Sharath Raju, founder of High Line Retail and certified Barefoot Lifestyle coach, is all geared up to get folks hooked on the barefoot way of living and running.

It is quite a feeling, isn’t it? Feet on the ground yet that feeling of flying in the air? What is on your feet is what counts and no one knows this better than 28-year-old Sharath Raju, the founder of High Line Retail, the only distributor in India for minimalist gear, barefoot being one. He is also the only Indian certified coach to train people on the Barefoot Lifestyle.

The philosophy behind Barefoot Lifestyle is that we can tap into the natural benefits in our feet, with anything that provides sensory stimulation. Raju trained under Lee Saxby, the only representative who coaches the Barefoot technique, in London. He has a three year license, signed by Lee and Harvard Biomechanics. 

Sharath Raju, Founder of High Line Retail
Armed with an MBA, Raju worked with HP and IBM, and later Decathlon Sports India where he was the brand manager for Btwin cycles. A penchant for fitness kept Raju running and cycling for three years and the passion is still on. He switched tracks earlier this year in June 2011, after reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, which inspired him to experience the concept first hand in an effort to improve his running techniques. This is when he decided to start High Line Retail.

With this venture, Raju hopes to acquaint Indians with sports gear that is enhanced with advanced technologies that not only help improve skills and performance but also make the sports they play enjoyable activities. Their customers are those who are not averse to trying their hand at diverse sports like minimalist running, triathlon and cycling. High Line has tied up with Vivobarefoot and it also has an ecommerce website allowing people to buy directly from there. 

He believes that a marathon is an endurance sport and injuries due to wrong techniques of running and wrong shoes are inevitable. He hopes to reach out to runners by helping them learn the new technique, to be part of his running clinic, and maybe even try out the new shoes and go the barefoot way!

So, if you are a runner and you are looking for new shoes apart from the regular padded shoes, look no further. Those running marathons can consider an EVO 2 high performance shoe, highly breathable, designed for people in endurance sports. One of the runners who will be at the Goa River Marathon 2011, Neel Sengupta, swears by the Vibram FiveFingers with a 4 mm sole which he uses for short runs but for the bigger main runs he is still very comfortable with the regular well padded shoes.

Raju’s advice for runners is, “Wherever, whenever possible a runner should get their shoes off and be barefoot, basically for a person’s feet to re-activate to natural surroundings.”

By Aditya Mendonca/ Raintree Media Features/

Read the story on the Goa Herald on the link below: