One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Monday, February 29, 2016

Endurance Planets interviews "Barefoot" Ted McDonald

I had a great chance to get interviewed by Endurance Planet's Tawnee Prazak. In this interview you will get a chance to hear my latest musings on my philosophy of life. You will learn much more about my thoughts on barefooting and about my favorite footwear LUNA Sandals.

Follow this link to hear the whole interview:

From Endurance Planet's website about the contents of this interview:

On this show we learn about the philosophy of what it means to run barefoot and naturally:

  • Ted’s quest to discover primal natural human capacities. What does that entail? What got him on this path in life? 
  • His SoCal background growing up surfing, skating, and loving brands like “Hang Ten” 
  • His philosophy: Self-experimentation is key. Find your own path. Share what you discover. Repeat. 
  • Patience and mindset when pursuing barefoot/natural running. 
  • It took Ted about 10 years to master barefoot technique, and in that process he regained connectedness, mindfulness, and presence in running and body. 
  • What does Ted see has come of the minimalist craze and injury rate, has it gotten away from what barefoot/minimalist running should be about? 
  • Getting back to the root of why we participate in outdoor activity: whether it’s spirituality, connectedness, achieving the state of flow, etc. 
  • Sport: Don’t get caught up in results and competition; it’s ok just to get out there, move, participate and feel 
  • Anarchistic philosopher J. William Lloyd in 1890 wrote the first treatise on running where he suggests that health and pleasure should be our primary motivation for movement, not competition. 
  • Lloyd wrote in a paper on coed running clubs and games in the 1890s: 
  • “I would advise that each runner leave shoes and stockings at home, but of course this should be optional with the individual; next to bare feet are sandals, next to sandals moccasins, next to moccasins, soft, low shoes.” 
  • How people can safely transition from a life-time of shoe-wearing to barefoot/minimalist. Hint: It depends. 
  • From Ted’s blog; his three goals to master barefoot/minimalist running
  • 1. Master gentle, quiet, forefoot-centric landings, silent and smooth.
  • 2. Quicken your cadence: Running in bare feet encourages this naturally.
  • 3. Stable upright posture: balanced head, core engaged, unbent torso, the feeling of balance, relaxed, yet strong. 
  • The inspiration behind LUNA sandals, the design and how they came to fruition 
  • LUNAs vs. Vibrams or other minimalist run shoes 
  • Comparing LUNA wearer’s to “more traditional” runners 
  • What your footwear says about why you are running 
  • What’s the deal with his latest business: Solowheel Seattle? 
  • “Choose the simplest solution that works well” 


Saturday, March 24, 2012

BAREFOOT TED INTERVIEW by Ultra Runner Podcast

Listen here >>> Ultra Runner Podcast

Barefoot Ted, Ultrarunner

Barefoot Ted takes a break from his work at the Luna Sandal Factory in Seattle, WA to share with us his philosophy about running barefoot. We also talk about making the transition from shoes to shoeless, barefoot running cultures, skateboarding, Born to Run and his recent return to the Copper Canyons and so much more. Kick off your shoes and relax, Barefoot Ted has a lot on his mind.

Listen here >>> Ultra Runner Podcast

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Barefoot Ted Interview by Primal Lifestyle's Matt Wallden

Please Facebook or email me with your favorite quotes in this interview.  BFT

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

LINCHPIN SERIES: Barefoot Ted of Luna Sandals

Was recently interviewed by Rachelle over at for their ongoing LINCHPIN SERIES.

Per usual, it is not easy to capture the torrent of words that stream out of my mouth when I start talking about Luna Sandals (McDougall captured that aspect of my character very well I think) flows and flows. She got the gist of my ideas, albeit, not perfectly...but my racing mind doesn't make perfect capture easy ;-)

Here are some tidbits:

"Luna Sandals is the coolest thing I could ever think about doing. It’s my passion. I’m the company’s storyteller. I’m just one of many who have had an ah ha moment, and I’m lucky to do this."

"Where we’ve been is awesome. Where we are is awesome. Where we’re going is more awesome still. It’s a beautiful organic story that is unfolding before our eyes."

"The goal is a better, more sustainable world. It’s growing happy, healthy people."

Read the whole interview here.


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interviewed by the UK's Marathon Talk Podcast

Earlier this week I was interviewed by Tom Williams of Marathon Talk (, a popular Podcast on running based in the United Kingdom.

Tom's interview with me starts at 25:45 and continues until 1:14:58

I am indeed a loquacious spokesmonkey, almost embarrassingly so, yet I think some good comes out of all this can judge for yourself.

Yours Truly, BFT

Download Podcast here.


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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Runner's World Interviews Me: Ted's Great Adventures

 The Orange Curtain 100K, 2008.  Photo by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton
You might enjoy reading this interview online at Runner's World.

Per usual, I enjoy sharing stories about running and life and coaching and just-about-anything with anyone willing to listen and share back. I love stories. Humans are among the best story making beings in the universe. Make'em, share'em and celebrate together.

Interview topics include: my post-Born-to-Run-life, barefoot running, trail running, coaching, 2010 schedule, running 100 miles, my skateboard world record and MovNat. Enjoy.

To read interview online at the Runner's World website, click here.

Barefoot Ted

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Living Barefoot Show Interview

From the website: We Interview Barefoot Ted: An avid barefooter, Barefoot Ted tells us the story about how he became a barefooter, started his own line of huarache running sandals, and was featured in the best selling book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

Duration: 60 minutes

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eschew the shoe by Sam McManis

Sacramento Bee newspaper article link here
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, December 20, 2007
Story appeared in SCENE section, Page E1
Title: Eschew the shoe: Runners go toe-to-toe with the competition
By Sam McManis

Sam called me about a month ago and interviewed me for this article. Here's what he wrote about me:

'Barefoot Ted' on a mission

Currently, barefoot running hardly qualifies as a "craze." Though a hardy community of barefooters has congregated on the Internet, where one Web site boasts 1,000 members, the practice still is considered alternative and marginal.
That soon will change, if "Barefoot Ted" McDonald, a serious marathoner from Sun Valley, near Los Angeles, has his way. McDonald's blog charts his odyssey of being a shoe-saddled runner who couldn't go an hour without intense pain to a shoeless runner who has completed the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours, 20 minutes, and completes 100-mile endurance races with no pain.
McDonald, in a phone interview from Southern California, recalls his first barefoot run five years ago as a "religious" experience.
"It was so mind-boggling to me," McDonald says. "It was like, 'Oh my God, I was running ball-heel-ball with no pain.' Within a year of running barefoot, I finished a marathon. Within another year, I had qualified for Boston barefoot. It's been a rapid and wild transformation."
So, if running barefoot can be so beneficial, why don't more people do it?
"Because the sports shoe companies make us believe that if we don't wear these specialty shoes, we'll get hurt," McDonald says. "It's one of the highest profit-making businesses in the country.
"But if people will only try it and ease into it, they'll find there's something elemental or spiritual in (barefoot running)."
If it seems at times that barefoot runners are zealots for their cause, it's because they firmly believe in a shoeless society. Most of the barefoot runners contacted for this story go shoeless full time.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vibram Interviews Barefoot Ted

"Barefoot" Ted McDonald
April 17, 2006
Boston, MA

How did you get started running in FiveFingers?
BFT: I started running in my mid 30's wearing running shoes, but I was never able to train long enough to prepare for a marathon. I tried shoes with extra cushioning and shoes with more stability, but I just couldn't find anything that allowed me to train the way I knew I could. A few years ago, I stumbled across the idea of running barefoot. Could it be possible? For whatever reason, I immediately discovered I was able to run pain free and train longer by running barefoot. Running barefoot forced me to run with good form and gently. No pounding allowed. I also found that I liked the feeling and feedback I received from the ground under my feet.
I started to research barefoot running online and discovered I wasn't the only one running barefoot, that there are many, many people who had been doing this longer than I had. The 20th century is filled with many famous, world-class barefooters. I also read about Dr. Nicholas Romanov and the POSE Method of running which improved my form allowing me to run longer and injury free, and I read about and started corresponding with famous barefoot runner Barefoot Ken Bob.
However, I also like to run trails, which can be pretty tough barefoot, especially steep downhills over rocky terrain. A few months ago I had read about FiveFingers by Vibram, I knew they were marketing the product for walking and some water sports, but I thought I would try them for running on trails.

I soon discovered that FiveFingers gave me some of that same feeling I get running barefoot, but they allowed me to run trails and rough terrain for longer periods of time more safely. Now I use them as part of my regular training program.

Although this particular version was not designed specifically for running, it works pretty well. I've even ran a couple 50 mile trail races in FiveFingers.

Do you recommend FiveFingers for other runners?
BFT: These shoes have great potential for runners. Athletic trainers, health professionals, and even footwear manufacturers are all beginning to embrace the many health and performance advantages of running barefoot. People are finally beginning to understand that running barefoot, even if its on grass a couple of days a week, can improve strength, balance, agility and most importantly running form. Most overuse injuries are really misuse injuries caused from poor running form. Learning good running form is an important step toward running injury free.
I know that most people are more accustomed to wearing shoes running. While running in shoes may offer great for support, shoes can "cast" the foot, which can lead to some atrophy of the muscles in the feet and lower legs. Wearing FiveFingers, even if it's just for a couple of hours 3 times a week, can help to revive and strengthen those muscles. I would recommend you start by wearing them 1-2 hours at a time for the first few weeks, allowing your foot muscles to adapt.

Are your paid to endorse Vibram FiveFingers?
BFT: Actually, I liked the product so much I contacted Vibram to let them know. When I told them how much I liked the product and that I was using them for running they were pretty surprised. Now they provide me with product to test and report back, they help pay for some of my travel expenses for races, but no, I'm not on the payroll. I like working as a Vibram tester, giving them feedback, testing the product under extreme conditions.
In the end, I don't like shoes; however, FiveFingers are not really shoes in a traditional sense. I can endorse them because they really work for me.

Is running barefoot or in FiveFingers a good idea for everyone?
BFT: Not necessarily, running barefoot or running in FiveFingers is a very personal choice and not for everyone. Individuals should research this approach to determine if it is right for them. There is a great website where you can learn more at FiveFingers work pretty well when you employ the Pose Method of running.
But remember, begin gradually, use caution, listen to your body, and as they say at Vibram, you should always consult a physician before beginning, or changing, your regular exercise routine.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Nike Podcast Interviews at Griffith Park

Photos by Ona McDonald

Today many of us Wild Mountain Runners were interviewed for a Nike sponsored podcast featuring running groups from all over the country.

We were joined by the famous Barefoot KenBob of

Some runners did not participate, because they thought that their endorsement contracts did not allow them to be in a Nike sponsored film, even though it was not a ad. I thought that was strange, but more room for us hams to yap.

After the group interview, they also interviewd me about ultra running (which I am new at). They decided to use the backdrop of my infamous 1966 VW Beetle. I proudly wore my Clif Bar visor and my Vibram FiveFingers jersey, shoes and shorts.

Any inspiration I can give, I will give. Hopefully it is not all hot air!

Best Regards, Barefoot Ted

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Press Release: Barefoot Ted to Run Boston in FiveFingers™



Long Distance Runner Will Compete Almost Barefoot in
Vibram® FiveFingers™

WHAT: Vibram®, the worldwide leader in high performance footwear soles based in Concord, Mass., will sponsor Ted McDonald, a.k.a. Barefoot Ted, a six-time barefoot marathoner to compete in Boston. Ted will wear Vibram® FiveFingers™, a unique glove-styled shoe that offer all the health benefits of going barefoot with the gecko-like grip and the protection of a Vibram® sole.

FiveFingers™ was originally developed by Marco Bramani grandson of Vibram Founder Vitale Bramani. Bramani loved the balance and control of sailing barefoot but wanted better slip resistance and toe protection from dangerous rigging.

Although this product is intended for sailing, sea kayaking, and related sports, the concept is gaining traction with barefoot runners, walkers and recreational sports enthusiasts. FiveFingers™ stretches and strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving balance, agility, strength and speed.

WHY: For Vibram®, this is an opportunity to showcase their innovative FiveFingers™ while illustrating the many health benefits of going almost barefoot. For Barefoot Ted, an avid proponent of barefoot running, FiveFingers™ gives him the freedom and sensation of running barefoot, with the protection of a Vibram sole.

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hopkinton, Mass. to Back Bay, Boston, Mass.

CONTACTS: For more information or interviews, contact Anne Tommasi, Tommasi PR 603.893.5878,

Photo by Ona McDonald

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