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Barefoot running
Trail running's new footwear, Vibram FiveFingers (right)

Still-lengthy daylight and cooler temperatures make these days perfect for trail running--and purchasing a new pair of shoes that uses the latest technology for what's called barefoot running.

In a nutshell, barefoot running is the popular new philosophy that recommends replacing heavily cushioned, raised-heeled running shoes with bare feet or minimal footwear. Less-is-more shoe devotees claim that less padding is actually healthier for the body, due to biomechanics involving heel-strike and repetitive stress.

We decided to test-drive this trend while shopping at Sporteve, the Culver City women's sports store. Its staff are peppy, knowledgeable devotees of minimal running shoes; they're eager to have you try on pairs of kooky-looking Vibram FiveFingers, Newtons and more.

Even better, Sporteve sponsors weekly runs, bike rides and workouts, including a weekly three- to six-miler promising great views of the city. We're signing up for a "couch-to-5K" series in early October, a perfect way to break in our new minimalist Newtons.

Sporteve, 3849 Main St., Culver City; 310-838-6588 or

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