I am a Barefoot Runner, with Diabetes

I am now… a BAREFOOT RUNNER!!! … argh!!! :)   I have been running sprints, jogging and performing exercises barefooted for almost two years. However I never considered myself a ‘barefoot runner’ until last night.

  • I ran 3 miles, on pavement (and cement sidewalks) lastnight
  • Today after running a 5k, I feel comfortable using the term “barefoot runner’ to describe myself.


It’s just a theory, but I can’t help but believe my lifestyle contributes … a high saturated fat, high protein diet gives me what my body needs.

Click to enlarge. The one scar on my left food is from an accident as a teenager.

By the way, the picture top right, was taken minutes after completing the run. And even now I have not treated my feet in any way… no salves, ointments etc. :)  You can see a picture below of my feet this morning, the day after.



Part of what I do on an almost daily basis (or try to do) is “tear down the walls of conventional wisdom”.  The greatest ‘gift’ that Mark Sisson (of MarksDailyApple.com) taught me was to critically question  everything.  I do not accept any “conventional wisdom” as fact unless I have tested it on myself

I am a diabetic and the vast majority of certified diabetes educators, podiatrists or primary care providerd will tell diabetics…

DO NOT GO BAREFOOT! … oh hell no.  DIABETICS must wear diabetic socks, diabetic shoes and use diabetic creams daily…

I think I have dispelled that myth….

I must stipulate however, I MAINTAIN NORMAL BLOOD SUGARS!!!  … If you do not have normal blood sugars… DO IT NOW!   Using drugs, insulin and diet… get your blood sugars down to normal ranges before attempting what I do.

As a diabetic… or anyone suffering from inflammatory diseases… YOU CAN THRIVE!!!   Get up off your couch, eat right and exercise!


My First Barefoot 5k

I was sitting in front of the TV, communicating with folks when I said to myself, “Steve, why don’t you get up off your butt and go run barefoot!”  I listened to my inner voice and ‘took off’. :)

When I began I was thinking of running my first 5k but… I was not going to push it. I told myself that if it was too much I’d stop.

The first mile felt good…maybe even great. Only a few sharp rocks were felt …nothing too bad at all.

It was ‘decision time’, the normal 1.35 mile loop was about to end. I could decide to run 3 miles or head home and run just 1.35 miles.  I decided to go for it.

All went well until the 2 mile point… the mind is a powerful thing.   It was dark (at night) and in a stretch where there were no streetlights I encountered what felt like sharp shards of glass. Both feet ‘lit up’ with pain… I quickly darted into the grass and rubbed my feet. All seemed well and there was no apparent bleeding.  Even now I don’t KNOW what it was…

As I began my trip home, it was cool that night, 40’s … so my feet were somewhat numbed by the wet grass I’d just stepped in.  I kept imagining my feet swollen and bleeding… but I continued on.  Then once again I hit the patch of sidewalk with the sharp painful objects but decided to jog gingerly, through the pain.

In just a few minutes, my feet had warmed up and I was  feeling GOOD!!!  I really picked up my pace and  I am sure the last mile was my fastest.  The first two miles I was really taking it easy, I wanted to make sure I completed my run.

I felt great physically as I approached my house at the end of the run. I’ve run many longer routes in faster times so this was not challenging from a stamina standpoint, however I was apprehensive about how my feet would actually look once I got them inside under a light.   I WAS RELIEVED!!! … they looked … NORMAL!! :)

I did stretch my calves while cooling down, they were on FIRE when I got home… but nothing I could not handle.

The Day After

To the right you can see how my foot looked, ‘the morning after’.

Still NORMAL!!!

My feet were ‘tender’, I walked on them all day without issues, just a little soreness. I did not walk barefoot on the pavement today, I wanted to give them time to ‘rest’ at least a day. I don’t want to over do it. :) … slow and steady.

My calves were tight but manageable, just muscle tightness.

I have had issues with my knee for several years, my doctor stated that I had a torn meniscus. I re-aggravated the knee a couple of weeks ago after running 5 miles shoed.  But this morning  it felt fine… no issues at all.


Wrap Up

So why take all these pictures?  Why write all these posts about barefoot exercising?

1)  Let NO ONE limit what you can do, NO ONE.  Only YOU can limit you.

2) Question Conventional Wisdom. It’s usually wrong.

Had I listened to my diabetes educator… I know I would still be taking drugs and shooting insulin.  But I am NOT.  YOU too can reduce drugs and insulin… if you only will.  I have normal blood sugar and it helps me THRIVE and not just survive.

Question what you are told CRITICALLY, do not believe what you hear until you test it yourself. 

IF you are not eating a ‘low carb paleo’ meal plan… you probably are taking drugs needlessly, diabetic or not.

Here is how I eat.

Here is how I play.


Steve Cooksey

Diabetes Warrior
Barefoot Runner :)

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