To Pedicure or Not To Pedicure: A Runner’s Dilemma

These are not my feet.

I think when I first started running barefoot (and by barefoot, I mean in Vibrams) and was doing research and reading blogs about it, I came across a lot of articles about barefoot runners comparing how dirty their feet get. If you head over to the Runner’s World Barefoot Running forum, you’ll not only get the threads about how to run properly and the best kinds of barefoot shoes, but you’ll also “Stubbed Toes (bloody toe pic inside!)” and “Let’s see your dirty feets!!!” Barefoot runners LOVE to show off their dirty feet. It’s like the dirtier they are, the longer and harder you must have run.

These ARE my feet, post-manicure.

I was thinking about this today as I was getting a pedicure, which is something I don’t do very often. In fact, I haven’t gotten a pedicure in probably 5 or 6 years. I, like many barefoot runners, am generally proud of my calloused, usually dirty, a toenail short of a full set, feet. (Is that TMI?) But since my friend Julie was getting a pedicure, I agreed to go along. I must say I’m very happy with the result. It was nice for my feet to get some love and a pretty color painted on, though we both had them skip the hardcore scrubbing (she’s a barefooter as well), as we both wanted to keep our callouses.

There are some barefooters out there who think that you should keep your callouses (we do work hard to make them, after all) and some who think that barefoot running is a natural exfoliate so having that extra TLC isn’t a bad thing. So, barefoot runners, what do you think? Do you stay away from the pedicures, or do you go for it? And guys, this includes you too. We all know you secretly get pedicures.


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Comments (2)

  1. I still get my pedicure after running barefoot every week. It is still important to keep your feet good looking after all. I also used barefoot sandals which I get from and they works great for barefoot running.

  2. I’m a barefooter and I get pedicures fairly regularly. I find that having callous build up remove actually improves the sole of the foot. Generally, callous has a tendency to eventually become very dry and can crack and become open enough that the healthy skin underneath can become torn. Keep the callous sanded down…and eventually, if you keep barefooting (and this does mean actual barefooting too…not just minimalist shoes) your feet will actually develop into a very thick, soft, leathery sole.

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