Win a Pair of GladSoles

GladSoles-Barefootrunningsandals copy

Enter to win any pair of GladSoles minimalist sandals by using the widget below. Contest ends next Monday March 31st, 2014 at midnight. The winner will receive one pair of GladSoles (any model: Lite, Original or Trail)
*International participants must pay shipping cost if chosen as winner.

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Whether you’re hiking the trails or just going for a walk, GladSoles will get you where you need to go in style and comfort. GladSoles come in 4mm, 6mm, and 8mm Vibram® soles. The lace is recessed into the bottom of the sole, and very easy to swap out.

Every pair of GladSoles is completely custom-made by hand, based on tracings of your feet. Take it slowly when you trace your feet, as an accurate tracing ensures a perfect fit.

The GladSoles Trail Specs:
Weight: 3.2 oz (per sandal, laces included, size 9)
Thickness: 8 mm
Tread: aggressive tread – durable, oil resisting, non-slip
Ground Feel: very good – slightly muted feel compared to GladSoles Original
Does it float? yes
Other: Vibram Newflex 8mm is a rubber/foam composite blend with an advanced traction pattern on the out-sole. Lightweight and overall the most comfortable sole material we offer.

Comparing the different GladSoles models:

GladSoles Lite – As you can tell from the name, this is our lightest weight and thinnest (4mm) model. Great for the pool & beach. This model has less structure than the Original or the Trail. Best suited for those of you who really want to feel every little nook and cranny that you might encounter on and off-road. Kids really love this model.

GladSoles Original – This is where it all started. The GladSoles Original is our most versatile sandal. It’s 6mm thin, really light weight and works well on many surfaces. Recommended for all first time, barefoot sandal wearers! This sandal has some structure to it, and will mold to your feet after you wear them around for a few days. Perfect for running, walking, hiking, casual wear – it’s a great all-around sandal.

GladSoles Trail – This is our most secure and rugged sandal. It is 8mm thick, but will mold to your feet within a few days. Great for all of your off-road adventures. It has an aggressive tread that really grips the trails well, but will wear down a little quicker on asphalt and other man-made surfaces. The Trail model is made for all you trail runners out there, plus it’s an all-around, really comfortable everyday sandal.

It’s really simple. If you have an issue with your sandals, just let us know and we will fix it. We take great pride in our sandals and want to make sure that you love them as much as we do!

Shipping to all countries

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.


Exercising in 2012 – February Summary

Hong Kong Running Action Shot
Hong Kong Running Action Shot

Just wanted to update you all with my exercise stats for the past month. February was a little challenging as we were traveling to and from Hong Kong. That’s a 16 hour flight each way from our lovely home base here in New Jersey. So with that as an excuse, I didn’t exercise on those two travel days, plus I took off another two days while we were in Hong Kong. Not too bad considering I still managed to get in some sort of exercise 25 out of the 29 days during this leap year February.

The highlight(s) this month were definitely the spectacular views that I encountered during my running exploits while in Hong Kong. The steep hills and crazy drivers kept me on my toes, while providing some pretty challenging training runs. The hills of South Orange, New Jersey seem a little bit more manageable now that I’ve experienced the Mid-Levels of Hong Kong. I got in a total of five runs for 44.54 km while there, for an average of 8.91 km per run. Not too shabby considering the elevation that I was dealing with while navigating the peaks and valleys. (Here’s a link to my longest training run in Hong Kong)

Some of you might be wondering how I know that I ran precisely 44.54 km in Hong Kong. It’s one of my best motivating tools that I own – my trusty Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS watch. It might be a little frivolous, but I really look forward to the statistics after every run. This watch basically links up with the satellites in the sky and tracks my every step, giving me a remarkably accurate account of the distance, speed, elevation gain, and calories burned during every training run. I can compare my results with other training days to see how I am progressing, or regressing on occasion. I’m a bit of a gadget freak, and this GPS watch is one really cool piece of equipment. I think that having all of these statistics helps keep me motivated, and makes it even more fun to run.

Anyway, here are my totals for February: (January stats here)

Running (in my GladSoles of course): 16 times for a total of 143.90 km
Yoga: 9 sessions
Tennis: 0 matches – still a little too cold outside 🙁
Travel Days: 2 (it’s tough to exercise when you’re on a plane for 16 hours)
Rest Days: 2


Running and Fitness – A Little Advice

Running in 5K Race
Running in 5K Race

Occasionally people ask me for advice on running and/or fitness in general. Whether they’ve heard about my running exploits of 2000 miles in 2011, or have seen my new and improved slender physique :), they seem to think that I have some expertise on the subject. I usually feel a little uncomfortable talking about myself, but I do have a couple of tips that I think could benefit many.

First of all, I am not an exercise junkie. I do not look forward to spending hours and hours working out. As a matter of fact, the reason that I run so much, is because it is so easy to do. I don’t need any special equipment and as soon as I step outside my front door, I’m there, ready to go. If I spend 30 to 45 minutes running outside, I am guaranteed a great workout and some fresh air. Plus, if I add in some hills, it really turns into a full body workout.

I have discovered over the last few years that it does not take a lot of hours in order to get into shape and stay fit. It’s all about consistency. I used to be a weekend warrior. I’d play basketball or tennis, my two favorite sports, maybe once or twice a week. I’m talking about 2 solid hours on the court, maybe three depending on the game or match. I’d be really sore for a few days after, but I felt that I was getting a lot accomplished in the one or two contests/struggles a week. Looking back on those days, I also had a bit of a gut, and spent a lot of my time limping around, recovering the rest of the week from my “athletic” events. Not a good way to be.

Now, I run just about every day. And if I’m not running, I practice yoga. I no longer carry any extra weight, and I have more energy than ever. I am very rarely sore. I attribute this to the length and intensity of my workouts. I try to keep my runs to under an hour, usually 45 minutes or less. When I practice yoga, its also done in under an hour, including the warm-up and meditation/relaxation at the end. That’s it, pretty simple in theory, but not always so easy to do.

So, if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be consistency. Not long, hard workouts. No painful recovery times. Just find something you like to do, and do it everyday. For me, running and yoga are very enjoyable. The key is to do something that makes you happy for at least 30 minutes a day. Nothing less, and nothing more is necessary to stay fit and healthy, at least in my experience.

Barefoot in Hong Kong

Hong Kong At Night
Hong Kong At Night

Earlier this month, we had the incredibly good fortune to take the trip of a lifetime to Hong Kong. My brother, sister-in-law and niece have lived there for 10 years, and we were there for a big family event. Over the next few weeks Rich and I will be posting a few blogs of our impressions of this amazing and unique place.

For our family it was a break from normality that took us out of our suburban New Jersey life and into a glittering oasis of neon, marble and glass. We flew direct from Newark. It was a15 hour flight that left on Saturday afternoon and arrived on Sunday evening. Although we’d spent less than a day in transit, because of the time difference, it felt like we’d spent an entire weekend in the air.

One of the first things I noticed on the drive into town from the airport, was a huge collection of enormous apartment blocks the scale of which I had never seen before. Hong Kong has one of the highest concentrations of people in the world, with over 18 thousand souls battling for space in every square mile. The immense edifices are home to people who used to live in boats around the various islands. They looked eery looming against the night sky.

Our hotel was smack in the middle of the Lan Kwai Fong district of Central Hong Kong, an area that hums and thrums all night long. Our home town in the U.S. shuts down for the night at around 10PM, yet the instant we arrived on buzzing Wyndham Street, we felt right at home. Hong Kong is very welcoming, and its energy is infectious!

I’ve lived in 3 countries in my life, and over the years I’ve developed the concept of “conquering” a city. To conquer a city is to learn about it, to feel at home in it, and to know where to go to get the things you need – like affordable food, laundry and a place to get your hair done. I love to wander around unfamiliar streets, getting slightly lost, and learning as I go. That night I went to bed anticipating how I would put on my GladSoles and go out and make Hong Kong mine.

A Love-Hate Relationship with Running

Running A 5K
Running A 5K

Rich is the runner in our house. This is clear from his amazing accomplishment of over 2,000 miles last year. I’ve had an on-again off-again relationship with running that dates back to my 20s, when I first moved to New York.

I was living on the Upper East Side. Every evening after work, the streets would be teeming with industrious young New Yorkers, clad in day-glo spandex, headphones over their baseball caps, huffing and puffing along the sidewalks. Feeling the pressure to fit in, I donned my sneakers, and took off up Second Avenue. After about 5 minutes of jogging along, dodging people and cars, I was about ready to pass out! I was winded, cramping, sweating and nauseous. Not a great start to my running career…

Some years later we found ourselves living in Park Slope, Brooklyn, just one block away from Prospect Park. I decided to try this running thing again. I borrowed my friend Andrea’s jogging stroller, strapped our one-year-old Max into it, and headed up to the park to run the 3.3 mile circuit. It was hard work, but I loved the sense of accomplishment I had when I was done!

The next couple of years brought two more babies in quick succession, and a move to Jersey, all of which served to cramp my running style. I took it up again briefly as part of an attempt to reclaim my girlish figure. I had my mp3 player and my New Balance sneaks, but somehow, I could never quite find that love for running that I was hoping for.

Then, I read “Born to Run.” It inspired me to search for my running mojo once again. Minimal shoes and multiple runs followed. Calf pain and foot pain were the inevitable results of poor technique and “too much too soon,” so I backed off for a while. I took a Chi Running class with the excellent coach David Stretanski, and found it very helpful. I went on some runs with Rich, and he gave me pointers along the way: relax the shoulders, shorten your cadence, breathe, try to be light on your feet.

I’ve been taking advantage of the warm winter, getting out as much as possible in my GladSoles with toe socks. Sometimes my head spins with all the instructions from Born to Run, Chi Running, and Rich. But other times I’m able to relax enough to stop thinking so much and just enjoy it. I’m slowly learning to breathe, to be in the moment and to “go with it,” and deep down I believe that a marathon is in my future.


Running, Yoga & Tennis

Last year I ran 2,031.6 miles. It took up a lot of my time. I’m not complaining, but in terms of exercising, it was kind of tough finding the energy to do anything else.  I had a goal to reach (2,000 miles), and that was my primary focus.

This year I would like to diversify a little more. I still want to run many miles, but I also want to allow myself a little more leeway to do a couple of other things that make me happy – namely yoga and tennis.

I am kind of new to yoga, although I have done a little bit here and there over the years. Last month I started practicing with the excellent Jivamukti Yoga DVD – Beginner Vinyasa: Volume 2. It is very easy to follow and the detailed vocal instructions throughout the video make it a most enjoyable experience.  Yoga seems to complement my running, by allowing me to stretch my leg muscles and gain flexibility. It also makes me feel really good – it’s that simple.

As for tennis, I would like to play a few more matches this season. It’s still too cold to play here in South Orange, but if this mild winter weather continues, I might get some matches in real soon. I’ve got my arch nemesis Len to look forward to. I’m sure that he has something up his sleeve as he always seems to add a new trick or two to his game each year. I would also like to be a little more competitive this summer against my good friend Andrew, a former state doubles champion.

Finally, as far as my running goes, this year I have decided to switch over from miles to kilometers. First of all, I think it’s about time that everyone gets on board with the metric system. I remember my elementary school teachers telling me that by the time I was an adult, everything would be in kilometers instead of miles, liters instead of quarts, kilograms instead of pounds, etc. Well, I’m still waiting for that to happen… Anyway, I do not have a set goal this year in terms of distance. Instead, I want to run for fun. I’ll probably still log quite a few kilometers, but without the added pressure of a specific goal.

So, I guess that I’m not really making any New Year’s resolutions per se, but I should have enough exercise options to keep me motivated and in shape for 2012. I’ll update my progress periodically throughout the year – here are January’s totals:

Running (in my GladSoles of course): 20 times for a total of 180.0 km
Yoga: 9 sessions
Tennis: 0 matches – still too cold outside 🙁
Rest Days: 2