shape
carat
color
clarity

Any barefoot runners or minimalist/VFF runners here?

Discussion in 'Healthy Lifestyle' started by RaiKai, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. RaiKai
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    by RaiKai » Jul 14, 2010
    I just posted on Dreamer's running post that I am shaking up my running a bit (out of a mixture of boredom and curiousity and the need for a new challenge), and starting to transition to barefoot (or socked) running. I also have some Vibram Five Finger's (VFF's) on order which I am excited to try, especially for my trail runs and the like. And was curious amongst any of the runners here, if any of you have or are doing the barefoot running?

    I have read Born to Run (many years ago, but am going to read it again soon) and done tons of research on barefoot running, and read many of the the forums on barefoot running, and many barefoot running blogs, and the science behind it, and it is very appealing. I use to think barefoot runners were nuts when I saw them in marathons and such (until even quite recently!), but I love having bare feet at home, at the office, around the yard, etc, so I kind of got the appeal at the same time. As I have done more research into the mechanics of running and the foot strike, it totally changed my whole outlook on most running shoes, and I decided it was time to give it a try!

    I have been running for years (in shoes!), and do about 6 miles/day. I am a rather neutral runner, with a mid foot strike, and so have had never really had pain, but I have noticed over last couple years an increased swelling ache in my IT band, and twinges in my knee, a couple lost toenails, and was/am ready to try something else.

    I have started to run part of my morning runs barefoot (with socks) until I get my VFF's (I had to do some searching around for my size and as I am a bit impatient to wait for them to start!). Running on a mix of pavement, asphalt and grass, for now, until I am ready for trails with VFF's (I prefer trail running overall). I do about 2.5-3 miles in shoes, and am up to doing the last 2.5-3 miles barefoot. I actually have a lot more fun, and I do not get the "heavy feeling" I get with the shoes on my feet. I have to pay a lot more attention to the terrain, and I feel far more springy and light. At first I did get some slight soreness in my arch, which is a soreness I get when the cushioning gets lost in my regular shoes, but I am now realizing the soreness came as my feet were honestly...weak....and now this soreness is no longer an issue at all. I actually feel....better...more gazelle like...more ninja like. I never would have imagined it!

    I am hoping over the next few months to build up to doing all my runs either barefoot or in VFF's (or a mixture)

    The biggest thing was I have really sensitive and soft skin on my feet, but after about 1/2 a mile, the bottom of my feet goes numb and it does not bother me at all! The occasional rock will sting a millisecond, and then it is gone. I imagine this will be even less of an issue once I am wearing the VFF's anyway.

    In winter, snow, ice....I plan to get some of the slightly warmer VFF's and wear the Injinji socks in them, when I am not running on the treadmill in the garage at least.

    It is not for everyone, but I am finding it just might be for me!
     
    


    


  2. Haven
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    13,166
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    by Haven » Jul 14, 2010
    I don't do this myself, but I know many people who do. My husband is a muscle specialist, he specializes in the foot, and many of his colleagues are very enthusiastic barefoot runners. Well, many of them do everything barefoot, actually.

    They study biomechanics for a living.

    Good luck with your barefoot running, RaiKai!
     
  3. RaiKai
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    by RaiKai » Jul 14, 2010
    Thanks Haven!

    I would love to do everything barefoot - I imagine it would be pulled off a bit better in your husband's workplace than in mine though! I am thinking maybe I could at least get away with the Five Finger Trek's or something on casual Fridays....I am debating ordering a pair of those too!
     
  4. BeachRunner
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    by BeachRunner » Jul 14, 2010
    I too, am an avid runner, but don't get the barefoot running.

    I'll admit I haven't read anything to support why barefoot running is better than "shoe running". I guess my curiousity hasn't been peaked just yet.

    I'll get the occasional blister, and of course have problems with black toe nails, but I just can't imagine running w/o shoes. On muddy days here, I see some footprints instead of shoeprints, and when I bought my last pair of running shoes, the SA said they can't keep the VFF in stock.

    You know, I'm not sure about my heel strike, but I try to be a mid-foot striker. I find that if I think about lifting my knee up enough, it's easier to get the mid-foot strike as opposed to the heel strike. Also, marching in place helps "remind" you of your mid-foot strike.

    Runnersworld.com's forums has a big section on barefoot running. Like I said, I don't wander much into that forum, but there is some good information there!

    Good luck with the adjustment; I hear its quite a process but it sounds like you are doing well with it as you are up to 2.5-3miles!

    congrats! Maybe we need to start a runners thread as it seems like it's becoming a more popular subject around PS. I like it! :bigsmile:
     
    


    


  5. RaiKai
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    by RaiKai » Jul 15, 2010
    Hey beach,

    I think one of the main advantages, I have found so far, is it really has me pay more attention to my running (i.e. where I step!) and my form which for me keeps me more interested, and it is FUN too (I have always loved the feeling of running barefoot in grass).

    I have never been a heel striker (always been a mid to forefoot) but I still notice how much more freeing it is to be without the shoes, as the shoes sort of lend themselves to a certain foot strike even if not a heel striker.

    And, I am really noticing it is working my calves a lot more, more like when I was doing more cycling!

    As to whether it is better or not...I don't know. I think there is a lot of reasons why it is, that work for me personally, but most of all, I just find it fun.
     
  6. PierreBear
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,257
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    by PierreBear » Jun 20, 2016
    Wow, awesome that the minimalist route is beneficial to you. After gaining the technique, do you plan on going back to your usual shoes? Would a neutral shoe with a low drop still not give you the same benefits?

    I've had many running injuries, particularly in the IT band area and used to attribute it to not using the right shoe. Finally figured out that it was my weak glutes. I've always been curious though that some of my running buddies can run into any type of shoe but I am too nervous to branch out and try different things other than my neutral Brooks and NB shoes. Reading Born to Run did make me want to try it out...

    Just curious, have you tried out the Hoka shoes that are the opposite of barefoot running? It still seems so strange to me that there might be a "best way" to run but there are still so many variations that can confuse a consumer like myself!
     

Share This Page