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Barefoot running?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
What's everyone's opinions on barefoot running?
Any bad experiences or good ones?
I just discovered the Vibram Five Fingers shoes and am tempted to get a pair. Does anyone own a pair?
The snow FINALLY melted up here and I'm thinking about getting into this but could definitely use some tips and would love to hear about your opinions and experiences!
Thanks!
post #2 of 24
My DH has a pair that he loves. I can't find them in my size; they are always sold out!

You might want to check out the book "Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall - my DH is not a fast reader, but he stayed on the couch for an entire weekend and read it through. I skimmed through it and the story and information are pretty interesting.
post #3 of 24
I second "Born to Run". Loved that book. I have a pair of VFFs. I honestly don't run in them as much as I thought I would. I've been doing so much long distance running that I rarely do short enough runs to get myself used to the VFF. I did have heel pain when I first started running them because I was still trying to run like I was running in thick shoes with the heel strike. Once I corrected that and really paid attention to how I was running, I haven't had the heel pain again. I ran 3 miles in them yesterday, and it felt good. The little aches I've had in the past are pretty much eliminated the closer to barefoot I get. My running shoes for the past 2 years have been Nike Frees; I still like them and wear them occasionally, but my newest shoe is pretty minimal. The Nike NM shoe. It's actually been discontinued, and they made a new version, but the new version looks like a thicker sole. They have been great shoes.
I do really like just walking around in my VFF. My feet feel good in them. I have the Sprint version, but I'd really like to get a pair of the Treks when they release the women's in May. I also really like the new "running" VFF that they just released. Those look cool. My dh has the Treks and likes them a lot. I do a lot of trail running so I think the Treks would suit me better. But the Sprints are so much cuter.
post #4 of 24
love my VFF. I have two pair and they get a lot of play. They are amazing to run in. I have the classics for just day to day around town stuff and sprints for, well, sprinting! LOL. They are truly wonderful and my feet feel so much better than they did in running shoes.

Dh has Sprints and KSO's. He much prefers the Sprints.
post #5 of 24
I just bought a pair of VFF today! I have only recently gotten into running and wanted to feel more "in touch" with the ground I run on, while not being super paranoid and distracted by a small pebble or sharp object.

I took them for a little test drive around the block, and they will definitely take a little getting used to. I am hoping that as long as I can be patient, that I can eventually put some mileage on them.
post #6 of 24
make sure you ease into them. here is an article my friend wrote after we had a discussion about them.

http://ironmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/...y-does-it.html
post #7 of 24
I just got mine today, I wore them to the park to play with the kids. I climbed trees, chased them around the playground, etc. I am excited to break them in to running, but I will definitely take it slow.
post #8 of 24
Psssst! Come on over to the dingo thread here; it's a group of running mamas, and a handful of the ladies there are barefooters and owners of VFFs. If I were one of those barefooters, I could answer your questions myself, but my toes are too wimpy to go shoe-free. Maybe this summer.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaLaLaLa View Post
Psssst! Come on over to the dingo thread here; it's a group of running mamas, and a handful of the ladies there are barefooters and owners of VFFs. If I were one of those barefooters, I could answer your questions myself, but my toes are too wimpy to go shoe-free. Maybe this summer.
I've tried to join the Dingo thread twice, but you guys move way too fast for me to keep up.

I'm up to 6.5 miles in my VFF. I might attempt a 10K race in them next month.
post #10 of 24
I live in the city...and its really not the cleanest city, either, so the idea of running completely barefoot sketches me out! I think I would step on glass..I thought about the Vibrams but I felt like i wanted to try something that looked a little more traditional. again, busy city, not super into being the freak show everyone is looking at every time i wanna go for a run!
I settled on a pair of Nike Frees and I love them. I feel like my knees and ankles finally stopped hurting! I don't do marathons or anything, but have raced a few 5K's in them and my long runs are up to 6 or so miles tops. I shaved 1 minute and a half off my 5K time recently too and I feel that the shoes were one piece to that.
I also sadly agree that keeping up with the dingo thread is far too difficult.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieB View Post
I've tried to join the Dingo thread twice, but you guys move way too fast for me to keep up.

I'm up to 6.5 miles in my VFF. I might attempt a 10K race in them next month.
Yep, me too, the dingo thread is super fast!

I ran a bit in my VFF's today, only about a mile, and then I did my lifting workout in them. No problems, I love them. The only reason I took them off today was because I had to get a pedicure for my brother's wedding. If I had known that my VFF's would come before the wedding I wouldn't have bothered!
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by janasmama View Post
make sure you ease into them. here is an article my friend wrote after we had a discussion about them.

http://ironmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/...y-does-it.html
didn't read the article, but I agree...it's best to ease into them. It's a whole new way of using your foot. However once you are used to them they are brilliant. I adore them.
post #13 of 24
I walk around barefoot all the time, but running in my new Vibrams is a whole different story, I am definitely having to take it slow!
post #14 of 24

I haven't been here for a while but someone told me today that Kimya Dawson's hubby is a barefoot runner. I got curious if anyone here is into barefoot running as well.

I just finished my first barefoot marathon on Oct. 17th.  Here is my blog addy.

http://www.barefootangiebee.com

/ I come and go as time allows to the site here and usually just lurk. 

 

Anyways, hello barefooters!

post #15 of 24

since folks on here are recommending mcdougall's born to run, i've gotta jump in.  i highly recommend you don't read that book, it's full of bad information.  i was shocked again and again at the outrageous statistics he made about runners and running shoes.  if you're interested in barefoot running, please look elsewhere.  

 

running shoes are not the problem (as mcdougall would have us believe), bad mechanics are.  consider that the barefoot/minimal running shoe movement is based on correcting running mechanics.  specifically, running barefoot prevents heel striking, for the lack of cushioning on the heel (when barefoot) makes it necessary to hit the more padded forefoot.  make no mistake about it, heel striking while running (as opposed to walking) is bad. heel striking places an enormous amount of stress on the shins, knees, hips and back and doing so will greatly increase your risk of injury.  in addition, heel striking is a tremendous waste of energy, for it causes the runner to bounce up and down excessively and keep the foot on the ground too long.  of course, the object of the game while running is to travel forward with the least amount of energy and with the least amount of stress on the body as possible, so any movement other than forward and back should be eliminated.  lastly, heel striking slows you down because it causes a breaking in forward momentum.  heel striking is bad, but do you need to get rid of your well cushioned, structurally sound shoes to learn to run correctly?

 

throwing out your well-cushioned, structurally sound shoes because your mechanics are poor (heel striking) is like throwing out the baby with the bath water.  in other words, if your mechanics are the problem, you should throw out your mechanics, and keep the good running shoe.  a well-cushioned and structurally sound shoe does not cause you to run poorly.  a misunderstanding in running mechanics can.  a combination of shock absorption and mid-foot protection from a good running shoe along with proper running mechanics is the best strategy for injury prevention.

 

all runners will benefit from learning to run with proper running mechanics.  most of us have seen elite runners with their graceful long strides covering ground at mind boggling speeds.  however, most of us probably don’t know that their stride frequency (and that of most experienced runners whether they know it or not!) is the same whether they are running 9:00 min per mile or 5:00 min per mile.  180 steps per minute (90 on each foot) is what has been proven to be the most efficient (energy saving), and the least stress producing (injury preventing) turnover for runners going both fast and slow.  the differences in speed are a result of stride length.  a more powerful stride results in a longer stride, but the legs turn over at the same rate.  it is impossible to achieve a stride frequency of 180 steps while heel striking.  the foot stays on the ground much too long and takes too long to get through the rest of the gait cycle (foot strike, mid-stance, toe-off, follow through).  it should be noted, at this point, that it is also impossible to achieve a stride frequency of 180 steps while forefoot striking if the foot is plantar-flexed (toes pointing towards the ground).  instead, you should forefoot strike while maintaining the dorsa-flexed position (ankle cocked back and toes pointing up).  there are other factors that can prevent a runner from achieving a turnover of 180 steps per minute, but the foot strike is by far the most significant.


along with learning to run with the proper foot strike and turnover, all runners will benefit from selecting a good shoe based on a biomechanical analysis of his or her running gait.  this does not mean that you must wear a heavy, non flexible, brick of a shoe.  in fact, a runner should never wear more shoe than is needed.  it is unnecessary to purchase a barefoot running shoe, although you may still reap some benefits in foot and ankle strength by removing your shoes at the end of a run for some (4-10) quick 100m strides.  for decades, coaches have been having athletes remove their shoes at the end of a run for some barefoot strides.  for the rest of your mileage, keep those old faithful running shoes on your feet and work on your running mechanics.

 

you may not be "born to run", but you can "learn to run".

post #16 of 24

I missed this the first time around.  I bought a pair of Vibrams this summer and for the first time ever I can actually run!  It actually feels natural and I am twice as fast as I was before.  I love my Vibrams!!!

post #17 of 24

Looking to make the transition.  As an ex-ballet dancer, I'm totally stoked to find a healthier way to run. 

post #18 of 24

Just wanted to add that I have a pair of VFF KSOs and I am really loving them.  I have a severe bone spur on the heel of my left foot and I thought the VFF would be torture on it.  I was totally wrong!  They are the only shoes I can wear all day without wanting to take off.  I can't say enough good things about them!

post #19 of 24

Reviving a bit of an old thread....

I've just recently started researching this adn I think it's a great concept! We were born barefoot, who ever said we needed shoes? Lost of kids have a harder time walking once they get into hardsoled shoes. I believe the foot is meant to sit flat on the ground. That's not to say a little cushioning is a horrible idea. But maybe run completely bare foot at first so you really listen to the road. If you're doing something wrong you'll notice a lot quicker and be able to correct it. Then if you want some vibrams or something, go get some.

I walk around all day without shoes so I don't think it'll be too tough a transition. Soon as my cough/bronchitis clears I'm getting out there! Even though it's like minus 20 C... lol

post #20 of 24

I posted when I first got my first pair of VFF's in June. I have a second pair now, the bikila's. I run in them exclusivley, I had a few days when it snowed and I wore shoes and I really don't love to run nearly as much with shoes on. I disagree with one of the pp's about McDougall's book. I got from the book that he did talk quite a bit about stride. In his first ultra he wore running shoes and exclusively worked on changing his stride. He talked about not heel striking, about running "light, easy, fast," etc. He talked a great deal about posture, and stated that in the end when they had this big race that regardless of what the runners were wearing on their feet, they all had one thing in common...their stride. Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, and felt like there was very little focus on vibram's, or barefooting and that most of the focus was on stride. I

 

I find that I pay more attention to maintaining a healthy stride when I run in vibram's. I can feel instantly when something isn't right. I am training to run my first marathon in them in May 2011.

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