A friend of mine just started a C25K program 2 weeks ago. He is looking to buy his first pair of running shoes, and is interested in getting a minimalist / barefoot type of shoe to start with, like five fingers or the minimus. I was thinking that it's a good idea to start off with minimal shoes while his weekly mileage is still low and relatively slow paced because he won't have to go through the transition later.
But the clerk at the running store refused to sell him or let him try anything less cushioned than Mizuno Wave Creation or Adidas Adios, insisting that beginning runners need more cushioning. They do carry several five fingers, minimus and minimal merrell shoes, so I don't think they're generally opposed.
I've been trying to find some information about this online, but most articles I could find are about already experienced runners and concerned with transitioning. What do you think? Do you know about any links/studies/info online targeted towards new runners?
My first reaction is, you're right, this is the perfect time to start in minimalist gear. Has he tried running actually barefoot? That's what most BF proponents would have him do.
I'm not at all sure what the clerk at the store would have been thinking. If your friend wants to try Vibrams, I think he should get them. Any first pair of shoes may or may not be right for him. Brooks Beasts didn't turn out too well for me.
+1 on trying real barefoot first. Nice thoughts on now being good for trying the minimal shoes while the mileage is low but no matter when you start using them you need to do it with good form. In my opinion that only comes from doing the real thing first. After that, it's just a matter of finding some shoes that you like. There are plenty of good options out there for minimal runners now. My two favorites are the Inov-8 f-lite 195 and the New Balance 730.
VIFL 14K 9 Feb - 58:31 (PR)
Boston Marathon 15 Apr
Thanks for the feedback, I'll suggest trying barefoot first to him.
Decker Challenge 09/12
a little late to the party but +1 on starting BF. That is what BF Ken Bob recommends in his BF running book.
bob e v 2013 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?
Finish halves, 3M Half 1/13 and probably Decker Challenge in DecHistory: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.
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