TRENDY barefoot running is the perfect combination of misery, showing off and pain, according to exercise fanatics.
Running without footwear supposedly improves performance, although the key benefits to fitness obsessives are proving how hard they are and making people stare at them.
Marketing manager Martin Bishop said: “I first got into barefoot running when I wasn’t getting the same buzz from telling people about my 10-mile runs in trainers.
“Now when I say I go running on pavements in bare feet everyone stares at me in awe. And when I describe the horrific foot injuries I’m prepared to endure they look positively sick with envy.
“But the real sense of achievement is when you’re running along in obvious discomfort and you know people are looking at you and thinking, ‘Wow, what a consummate athlete!’
“It’s definitely not some weird, masochistic attempt to prove how tough I am. I just happen to like running with bits of glass and gravel unnecessarily stuck in my feet.”
Fitness coach Emma Bradford said: “Barefoot running is more natural because it’s what our palaeolithic ancestors did, although by that logic you shouldn’t cover your genitals or go to a dentist.
“I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t feel queasy just thinking about tearing a toenail.”