The Barefoot Running world has lost a true friend

Bill_KatovskyThere are a number of semi-celebrities in the barefoot running world (that is, famous in the niche, but not necessarily well known to the general public).

But there’s one man whose influence and value to those of us who support and benefit from natural movement eclipses all the celebs combined.

His name is Bill Katovsky and this post is an all-too-brief and undeniably insufficient memoriam, as Bill unexpectedly died last week.

Only those truly “in-the-know” and attentive to the goings on in the barefoot and minimalist movement (and the seeming backlash from maximalist footwear), have a glimmer into how much Bill contributed, since Bill was in the background more often than the foreground. And if I list his credits, I’ll surely underestimate Bill’s level of responsibility. From co-authoring books, like Tread Lightly, to writing innumerable articles, to co-creating and managing the idea of Natural Running Center-affiliated stores, to maintaining the online presence for NRC… many of you reading this now are here, in part, thanks to Bill’s efforts.

Personally, my relationship with Bill was one that could only have existed in the Internet-age. He found me online, and then called for a “brief chat” that lasted 6 hours.

We never met in person, though I regularly offered to fly him to Colorado so we could plan our barefoot takeover of the world.

We spoke almost weekly, usually for hours at at time. On average, Bill and I exchanged at least one email per day. And I say “on average” because I might not hear from Bill for a few days, but when he was on a creative rant, I’d get 10 or 20 within minutes of each other.

Putting into practice the myriad marketing ideas that Bill tossed in my direction would take more than a lifetime for more than one company.

Bill had an encyclopedic memory of all-things running and triathlon (he coined the term triathlete, and founded the magazine of that name). And we shared a deep passion for finding the underlying truth about human performance, and all forms of comedy (hence our 2 hour “chats”).

Bill was always a huge supporter of me and of Xero Shoes, both as a product and a business. He was the ultimate sounding board. Generous with his mind and ideas. And his death is truly a loss for the barefoot and natural movement community.

We can only hope to honor his memory by bringing to fruition all that he wanted for us and the world.

You can find more about Bill from some who were closer to him than I:

From Nick Pang –

From Roy Wallack –

From Scott Tinley –