Barefoot Runners

12

How not to use minimalist shoes (Read 875 times)

Ed4


Barefoot and happy

    My, how our quirky little band has grown.  Welcome to all the newly joined beginners.  We don't really have a good FAQ here yet, but allow me to preemptively answer the number one question I keep seeing pop up:

     

    Q. I just went out and bought some FiveFingers and went for a run.  Now my X hurts / I have blisters.  What am I doing wrong?

     

    A. Minimalist shoes like FiveFingers need to be used with caution.  There is nothing magical about them.  It is still quite possible to run badly in them, and people do get hurt doing this.  Minimalist shoes are most useful for people who have *already* learned how to run smoothly with a barefoot form.  They are not good teachers for the beginner. 

     

    Think of improving your running form as a game.  You get two points for every minute you spend walking or running barefoot.  You get zero points for every minute you spend in minimalist shoes like FiveFingers.  You get minus one point for every minute you spend in typical heavy running shoes.

     

    The points represent your progress.  If you ask among experienced people who've been down this road before you, I think they'll mostly agree with my assesment.  "Normal" running shoes actively impede your progress.  Minimalist shoes do not harm it, but do not help it much either. 

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


    Imminent Catastrophe

      Perhaps we should start a minimalist group. There seem to be a lot of people here who really aren't interested in running barefoot all the time but like minimal footwear. And I would have to disagree with you about running in Fivefingers not helping, in my case it has helped quite a lot. Then again, I don't intend to run truly barefoot much, if at all.

      "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.

       

      √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

      Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

      Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

        Perhaps we should start a minimalist group. There seem to be a lot of people here who really aren't interested in running barefoot all the time but like minimal footwear. And I would have to disagree with you about running in Fivefingers not helping, in my case it has helped quite a lot. Then again, I don't intend to run truly barefoot much, if at all.

         I agree. I run barefoot right now, because I don't have a pair of vff, since I had to send them back for warranty. I do however prefer my vffs. And if that statement gets me ostracized, so be it.

         

        Running in Socks


           I agree. I run barefoot right now, because I don't have a pair of vff, since I had to send them back for warranty. I do however prefer my vffs. And if that statement gets me ostracized, so be it.

           

          I would hope a group of barefoot runners aren't that rigid.  It would be a mistake to ostracize people for running in VFFs.

           

          I see the point Russ is making, (and I had been thinking about how much we've been talking about what shoes to wear in a forum about barefoot running) but it just makes sense to me to mix minimalist runners and barefoot runners into one group. 

           

          Is there anyone here who runs exclusively barefoot?  If so, I doubt they are the majority.  I think some of the principles are similar, and during this time of year, a lot of barefoot folks are putting something on their feet.

           

          Honestly, I don't want to have to check two different forums.

           

          Maybe we could change the forum name to "Barefoot/Minimalist Runners."


          Imminent Catastrophe

             

            Maybe we could change the forum name to "Barefoot/Minimalist Runners."

             Sounds like a good idea to me. It's not only VFFs, there's also socks, aquasocks, sandals, even Inov-8 and Vivo are marketed as "minimalist", which I guess just means they don't have a lot of cushioning and support. Lots to talk about.

            "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.

             

            √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

            Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

            Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

               Sounds like a good idea to me. It's not only VFFs, there's also socks, aquasocks, sandals, even Inov-8 and Vivo are marketed as "minimalist", which I guess just means they don't have a lot of cushioning and support. Lots to talk about.

               You forgot feelmax. Smile I actually like the feelmax, but I got the wrong size, so I decided to stick to VFF. I really don't ahve the desire to run barefoot completely as I said. All I really care about is running and not getting hurt. I would say minimalist shoes are those that have minimal padding with the intent to maintain a barefoot style of running.

               

                 You forgot feelmax. Smile

                 

                ...and duct tape  ...

                "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

                 

                Ed4


                Barefoot and happy

                  I always intended this group to be a "big tent".  Talk of shoes is fine here.

                   

                  I was just reacting to some pretty silly threads that seemed to be missing the obvious.  For example, "Something cheaper than VFF?" got eight responses, none of which even hinted at the obvious answer.

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


                    I was just reacting to some pretty silly threads that seemed to be missing the obvious.  For example, "Something cheaper than VFF?" got eight responses, none of which even hinted at the obvious answer.

                     

                    Ed, maybe no one responded that way since my question specifically excluded purely barefoot:  "I'm thinking about venturing outside barefoot but would still like something to cover my tootsies."

                    Ed4


                    Barefoot and happy

                      And I would have to disagree with you about running in Fivefingers not helping, in my case it has helped quite a lot.

                       

                      It's really a continuum of difficulty.  It's possible to learn to run better even in regular running shoes.  Some people manage to do that, it's just a lot more difficult.

                       

                      The point I'm trying to make is this: anyone who chooses to avoid barefoot running entirely in favor of minimalist shoes is actually picking the more difficult path.  They think they're doing the easier thing, but they're mistaken.

                      Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                      Ed4


                      Barefoot and happy

                         

                        Ed, maybe no one responded that way since my question specifically excluded purely barefoot:  "I'm thinking about venturing outside barefoot but would still like something to cover my tootsies."

                         

                        A good point. 

                        Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                        Ed4


                        Barefoot and happy


                          Is there anyone here who runs exclusively barefoot? 

                           

                          You clearly haven't met Rick yet.  He runs exclusively barefoot, even in the snow all winter, in Kansas.  He doesn't log at RA, but his mileage is viewable here.  Among recent runs, I see a twelve miler at 19 degrees, labeled "concrete / snow".   

                           

                          Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
                          Running in Socks


                             

                            Is there anyone here who runs exclusively barefoot?  If so, I doubt they are the majority.

                             

                            No need to be patronizing.  I know Rick, and he is definitely not the majority. Smile

                             

                            We need more technique talk here before we set up a FAQ section.  I may be in the minority here, but I don't necessarilly agree with all of the advice being given out here.  There are several different reasons for running barefoot (as well as goals people have for running barefoot).  So, I think any FAQ should probably cover that. 

                             

                            Sounds like a good way to get some barefoot discussion going during the winter months.  Let's make it interesting, and start arguing about some stuff!  Smile

                             

                            Sorry about all of the post modifying.  I was trying to make sure my tone wasn't coming across as too abrasive.

                               

                              No need to be patronizing.  I know Rick, and he is definitely not the majority. Smile

                               

                              We need more technique talk here before we set up a FAQ section.  I may be in the minority here, but I don't necessarilly agree with all of the advice being given out here.  There are several different reasons for running barefoot (as well as goals people have for running barefoot).  So, I think any FAQ should probably cover that. 

                               

                              Sounds like a good way to get some barefoot discussion going during the winter months.  Let's make it interesting, and start arguing about some stuff!  Smile

                               

                              Sorry about all of the post modifying.  I was trying to make sure my tone wasn't coming across as too abrasive.

                               

                              1. I don't think he was patronizing. Just saying that some people are more "hardcore" than others.

                               

                              2. There is no "right" advice, we are all an experiment of 1. When I give out advice, I always try to temper it with listening to ones body and adjusting accordingly. I don't think that as a "community" we're going to be able to adopt a standard barefoot or minimalist practice -- just like there is no standard way to run with shoes.

                               

                              3. I do like arguing

                               

                               

                              So, do I think that barefoot running in the winter is doable? Yes. do I think I can do it? I know I can't.  I honestly don't even want to push myself through the process Rick has to get to that point. The pictures alone are enough to make me not want to.

                               

                              With that said, do I think people who are running in socks, or water shoes, or VFF are any "less" barefooters than folks who run barefoot? YES.  Of course they are, these are two related, but very different things.

                               

                              I do not look down on people who run in minimalist shoes (I'm one of them), nor people who run barefoot, nor people who run in the giant Brooks Beast. All I ask is that people keep an open mind when experimenting and actually experiment. There is no "one" solution for every person, no one stride that can be reproduced without reservation.  Running has no template but to get your ass out the door and feel it.

                               

                              That's why I like barefoot running the most out of the options, because when I'm barefoot running around, I'm feeling it the most.

                               

                              When it gets cold on, I put on gloves, a hat, I don't try to get my finger to adapt to the freezing temperatures. I just don't find the value in it.

                               

                              To get back on the topic of Ed's post, I whole heartedly agree. If you go from shoes to minimalist shoes, your chances of screwing yourself up are a lot better than if you skip over to barefoot land. It's just too easy to overdo it with the minimalist shoes when transitioning.

                               

                              Sure people can do it, people can do anything, but will most people screw it up -- I think yes.

                               

                              So I guess don't agree with Ed really, in that I think that if one wanted to run in minimalist shoes they should first learn to run barefoot as it is far and away too easy to overdo it. If you're barefoot, you almost can't overdo it, you can't keep moving, something is going to give.

                               

                              Of course this is just my opinion and as always, I love hearing others thoughts, even if I don't agree.


                              Imminent Catastrophe

                                 

                                It's really a continuum of difficulty.  It's possible to learn to run better even in regular running shoes.  Some people manage to do that, it's just a lot more difficult.

                                 

                                The point I'm trying to make is this: anyone who chooses to avoid barefoot running entirely in favor of minimalist shoes is actually picking the more difficult path.  They think they're doing the easier thing, but they're mistaken.

                                 

                                That depends on their goals, I guess we'll just have to disagree. I can run 6 miles or so outdoors just fine in VFFs. I can do, maybe, 1/2 mile on the TM and that causes blisters. I'm pretty happy running in VFFs and really have no desire to devote the time and effort that would be required to get comfortable with totally BF running--I'd rather be getting quality miles in VFFs or lightweight trainers. Our goals are different. What you do is pretty cool but "all or nothing" is not for everyone--in fact I'd guess it's not for most of us. This is why I floated the idea of a separate group.

                                "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.

                                 

                                √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                                Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                                Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

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