Barefoot Runners


Achilles Tendon Soreness/Tightness (Read 967 times)


    I picked up a pair of VFF's to run despite rheumatologist advising against it due to my arthritis.  Very satisfied with the results:  stronger arches mean I can do without orthotics and no knee pain.  These results more than make up for the blisters (which I will try to address by following the liner suggestion posted to this forum) and the Achilles Tendon/lower calf tightness/pain.  It has been a couple of months and if the pain is improving, it is very slowly.  Has anyone else had this experience?  What have you done to improve the situation?  I appreciate any suggestions. 


    ps What's DW?

    Half Fanatic #846

      ps What's DW?


      "Dear wife", as far as I know (AFAIK).


      As for lower calf tightness/pain, that might be a result of still getting used to the Vibrams - if so, it should be getting better and not be actually painful.  If it's been a couple of months, maybe it's something else...or are you ignoring it, hoping it will get better?  If  I actually had pain, I wouldn't run, but if it's just uncomfortable (ie: sore muscles from using a different type of footwear) I would just take it easy.  Try a little completely barefoot walking/jogging here and there.


      I have an extremely tight right achilles tendon.  I've been advised by my sports doc to stretch  both  of my achilles several times a day - including before and after running - to help prevent injury.  I usually (well, I'm supposed  to anyway) do an average of 3-4 sets (& hold each rep at least 1 minute each) of two or three different achilles stretches a day - more often would probably be better. Careful though, don't force anything. The better type stretches you'll be able to feel from your foot to your hamstring. Try bending or straightening your knee just slightly  to get a better effect depending on the exercise - you'll know whether to bend or straighten by the way it feels. You can get detailed descriptions for achilles stretches online for things like various Wall Stretches & using  Sports Resistance Bands or a towel.


      This is just my (non-Vibram) experience, but I hope it helps! 

      "I don't always roll a joint, but when I do, it's usually my ankle" - unk.                          Run like the winded

       I ran half my last race on my left foot!                   "Frankly autocorrect, I'm getting a bit tired of your shirt"

      Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

        DW is Dear Wife. there's a thread somewhere on RA that had a lot of the acronyms defined... I'll be danged if I remember which one it is! LOL Might even be one of the locked ones in the running 101 or General forums.


        Is the area you generally run in hilly? Hills and VFF's can both stress the calves and Achilles. That's what happened to me after I moved and ran almost exclusively in my hilly neighborhood. Calves were stiff and sore all the time. Achilles got aggravated during a hilly half in Bikila's. I had to start running on more level ground. I also began transition to more BF and better form with fore/mid-foot strike. Seems to be helping. I've been getting out BF in the neighborhood and with the heat heading to gym for dreadmill running in minimal shoes.  

        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.