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[Admin Note: I started this discussion on the Cool Tools thread, but it has expanded so I've created a thread to talk about running footwear]


Tesla BK-30 Minimalist Running Shoes


For anyone who'd love to buy a Tesla Model 3, but can't afford ~$35K and doesn't want to wait until 2018, you're in luck. You can pick up not one but two Teslas right now for only $29.98, and they are really fuel efficient - in fact they don't require any fuel at all, except fuel for your body!


Of course I'm talking about the Tesla BK-30 Minimalist Running Shoes


First - some background. I run quite a bit: ~3-4 miles per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.  And I swear by "barefoot" running with minimalist shoes for foot protection, not for support. I've been running this way for years, without injury. I've come to really dislike bulky, thick-soled running shoes. I a big believer in the Born to Run philosophy about running style and running footwear.  It takes some getting used to, and you definitely need to ease into it if you've been a heel-striking runner all your life (like I was), but once you get used to it you'll never go back.


 Up until last fall, I was running exclusively in these Vibram Fivefingers - you know, the weird-looking toe shoes. I still run on my treadmill with them, when the weather outside is really inclement. But the downside of the Vibrams is that since your individual toes are housed separately, they get really cold when running in snow and ice. Plus, I have to acknowledge they look pretty goofy, and the toe separation doesn't really offer any advantage, as far as I can tell.


So last winter I switched to the Tesla BK-30s, shown below (they also come in orange, purple and black). They are thin-soled, zero-drop, and extremely light - very much like the Vibrams but without the toe separation. They are almost equivalent to barefoot running but with enough protection to prevent injury if you step on something sharp - although it still hurts a bit if you step on a 1" diameter stone.






I really like them for running - both on pavement & grass. I have a blue pair like the one shown above - on which I've installed a pair of yellow Xpand Lacing System shoelaces. The combination is terrific, both functionally, and the yellow matches perfectly, so they are even pretty stylish (although I admit I'm a pretty poor judge of such things...).


I like these shoes so much that I just bought at second pair (in black) for wearing around everyday. For $29.98 you can't beat the price, and having run around 500 miles in them over the last six months, I can testify to their durability. I find they run true to size. I wear a size 8.5 in sneakers - that's the size I ordered and they fit perfectly.


With these Tesla shoes parked on your feet, you'll be the envy of everyone in your neighborhood.



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Hi Dean,


I too have been using minimalist footwear for some years though I've always - since a child - avoided the built up type running shoe as unnatural. Two or three decades back Asics (or Tiger as it was called then) were one of the few companies that made more sleek and natural, lightweight running shoes. The last few years I've tended toward the Nike Free range (I'm still surprised at myself buying Nikes) for walking round town and till a couple of years ago Vibrams for running, mostly on trails. I switched to Luna Sandals  after experimenting for a few weeks with a pair and finding my feet were noticeably stronger with an increased range of motion even after wearing other minimalist shoes for years. They all have pluses and minuses; Vibrams are a pain to put on and dangerous if something catches the toe while running and Lunas take a few weeks to comfortably mold around the foot and tend to catch grit in the footbed. Overall though my favorite for walking round town or on trails is the Luna and usually only substitute Nike Frees if it's rainy or cold outside.

Hi Dean,

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Hey Dean, maybe you should skip the shoes altogether :)...


An Exploratory Study Investigating the Effects of Barefoot Running on Working Memory


  1. Ross G. Alloway
  2. Tracy Packiam Alloway
  3. Peter M. Magyari
  4. Shelley Floyd University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA
  5. Tracy Packiam Alloway, Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA. Email: t.alloway@unf.edu


The aim of the present study was to compare the potential cognitive benefits of running barefoot compared to shod. Young adults (N = 72, M age = 24.4 years, SD = 5.5) ran both barefoot and shod on a running track while stepping on targets (poker chips) and when not stepping on targets. The main finding was that participants performed better on a working memory test when running barefoot compared to shod, but only when they had to step on targets. These results supported the idea that additional attention is needed when running barefoot to avoid stepping on objects that could potentially injure the foot. Significant increases in participant's heart rate were also found in the barefoot condition. No significant differences were found in participants' speed across conditions. These findings suggested that working memory may be enhanced after at least 16 minutes of barefoot running if the individual has to focus attention on the ground.

PMID: 26029969     Full text (see free pdf in the sidebar):   http://pms.sagepub.com/content/122/2/432   An Exploratory Study Investigating the Effects of Barefoot Running on Working Memory

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Thanks Tom,


That is a pretty interesting reference, although from the full text the effect seems pretty narrow and marginal:


The main finding was that participants performed better on the WM [Working Memory] test when

they ran barefoot, had to step on targets, and ran barefoot last. ...

barefoot running in the nontarget condition [so they didn't have to do careful

foot placement planning to step on poker chips - DP] required proprioception,

but it was not sufficient to produce WM gains...
[P]articipants only demonstrated WM improvements when they ran barefoot last and not after
they ran barefoot for 8 minutes. It was only when they had already run for a
total of 16 minutes, with the final 8 minutes barefoot while hitting a target, that
there were significant WM gains.


Looking at the tables and figures in the full text, I really don't see much of an effect on working memory at all. It looks to me like they were fishing a bit for significant results...


P.S. As you can see I've started a new thread to discuss the topic of running footwear.



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