GladSoles Sandals — Not Just for 5K Race Winners

Maplewood NJ 5K Race –

Jennie + Rich at the 2013 Maplewood 5K Race

This Sunday I decided to venture out with Rich for his latest New Jersey 5K race.  It was the 13th annual “Maplewood in Motion” 5K Race, with proceeds going to benefit the Maplewood Lions Club charities and Rent Party – an organization dedicated to fighting hunger in Maplewood and South Orange.  It’s an event that I’ve run a few times over the years.  My first time was in 2003 — when I first decided to get on a post-babies fitness kick.  Back then I ran it in New Balance sneakers, this time in my barefoot running sandals

On race day it’s a good idea to get up as early as possible so that you have time to get some nutrition in your system, but stop hydrating well before the race starts (See Rich’s take on that here, in his blog post – GladSoles CEO Comes Within…).  I got up at 6am, ate, cleaned the kitchen, folded laundry, watched some tv, and took my time to get ready.

Conditions were perfect: sunny, but breezy with a little fall chill in the air.  Rich and I “represented” with our GladSoles on our feet, and our logo on our shirts.  I’m a much slower runner than Rich, so this was an opportunity for people much further back in the pack to see our running sandals in action. At the start of the race a little girl who was running in sneakers and a pretty dress asked if I was really going to run in my sandals.  At the end of the race a fellow competitor asked me about the slogan (“Make Your Feet Happy”) he’d been reading on my back during the race.   

Rich posted another excellent time of 19:59, coming in sixth place overall.  With my slow pace of 10:56 minutes a mile I finished the race in 34:05, which goes to show that you can enjoy minimal running at any pace:)



Maplewood 5K Race in Minimal Sandals

GladSoles Running Sandals Support Peace in Newark

GladSoles Running Sandals Returning to Newark for the 7th Annual Global Mala Peace Event

Get Ready for the 7th Annual Global Mala Peace Event this Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 from 9am – 3:30pm (doors open 8:15am) at the Newark School Stadium in Newark, NJ.

After sponsoring Yoga Festival by the Sea’s beautiful sand mandala last year in Asbury Park, GladSoles (

custom made sandals

) is returning to the Newark location for this year’s peace event. This is the 3rd year in a row that we will be supporting the mission of the Global Mala Project to raise both funds and consciousness for some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.


Since its inception, this annual event has helped so many wonderful causes around the world from AIDS, War, Poverty, Environment, Children, Education and more. This year, 70% of proceeds from the event go to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund NJ! Global Mala NJ has become the largest Global Mala event in the world.

The purpose of the Global Mala is to unite the global yoga community from every continent, school or yoga approach to form a “mala around the earth” through collective practices upon the sacred cycle of 108.

Global Mala coincides with UN’s International Day of PEACE as well as the Fall Equinox. If each of us imagines and believes in peace and if we each do our part, no matter how big or small, we will all see meaningful differences and together we will manifest peace. Peace is Powerful!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

In the barefoot shoes industry, we would like to consider ourselves the best running sandals maker.

Race Winners to Receive Free Pair of GladSoles at the Newstead 5K

GladSoles, minimalist barefoot sandals maker, sponsors Newstead 5K race in South Orange, NJ

On Saturday, September 21, 2013 the 11th annual Newstead 5K race will take place in South Orange, NJ at 9am. Join the GladSoles Barefoot Sandals team and support our local public school system. And, if you are one of the top finishers, you will win a free pair of the Original GladSoles Custom-HandMade Barefoot Sandals.

This highly visible event is a hallmark for the South Orange and Maplewood community and for runners from the surrounding area. In 2012, the Newstead 5K celebrated ten years of supporting public education for the children South Orange & Maplewood.

The race rings in the start of the school year, transforming South Orange’s tranquil Newstead neighborhood into a vigorous throng of runners and walkers of all ages winding their way through the rolling, leafy streets. The energy is contagious, with lively music, colorful signature t-shirts and over 500 participants. The race features chip timing by Compuscore and a Fun Run for children. With the help of more than 40 individual and business sponsors, and 75 volunteers, the Newstead 5K raises $10,000-$15,000 annually to support all Achieve Foundation programs.

From Race Founder, Helen Dubowy:

“Each year our notable sponsors, old and new, come through to help us exceed our expectations. Last year’s sponsors included families, neighborhood ‘mom and pop’ stores and large corporations. Everyone teams up to support educational excellence and innovation for all nine of our district’s schools. The proceeds go to all of Achieve’s important programs, including Teacher Grants, volunteer tutors, technology upgrades and more. I am so proud to have witnessed the growth of this endeavor over the past 10 years. The community genuinely rallies together, because nothing is more important than educating our children.”

What Is The Conductivity Diet?

tonicsI’m not one to recommend something unless I’ve done it, used it, or otherwise personally experienced it.

Barefoot running, a whole-food plant-based diet, Vibram Fivefingers – all of these things have made my life more enjoyable, healthier.. overall just better.

About  2 months ago I came across a “new to me” approach to health.  Tavis Bradley had done a video on youtube with Dan “The LifeRegenerator” McDonald.  It’s a lengthy video, but I watched the entire thing and was immediately intrigued.

A little background on myself – I’ve been on a vegan diet for about 3 1/2 years now, and I’ve experienced many benefits, as well as an overall feeling of more energy and better health.  And I’m always on the lookout for the latest health trends, as fitness and diet are my main areas of interest.  Basically, if it helps me win more matches on the tennis court, I’m interested.

Anyhow, I’m not going to attempt to explain Tavis Bradley’s Conductivity Diet in detail here.  If you want to learn more about it, I highly recommend that you visit his website and youtube channel.  In a nutshell, the diet consists of raw fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and a series of 4 tonics that you drink every day to set your body up for optimal health.  I’ve been following the “diet” for about 6 weeks now, and I feel really good.  It’s tough to articulate exactly, but everything feels more – more energy, more alert, more running/less recovery time.  My family thinks I’ve gone a little wacky, but they are used to that by now.

I eat as much food as I want.  I’m not hungry, and I’ve lost most of my attraction to junk foods,  although those Red Hot Blues Tortilla Chips from Whole Foods are hard to stay away from.  It seems that the healthier I eat, the more my body wants healthy foods.  Junk foods are not as appealing as they used to be.  Very strange how this all happened over the course of a couple of months, but I’m really loving it.

I’ll be adding to this blog in the upcoming weeks.  Please feel free to ask me any questions about this or any of my other blogs, as I am more than happy to discuss my favorite topics with anyone who wants to listen.


BAREFOOT SHARK TANK. Will The Sharks Bite Into The Running Sandal Market?

GladSoles Beauty ShotThis Friday, one of GladSoles’ fellow travelers, Steve Sachen of Xero Shoes, will be diving into the Shark Tank to pitch his barefoot running sandals to the panel. I can’t wait to watch the show and see what the investors say. This is a great development, in my opinion, as it’s a clear sign that barefoot huarache-style sandals, similar to GladSoles are hitting the mainstream in a big way.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to stand in front of the Sharks and present GladSoles, so I’m curious to see how the Xero pitch will work. Will it be focused on the advantages of barefoot running? Will he try to sell the sharks on the customizable nature of the sandal?

Will the pitch center on the market? According to Flip-Flop Shop franchisee Scott Santy, flip-flop sales have grown 8.2% in the last 3 years, accounting for $1.5 billion of U.S. surf-wear retail sales. If all those flip-flop wearers decided to become barefoot huarache style sandal wearers that could be huge!

Which shark will take the bait? Mark Cuban? I’m not sure if footwear will appeal to him, although he does endorse Sketchers sneakers. What about Daymond John? He’s in the clothing biz, so what will he make of the sandals? Are they going to be a hot item for Lori Greiner to bring to QVC? Will “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary crush the idea like a bug? I hope not! Hopefully there’ll be a bidding war, but whatever the outcome, you can’t buy better exposure.

We hope that this signals a time when people will come to us and already know about custom-made barefoot sandals, and we won’t have quite as much explaining to do.

We can’t wait to see the results and we wish them good luck!


Shark Tank Website

Xero Shoes Website

GladSoles Tee Shirt Back

Off-The-Couch Workout Log – Week 7

Rich aka Ninja RichThe first week of the year saw some extremely frigid temperatures.  But as you can see, Rich and I strapped on our GladSoles, suited up and went out in the elements.


Monday 12/31/12

Not-run – 30 minutes

Random thoughts:

So, what’s up with the no pushups and wall squats? Hard to say exactly what I’m doing here. I’m glad I made it outside in the brutal cold, though… and after the first 10 minutes it wasn’t even cold anymore. So all good!


Tuesday 1/1/13

What a way to start the year! We went to brunch and I got up early to soak cashews for a special scalloped potato and eggplant dish I was making. I was exhausted ALL DAY!! Tomorrow is the official start to the resolutions thing… My lovely friend Amanda is going Paleo, and I’m gonna get back in the swing of wall squats, perfect pushups and runs…


Wednesday 1/2/13

Perfect Pushups on knees 6-5-4-3 regular, wide, narrow

Wall squats x2 @ 1:15 each

Random thoughts:

Well, I did the other stuff but didn’t make it out for the run for various reasons… ho hum. Glad that I was still able to do the pushup/wall squat routine, despite having slacked off so much with it.


Thursday 1/3/13

Not-run – 30 minutes nose breathing

Perfect Pushups on knees 6-5-4-3 regular, wide, narrow

Wall squats x2 @ 1:15 each

Random thoughts:

While doing my first wall squat I could see Rich running, because our window looks out onto Richmond Ave. I was half watching him, and half watching Nigella make Puttanesca sauce. Nigella is more fun to watch. The weather today was really cold. I wore: running tights, a long-sleeve merino shirt, a short-sleeve merino shirt, a fleece sweatshirt, a running jacket, a pair of toe sox, a pair of sol socks, my GladSoles, 2 hats, 1 pair of gloves, and a Buff scarf thing around my neck. I felt perfect!

Jennie's Winter Running Gear List

Friday 1/4/13

Nothing – but I knew that going in – I had to take Max & Mia to the orthodontist at UMDNJ for diagnostics – fun times!


Saturday 1/5/13

Not-run – 30 minutes nose breathing

Perfect Pushups on knees 6-5-4-3 regular, wide, narrow

Wall squats x2 @ 1:15 each

Random thoughts:

Glad to be out here – I have to run today and tomorrow because although I don’t want to be a hard-ass about this workout thing, I do want to do at least 4 days a week…


Sunday 1/6/13

Not-run – 30 minutes nose breathing

Perfect Pushups on knees 6-5-4-3 regular, wide, narrow

Wall squats x2 @ 1:15 each

Random thoughts:

Really glad that I fit this in. We were going out to lunch and I’m so bad about mobilizing in the morning. It was really nice, and I took a different route as I get SO BORED when I do the same route day in and day out.



November 2012 - Before ShotLet’s face it, there can be a flip side to all this workout stuff. It’s a bad part of my character that I tend to be contrarian. Watching Rich get fitter and fitter has the reverse motivating effect on me, in that it motivates me to want to flab out on the couch with chips, and leave the fitness to my better half.

So in the past couple of months I’ve kind of let myself go, and the results are not pretty: a growing Buddha belly; low energy; a nagging backache and a weird urge to grunt when bending down to pick something up off the floor. At 46 am I finally reaching middle age?

I haven’t always been this pathetic. In the past I’ve seen pretty good results from the amazing Cathe Friedrich – and I will always remain a fan. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with running, done a good amount of yoga, and worked on my swimming in the summers. But something has always stopped me from reaching that next level of fitness, and the instant I stopped working out I completely lost all the fitness gains. Perhaps I never had true fitness. Perhaps true fitness is completely unattainable, and is this just a fact of life that the fitness industry banks on to keep people on those treadmills trying to get to a place that doesn’t exist.

For this round I’m going back to basics, and building my fitness layer by layer from the ground up. When I’ve achieved goals in the past it’s always felt like “oh, I can do this # of pushups, or I can run this # of miles” but somehow it felt like a trick and not real. I could run faster and further, but I was huffing and puffing and in pain. I could do more pushups, but was I doing it right or taking a shortcut with bad form?

I look at Rich, and his fitness routine is simple: pushups and running. Sometimes he mixes it up with tennis or yoga, but his go-to is pushups and running, pretty much every day. He’s looking great these days, and this fitness requires very minimal equipment and no gym membership.

But here’s the trick: when he runs he nose breathes, and when he does pushups they’re “Perfect Pushups.” Both of these take the simple acts of running and push-ups to new heights of challenging. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself! Run a lap breathing through your mouth, and follow it with a lap breathing through your nose. Not easy!

I’m going to break my fitness plateau by following his lead… screw my contrarian nature! As the months go by I’ll update you weekly on my progress, and I’ll be honest each day with how the workouts go.


Too Busy to Workout, Not Really But…

Rich at the Yoga Journal Conference in NYC 2012
At the Yoga Journal Conference in NYC 2012

April was a busy month.

Besides all of my piano and guitar teaching, we also did a lot of trunk shows – at Jivamukti Yoga in NYC, Shakti Yoga & Baker Street Yoga in Maplewood, as well as Be Evolution Yoga in Montclair. We also had a booth at the Yoga Journal Conference in New York City for 3 days.

The reason why I mention all this is because I need an excuse to explain all of the “rest” days that I took in April. Normally I workout 6 to 7 times a week. Last year it was 98 percent running, 2 percent tennis. Since January, I’ve been trying to be a bit more balanced in my fitness approach, so I have incorporated yoga into my weekly routine. Anyway, what that means is that I usually run 3 to 4 times a week, and practice yoga 2 to 3 times. However, with all the GladSoles events going on in April, I was thrown out of my normal daily routine. Thus all of the “rest” days in this month’s totals.

It’s not all bad though, for instance, on the 3 days that I commuted to NYC for the Yoga Journal Conference, I took the stairs instead of elevators to and from Penn Station. I walked from Penn Station to and from the NY Hilton (which is on 53rd and 6th Avenue), so that’s a pretty decent walk. I also tried to eat very clean – not too much sugar, lots of salads, fruit, nuts, etc.

So all in all, even though I would have liked to get in a few more workouts, I still managed to be active and hopefully I’ll be able to get back on track in May.

Here are my exercise stats for April: (March stats here)

Running (in my GladSoles when not barefoot): 12 times for a total of 95.6 km
Yoga: 10 sessions
Tennis: 0 matches – almost had my first match, but cancelled last minute
Rest Days: 8


Barefoot in Hong Kong V – The Greatest Race The World Has Never Seen

Bowen Road Hong Kong
Bowen Road Hong Kong

3 Runners, 1 Plodder, 4 Different Experiences

One of the most famous places to run in Hong Kong is Bowen Road. It’s an 8K stretch that winds its way through the Mid-Levels of Hong Kong. In a mountain-city that puts San Francisco’s hills to shame, Bowen Road’s relative flatness is very appealing.

There were four of us – all very different runners: Jeremy has been running his entire adult life. He’s very dedicated, determined and competitive. Yoni is 25 years old, speedy and graceful. On that day he was training for a 10k charity run and this was his first time doing more than 5 kilometers. Rich, you know all about – over 2000 miles logged last year, fleet of foot as he speeds along in his GladSoles minimal sandals. And me: sloooow, attempting lightness and ease in my own GladSoles, and not used to the 8k distance.

Here’s how we all felt about it:

Jeremy: Buildings and jungle!
Yoni: Bowen road was half way up to the peak, so when you ran the stretch it was like running along sky-scrapers. I saw high-rise buildings by my side and a magnificent bay.
Rich: Beautiful views of the Hong Kong skyline.
Jennie: Skyscrapers wrapped in fabric and bamboo scaffolding.

Jeremy: 38 mins for 5 miles (whatever that is)
Yoni: I ran an average of 4.5min a Km.
Rich: Fast enough to stay comfortably ahead of Jeremy & Yonatan, and my lovely wife.
Jennie: Ridiculously slow.

Jeremy: Being together running en famille.
Yoni: The best bit was the height of the road, so the view was breathtaking.
Rich: No traffic, relatively flat, perfect weather, lots to like.
Jennie: The fresh air, the views, the company.

Jeremy: Nothing bad – during summer the heat is crazy but wasn’t relevant in February.
Yoni: The worst part was the heat and humidity – I’m not used to running in these conditions – I’m used to British cold and rainy weather.
Rich: There was no worst part.
Jennie: Getting a mouthful of dust when we went past a building site.

Jeremy: Satisfied!
Yoni: I felt brilliant when I’d finished because I’d beaten my best time.
RG: Great!
Jennie: Accomplished!

Jeremy: Two or three times per week.
Yoni: At the time I was training for a 10k… so I ran often leading up to the event. Unfortunately I’ve stopped running for a bit because my university exams are looming. Though I look forward to get back on it fairly soon!
RG: Every time I go to Hong Kong (once).
Jennie: As often as possible (so far, once…)

Still Running, Adding More Yoga, and Vibram KomodoSport LS


Nunu and Sam Enjoying the Sun
Nunu and Sam Enjoying the Sun

March was a pretty good month. The weather was warmer than normal, I got to run barefoot a few times, I can now comfortably touch my knees to my nose (yeah yoga!), and it was my birthday. I managed to exercise every single day except for the last two, but I have a good excuse for one of the days since we were on-site at the Jivamukti Yoga Center for a trunk show.  Goodbye Winter, hello Spring!

It is so much easier to exercise when it’s nice outside. I go running no matter what the conditions are, but the sun helps a lot. I also find many of the yoga poses much easier to do when the house isn’t freezing cold in the morning. I also don’t miss the clanging of the radiators at the crack of dawn. I really hope that the cold days are gone until next winter.

Being my birthday and all, I went out and bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Komodosport LS shoes for the upcoming tennis season. Last year I used the regular Komodosports and had much success. The new model (LS) adds laces to the top instead of a velcro closure. They’re a little easier to put on my extra wide feet because the opening is wider than the old model. Plus they look really cool, I promise they do! I anticipate that I will like them very much on the tennis courts as they are really very similar to my other pair, with the addition of the laces. If anyone knows of another minimal tennis shoe that you can recommend, please let me know as I am always looking for the latest and greatest in the world of minimalist sneakers.

Anyway, here are my exercise stats for March: (February stats here)

Running (in my GladSoles when not barefoot): 17 times for a total of 128.75 km
Yoga: 12 sessions (new record for 1 month)
Tennis: 0 matches – soon
Rest Days: 2