problem either.

                  Maybe, like I said before, many Australians go just about anywhere barefoot and our feet get used to it.

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                  • #10
                    yeah, basalts are usually ok, but watch out for pumice sand...

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                    • #11
                      I went running a couple of miles on a packed sand beach. I wasn't used to running barefoot. When finished the soles of my feet were raw as if I had been running on sandpaper. Another time, I steped on a rock that had just been uncovered by an incoming wave. It twisted and broke a bone in my foot. Had I been wearing shoes that probably wouldn't have happened. If your used to being barefoot and you soles are calloused I'd take the chance and go barefoot. Otherwise I would work up to it.

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                      • #12
                        Hi Dave,

                        I gather from your profile you know a lot more about this than most of us do.

                        So far as I am aware, there has been no volcanic activity in Western Australia for maybe hundreds of millions of years. Most of our beaches seem to be composed of fairly soft sand formed from coastal limestone and shell grit.

                        Bali, our home-from-home just up the way, has many volcanoes, with the last major eruption being Mt Agung [the sacred mountain] in 1963. And that was a huge one!

                        Bali has a mixture of "white sand beaches" and "black sand beaches", often in close proximity to one another.

                        To me, none of them presents a barefoot problem, but I don't really know what kind of sand I'm walking on.

                        Maybe you could give us an explanation.





                        The above beaches are just a short walk apart.

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                        • #13
                          Thank you all for the advice. I guess I will be wearing some kind of shoe on my feet. I never thought about rotting fish bones. I'll be going to Black's Beach, some time in July, if I get a chance. I've been there before, but never ran on the beach. It looks like a nice beach to go running on.

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                          • #14
                            Most volcanic islands in the Pacific are basalt- red or black lava. While basalt can be coarse, it appears to grind up nicely on ocean beaches. Pumice is a volcanic foam, and usually is from the opposite end of the geologic spectrum (same end as granite). It is composed of relatively hard minerals, and, more importantly, has cooled very quickly. The quick cooling prevents crystalization- it is natural glass. Pumice is essentially foamy obsidian, and is what they use for clean griddles, lava soap (well used to), and calus removers. It is so airy it often floats. You are more likely to find pumice beaches near the volcanic areas of the northwest (like lakes on Mt. Shasta, Mono Lake, etc.) It is grayish white.
                            [img] C:\NDT_2003\5-Tuesday\MonoLake [/img]

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                            • #15
                              well, I tried to add a picture of a pumice beach- how did you do that?

                              I suspect that the black beach in the pictures is basalt- it looks like basalt rocks there in the foreground. The white beach is probably coral based, is there a reef off the coast. The islands often have both.

                              From the disccussion above, it is clear there are other considerations than the sand geology- the condition of your feet, rocks, sticks, glass, and so forth. I like being barefoot too, but perhaps, a little at a time and see how your feet do. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

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