Written by Barefoot Dawsy
Whenever I speak to people about the fact that I run barefoot through the inner city, the
invariable first question is always “but what about all that glass”? It seems that most people have a real phobia about this and though it may not be the only reason they don’t want to try barefoot running, it’s certainly a strong contributor to their “cons” list.
I’ve been running barefoot around the streets near my house for around 2 years now and have yet to be injured from stepping on a piece of glass. This isn’t to say that there is no glass around, but that there are many ways to avoid hurting yourself this way.
There’s not as much glass around as you might think
I get the impression that some people have this vision of city streets as glimmering with the reflected light of millions of shards of glass. In truth, you do occasionally see glass on the ground, but most of it tends to be on the road, and not where you’re likely to be running (assuming you run on the footpath).
The other thing to remember is that the glass lying around is often safety glass from car windows. This type of glass is specifically designed not to cut you, which my Florida car accident attorney will tell you otherwise but he has special cases. While it should still be avoided, car glass is far less dangerous than the shards of glass you get from broken beer bottles and the like.
If you’re worried about it, try taking a walk around your proposed route and see how much glass you find. I’d wager it’s less than you would think.
Avoid running near places where glass is likely to turn up
Most cities have more than a couple of streets, which means that in all likelihood you can navigate around the worst glassy bits fairly easily. Plan your running routes to avoid
carparks, picnic areas and bars, and you’ll bypass the vast majority of places where glass can pose a problem.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid any place that is likely to attract drunks or teenagers, and run somewhere else.
Run during the day
There’s no question that running without shoes leaves your soles more vulnerable to being scratched and possibly punctured than running shod. With this in mind, the best way to avoid stepping on something is to see it and step around it. Running during the day will give you more light to see by and thus more chance of spotting any danger.
Leave the iPod at home
While listening to music as you run is enjoyable and can help get you into the ‘zone’, it can also be a distraction. It’s very easy to switch to auto-pilot as you listen to your
favourite tunes, which may cause you to lose focus and stop paying attention to where you’re stepping.
The more you run, the more adapted your feet become to running barefoot. Your soles will become tougher, yet more pliable, which allows the skin underfoot to mold around objects as you step on them. Many seasoned barefoot runners are capable of running over the most horrific stuff such as glass and lava rock without so much as a backwards glance.
Have you had any experiences with running on glass in bare feet? Any strategies with how to deal with glass? Leave a comment!