“Barefoot” Basketball · 15 December 2012

We ought to do everything barefoot or at least in minimalist shoes. I have been convinced of this for some time now, but playing basketball yesterday was more than enough proof for me.

Truth be told, I was a little apprehensive about playing basketball for the first time in my supportless shoes. I thought it might be painful or at least a bit different than it used to be in my high tops. I finally played that first game yesterday and it was different, but not in the ways I expected.

I was glad that I had been running a little bit over the past few months because I was able to keep running on the court yesterday. It was great not having to gasp as I ran down the court or merely play half court while the rest of the team played half the game without me. But the part that really made me happy was that I am not hurting today. My feet are fine. My knees are fine. And my ankles are fine. No pain in this case definitely means that I have made some gains. In fact, the only ill effect of playing a couple short games of basketball was that I got a few cramps in my feet last night. But after I had enough water, they went away.

I am thankful that my body more than survived my first foray into “barefoot” basketball, but if I had played when I first started wearing my Merrells, I am sure I would have been sore. I might have even turned an ankle or done something worse. But running and just living in minimalist shoes for the past few months has strengthened the muscles in my feet and around my ankles and knees. So playing a half hour of basketball was just fun instead of fun and painful.

Besides the lack of pain and suffering a first game of the year usually brings, the thing I noticed most was that I seem to have gained a bit of a step back. The past couple years, I know I lost a bit of quickness. My brain would know where to go, but my body would not get there very quickly. Maybe it was just that everybody who played is getting older, but I felt like I moved better than I have for the past few years.

I have been sold on minimalist shoes for quite some time now, but playing basketball in them was the icing on the cake. I think we should do everything barefoot. Or at least with minimalist shoes.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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