Barefoot Runners


First run in Vibram FF KSO's (Read 928 times)

    Hi, I'm Nick and I usually stay on the side lines. I got to the point recently where I started suffering with Achilies Tendonitis and, after reading a certain book which seemed to make sense, I'm v.slowly making the move towards Barefoot Running to see if it all falls into place. I know, however, that the journey is a long one and takes time.


    I'm sure this is a complete repetition of many posts that have gone before it but I got my new VFF's yesterday and did my first run this morning and wanted to report back. I've got no questions at the moment because it all seemed to go very well. I must have done just over 4 miles and did a bit of walking towards the end, then took them off to walk the last 150 or so metres barefoot. They were very comfortable, even though, when I first put them on yesterday in the house, I thought they were quite tight and I'd made a huge mistake and got the sizing wrong. But there was no rubbing and no blisters to moan about.


    Now I know that there are some who will not agree with the use of any foot wear what so ever but I think that the vibrams are a pretty good transition for me. The soles of my feet are particularly sensitive and I can just about walk the 150m at the end of my run barefoot. I think it's a conbination of the cold and harshness of the tarmac paving. Still, I intend to press on and slowly but surely move into actual barefoot running. Can't wait for the summer, for a start. The weather here has been cold and we've also had a lot of snow and ice this winter (not a good time to start or practise barefoot running). 


    I suppose that the 4 miles I did may seem like a long way for a first outing but I did a bit of running last week in a flat (minimal) shoe and I experienced the lower leg aching after that so I hope my legs may be a bit more used to the change in running form. I think I'll probably get the aching feet thing tomorrow and probably every other time for a while until they strengthen a bit.


    Anyway, thanks for creating this user goup. I've got a lot of good information from here and there seems to be some genuine and very helpfully people around. I'll keep you updated on progress.




      I finally received my KSO's yesterday, too.  Like you, I have a fit concern...not sure if you are experiencing something similar:  My big toe on my right foot feels like it is pressing on the end of the toe box.  This is most noticeable when I try to flex my foot to raise my big toe (not that there is any real reason to do this).  So, I am not sure if its just a matter of getting used to wearing them. 


      I took them for a run this morning, and found that the pressing sensation isn't an issue when running, which is good.  I was a bit surprised at how much cushioning was available, though...I was able to heel strike for a few steps without any immediate discomfort.  I've been exclusively barefoot since the end of December, but prior to that was a long-time I had to really focus on the form I've developed while barefoot for the last month or two. 


      Looking forward to Spring!

        Thanks for sharing Nick. et al. At the end of the day, you're the only one really qualified to give yourself advice. I hope you're feeling excellent tomorrow as well.

        Perhaps you'll be able to get up to speed very quickly. It truly does vary after all.

        Creator of RunForth@robraux |

          You know, I just got a pair myself, and they are rubbing my in step raw. They are a replacement for the classics that I put a hole in. Not sure the deal with the rubbing. I put mole skin on and it is no longer a problem. I just hope that they need to be broken in. My flows don't have this problem at all, but they also have the thick neoprene.


            Did a second run this morning.......just over 5 miles and still no rubbing  . I then actually ran barefoot for 0.08 miles back to my house!! Yes, I did say 0.08 miles (I think it was a bit further than that but I forgot to restart the garmin). Running barefoot at this time of year is easier than walking and I think it's because my feet are in contact with the ground for less time so don't lose so much heat. My soles are still pretty sensitive though.


            I did have a bit of a sharp pain on the top of my foot to start with but I tried a bit of the Chirunning techniques and concentrated on, amongst all the other thing you're supposed to remember to do, relaxing my feet alot more and it seemed to go away. What I didn't get, which I thought I would this morning, was aching feet from yesterday's run.


            Cruick - my VFF's still feel tight when I put them on but again, still no problems so far when running. My big toes go right into and press against the front but seems to be ok and I was also surprised at how much cushoining there is on the soles. Not sure I'll be able to get them on when my feet start out warmer in the summer months. Still, may be I'll be totally barefoot by then so won't need to worry.


            lvleph - How many miles did you do in your classics to put a hole through them?


              Wow, that is quite a start - 4 miles.  The tops of my feet wuold be in some serious pain if I did that (again - I did it back in the Fall and two days later it hurt to walk).


              Kudos to you though.  I am only up to about .75 miles per day, hoping to be up to 3 miles in mid-March.  I am going with a slow increase of .25 miles every 3-4 days.


              Best of luck



                Yes, I think that's why I played it safe this morning and didn't go out. I set my alarm (it usually goes off at 4:20 am so I can run before work) but thought that I might be tempting injury so had another hour's kip. That, combined with the fact that I felt a bit of pain in the top of my foot last night (the same pain I experienced on the run that morning) so though it best to rest.


                Trouble now is, I'm on a stag weekend in Berlin until Sunday so Monday will be the next run and I can't wait. Not sure it would go down well if I missed some of the celebrations to go running, although, I would love to go running around the city. Looking forward to the German beer, though. I here it's good for you.


                  lvleph - How many miles did you do in your classics to put a hole through them?


                   53.9 Miles Running + ~20 Miles Hiking + Months of Walking.

                  The hole was in the Fabric of the Big Toe. It may have come from stubbing my toe, I am not sure. VFF did replace them, so I don't have any complaints there, except paying for shipping. I actually like the KSO better, except the rubbing on my in step. I am hoping that this will stop. If it were warmer, I would just walk every where in them like I did the classics. This helped with the heel rubbing I had in the classics. It also helped me build up running mileage a lot faster. I certainly had sore feet every day, because of all the walking. I think it was worth it though.


                    Wearing a pair of injinji socks has fixed my rubbing issue. A little warmer than I like but... Hopefully the material will wear down and I can go no socks.


                    Barefoot Chris

                      I am a few weeks into both my BF and VFF efforts. I plan on working on BF primarily but I think that including VFFs will allow me to maintain my shod mileage a bit better while my feet get used to the BF. But this is a VFF post...


                      I bought VFF KSOs and ran in them for a few miles. I also developed a blister on my insole where the material bumps out due to the straps. Only on one foot. I was frustrated and decided to ditch the VFFs (REI guarantee helps) A week later I reconsidered and re-ordered the same model in a slightly longer length (big toe fit issue also). Today I did my first run in them and while I did not blister I could feel a bit of a hot spot in the sam area.


                      Conclusion? First I do believe my right foot differs from my left in shape and fitness, it is a bit more dominant in my stride. Second, I began my run BF (1.75miles), then wore the VFFs (2 miles), and then completed my run BF(anotehr 1.75 miles). My last leg BF was a wonderful "aha moment" as I discovered a bit better stride and think I made a big improvement for future efforts. I think the VFF may press a bit and maybe I will need tape, moleskin or a sock. But I am also a bit more confident that it was at least partially my newbie stride impacting the issue with the VFF.


                      Conclusion (pt 2): I am keeping the VFFs. Perhaps there is a more perfect model but since I mainly want them to increase my mileage now and to provide protection from the cold (and later molten southern summer sidewalks) I think they are a keeper.

                        After using the injinji socks in my KSOs for a while, I no longer have issues with the in step rubbing. I have over 40 miles on them now. So, it is something of a break in issue apparently. I had a break in issue with the classics too. In that case the hill was rubbing.


                        Imminent Catastrophe

                          I second that. Injinjis can help, and you might also try BlisterShield, that made my flows a lot more comfortable.

                          "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                           "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                          "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.


                          √ Javelina Jundred Jalloween 2015

                          Cruel Jewel 50 mile May 2016

                          Western States 100 June 2016