Vibram 5 fingers and barefoot running – Part 2

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To follow up on my first post regarding Vibram 5 fingers, I’ve got a lot of feedback.  People asking how long it took to get used to the shoes.  How do they feel on my feet, do they hurt toes.   Someone even asked about the press that barefoot running is bad for you.  (runningbarefootisbad).

I’ll try to give feed back on each.   Overall, I love running barefoot.  It is a great change from my previous running experience.  I’ve run many 5k , 10k races and even a marathon.  Overall, I run every week and at least every other day.  I’m not a very good long distance runner, more of a sprinter.   So my running style when preparing for the marathon was to find out how to relax and pace myself.   I found from just the amount of running that I ran on the balls of my feet, and had to train myself on how to use the heal toe method to run longer distances.    So the switch to barefoot was really easy, that is just how I run.

I’ll start with the question regarding all the press on how barefoot running is bad.  I guess my overall thought is that, anything can be bad for you.   Eating Apples can even be called a bad thing, if you eat the apple wrong and choke.  If you too many apples you can get sick.   I think that principle is true with barefoot running.    People praise it because it is suppose to be easier on the body, more natural.  However, if you do it wrong, it can hurt you.   So the news where people are getting hurt, is based on some people not doing this process properly.  What that means to me, is that barefoot running is not for everyone.  Just like running may not be fore everyone.   Thick cushioned running shoes protect your feet and you from hurting yourself.  You take those away, you need to protect yourself and not rely on those tools to help you.  Some good education and practice can help make barefoot running safe and easy.

Here are a few good tools to learn how to run barefoot (Video and Merrell).

The next question is based on comfort.  Do the shoes hurt my feet?  Do they feel funny on your toes?  No and Yes.   No, they do not hurt my feet.  It is really cool to be almost barefoot, it is a great feeling.    You have some safety from the elements with the bottom shell.

At first they did feel really funny with the toes.   I have somewhat flat feet and very wide feet.  The shoe not only felt funny on the toes, but looked funny.  Once I got over the look, I started to like the feeling on my toes.  It is not for everyone.  that is the reason I’m leaning towards the new Merrell shoes.   With my really wide flat feet, it is somewhat funny to see me in these things.

How long did it take me to get used to the shoes.  Well, since I did not start running in them and used them at first for just fun.  It did not take long at all.  By the time I started running I was used to the feeling and had worn them long enough to train my feet for shoes with out socks.

As for how long it took me to get used to running in them, it did not take long.  Just conditioning on my calf muscles and my stride.   After about a week, I was good for 3 plus miles.

Thank you for all the feedback.

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