My name is Andreas Gartmyr and I’m the founder of Top of Barefoot. I have been a barefoot runner since 2012. My journey towards barefoot running began when I started running in 2005. I was working as a 3D artist which meant I was sitting down all day. On top of that I drank 2 liters of Coke a day. It was, in other words, time to start training. In 2007 I ran Göteborgsvarvet (2:01:56) and ended up with Plantar Fasciitis. I couldn’t run for a little more than a year. In late 2008, I didn’t have any symptoms and was able to start training again (read start over). I remember very clearly when I was out running with a friend and we talked about different ways to run. He mentioned people who ran barefoot. We laughed about how crazy you have to be to run barefoot. 2010 I was going to run a half marathon just for fun and was aiming to break my PB and get below 1:35:00. The previous weeks I had felt something in my knees but decided to ignore it. I ended up destroying both knees and could not even walk home. There and then I decided that running was not for me. My body wasn’t made for it. After a little over a year, I still hadn’t found any exercise I liked and had therefore not been able to sustain any continuous exercise. Then one day I remembered that run I had with my friend where we laughed about people who run barefoot. I started Googling and watching lectures on YouTube with Christopher McDougall and Barefoot Ted, which I would later come to know from the book Born to Run. The interest grew and with that the thought of being able to run again. After checking numerous videos pointing out how little strain barefoot running puts on the knees I was convinced. I had to try! It might mean that I’ll be able run again. After trying different types of barefoot shoes with poor results I tried FiveFingers and it worked okay, but not for the long runs. Then my knees started to ache.
Then one summer day when I was on a secluded road with freshly laid asphalt, I looked around to assure that no one saw me. Took of my shoes and I ran. I can only describe the feeling as euphoric! I knew immediately that this was right for me! Anyone who tried to run barefoot know that calves are taking a beating in the beginning. I had to start all over again, 1 km at a time. Frustration quickly took over and I ran longer with the result that I overworked myself and had to rest for a few extra days. I have probably made all the wrong thing you can when you’re new to barefoot running. Since 2012, I have been running barefoot all year round and I love it. I don’t preaching that this is something that works for everyone, but it works for me and that’s enough. Now I can run again!