Barefoot Runners

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Vibrams (Read 1266 times)

    Never really had an urge to try these things, or run barefoot. But for some reason today I found myself on the Vibram website, getting the itch to get a pair and see how it is running with 'less shoe'.

     

    The best model for distance running? Im guessing the Bikila--and those are the most 'shoe-like' and Im thinking would be the easiest transition?

     

    Second-- I notice on the Vibram site and in the very limited research I've done and the posts Ive browsed through that they recommend a real slow tansition to the Vibrams. What's the group's thought on how I should split up my miles. I havent run much at all since last summer. Starting up marathon training now. Will be ramped up to over 40 mpw in 2 weeks.

     

    And a more general question--I still see as many posts on injuries here than in the other forums--maybe mostly achilles pain? Anything besides ramping up slowly I should watch for or do differently?

     

    thanks

    marathon maniac #1293 2012 Goals 2000 miles - 100 miles in NC24-Fall

      I don't like Vibrams. They have caused all sorts of blisters for me and I think they are just a gimmick. There are some minimalist shoes coming out that will be low profile and not have the toes. Shoes such as the NB Minimus and the Montrail Glove. Both have Vibram soles, wide toe boxes, and minimum heel raise. There are plenty of Cross Country shoes (spikless) with very minimal heel raise that are cheap, but they typically have a narrow toe box.

       

      I am currently running in a pair of Brooks Mach 12 spikeless. There is a 4mm heel to forefoot differential, but the toe box is a bit on the narrow side. If the toe box was wider I would like these a whole lot more. Also, they weigh something like 6oz each, so actually less than the Vibrams, if I recall correctly. There is less ground feel, so that would be a deterrent if that is something you are interested in. One nice thing for winter running is that they are warmer, and my feet don't get wet as easily. Additionally, I don't have the smell issue that Vibrams have.

       

      Finally, I think this would be a good way to transition to less shoe. Since you still have something that is more like the shoes you are use to, but the lack of padding will help force you to stop heel striking. However, there is enough padding that you don't have to worry about little pebbles. Bigger pebbles will be felt, and sharp rocks might actually hurt.

       

      On to your question. I don't barefoot running is a cure-all. I think it can help, but then there are other type of injuries. You just need to listen to your body. Obviously, this would include not doing too many miles too soon. At first, you should run no more than a mile and maybe spread those to every other day. Basically, do like you would if you were just starting and are out of shape.

       

        I love my Vibram KSOs. Yes, give the transition plenty of time. Think of it as relearning how to run, not just getting used to the shoes. True barefoot running is advised for really learning to listen to your body. Keep in touch and let us know how it's going.

        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

          i think if you go the vibram route, any of the models will work fine for distance runs. there is only a couple millimeters difference in the thickness of the different models, personally i think its trivial as long as you watch your step. it will be a while anyways before you can do any long runs in them. i built up mileage over the summer by doing difficult trails with climbing involved.

           

          my other advice for choosing a model is to consider what other activities you may use them for. my first pair were the classics but i had to get some sprints because the classics would slip off in the water. i would also reccommend you do as much research as you can regarding injury prevention, proper usage, and mechanics.

           

          i like to think of my vibrams as another method of improvement, just like the weekly long run or speed work. i actually do my intervals on a soccer field barefoot, but most of my workouts i wear normal trainers. some people go full barefoot all the time though, thats cool too.

            I had to run barefoot to learn how to run in minimalist footwear.

              I had to run barefoot to learn how to run in minimalist footwear.

               

              I agree with this. It was much easier to drop all shoes, then ease back into minimalist.

               

              I disagree with lvleph, especially when he calls them a gimmick, but they do stink like hell w/o regular washing. I have run over 1300 miles in VFF's and enjoy them. I like te KSO's better, but they are much more blister prone. I like the Bikila's less, but they are much kinder to my feet. I have tried other minimalist types of shoes, however I can notice a distinct loss of feeling that I don't particularly like. 

               

              The only place I think VFF's are a liability are on technical trails with embedded rocks. I have bruised my heel twice in these types of situations. I am looking forward to using my Merrel Pace Gloves in those situations as they appear to provide a little more heel protection while still retaining some feeling of the ground. 

               

              Remember though that to go from from standard shoes into barefoot/minimalist shoes without transitioning intelligently is asking to get injured. 

              Creator of RunForth@robraux | shodless.com

              Ed4


              Barefoot and happy

                I had to run barefoot to learn how to run in minimalist footwear.

                 

                I also strongly agree with this.  People who try to go directly from shoes to Vibrams without mixing in any barefoot often have problems.

                 

                Even a little bit can help immensely.

                Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                jhill4


                  Hi - my husband and I have both been running in the Vibram Bikilas since September (we just started running in July in cheap water socks/shoes first) with no injuries and no blisters, either.  He does about 35 miles per week, and I'm doing 15-20.  The Bikilas are tight to prevent blisters, and they have a bit of a forward pronation that's perfect for running and midfoot sriking.  We did start out a mile or so at a time with 1/2 - 1 mile increases because the pain in the calf muscles was tremendous the first few times we used them!  It's totally gone now, though.  The only discomfort we experience is that our feet just feel bruised.  Those first few steps out of bed are really painful every morning, but it goes away fairly quickly.

                   

                  I think the tougher, thicker soles on the Bikilas really do offer a bit more protection, but you do still have to watch out for rocks and roots.  I keep stepping on acorns, which is slightly uncomfortable, but I think it would hurt more with the KSO's.  My brother-in-law got a fracture in his foot while running in his KSO's, but he pounds really hard when he runs.  Oh, one more plus to the Bikila's, my husband has over 500 miles on his, and they've probably got another 100-200 miles on them at least, so basically they last twice as long as regular shoes.  Saving that money is a good thing!

                   

                  Yes, the shoes can smell awful. Wash them often and air dry - problem solved - at least for a week or so!  Even with the awful smell and the bruised feeling (which I keep hoping will go away), we will never run in regular tennis shoes again.  I tried it once and twisted my ankle. My husband gets shin splints in regular shoes.  If I wasn't worried about cutting my feet up, I would be running barefoot for sure! I hope some of this helps, and good luck Smile

                    Thanks for the advice. With the cold temps--may not be the best time to start..although I may still purchase them and get a bit of time on the indoor track. I am not sure about the Y's policy on going barefoot.

                     

                    I think I will go with the Bikilas, and will definitely try to mix in some true barefoot running at the high school track when it gets warmer if I cant do so at the indoor track at the Y.

                    marathon maniac #1293 2012 Goals 2000 miles - 100 miles in NC24-Fall

                      those outdoor rubber tracks hurt when running barefoot. the smoothest place is the road.

                       

                      mta: i believe weve also discussed the gym barefoot policies here before, gonna look for that thread.


                      Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                        those outdoor rubber tracks hurt when running barefoot. the smoothest place is the road.

                         

                        Had my first BF on an outdoor track last week and have to agree that it did burn a bit. I've found that I prefer the concrete side walks to the asphalt road beds at this point in my BF running. The concrete is smoother and doesn't seem to irritate my feet the way the asphalt does. As they toughen up that might change.

                        bob e v
                        2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                        Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                        Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                        History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                          Thanks for the advice. With the cold temps--may not be the best time to start..although I may still purchase them and get a bit of time on the indoor track. I am not sure about the Y's policy on going barefoot.

                           

                          I think I will go with the Bikilas, and will definitely try to mix in some true barefoot running at the high school track when it gets warmer if I cant do so at the indoor track at the Y.

                           

                          Any surface that isn't squishy will do. The objective isn't to be barefoot, but rather to run so smoothly and gently that it wouldn't hurt your feet if you were barefoot.

                           

                          Of course, the only way to know for sure if it would hurt is to actually be barefoot, but obviously many people have success with their feet still wrapped up (see jhill4). Speaking of whom:

                           

                          @jhill4: FYI, I've logged a couple thousand miles barefoot so far, and have been cut only once. I think it was a piece of glass; all I know is when I got home I was leaving a trail of small red dots. I cleaned it up, and, well, that was it. The next time I thought about it was when someone asked about cuts. I've had more blood loss via my feet from shoes than from anything on the street or trail. Your fear is totally understandable, and you seem to enjoy the vibrams, so there's no need to change anything. I'm just saying if you ever do want to give it a shot, your feet won't get cut up.

                            A couple more comments.  I agree that the best way to learn/relearn how to run is barefoot, and you need to spend some time with this.  I've been running in my KSOs comfortably with temperatures in the teens (Fahrenheit), while wearing Injinji socks.  When it's in the 20s or above, I wear the much thinner liners.  Interestingly, the liners and the Vibrams aren't getting stinky.  The socks smell vile after a long run or two.

                            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


                            Fast Ninja

                              Gudluck with those vibram KSO's!

                                Did my first run in Vibram KSOs last night.  0.4 miles.  Overall, not bad. 

                                 

                                Going to take a while for this heel striker to transition.  I plan to take it slow...

                                And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

                                 

                                Rob

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