I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers this past week and have been getting my body used to wearing something so minimal.
I am a fatty runner, and a total heel striker. I guess similar to swimming, in running we need to feel like we are working so I run hard and I strike hard so I know that I am "digging in deep". The issue is that you really shouldn't do that.
Maybe years of PF and shin splints should have told me that maybe, just maybe, I was running incorrectly. Or... maybe I am just stubborn.
After searching around for the perfect shoe, I found it in Asics Gel Nimbus 16's. I love these puppies, however have really been wanting to try barefoot running, especially after I had to get special orthodics due to some bio mechanical issues.
I decided that now is a good time to try barefoot running, at least on a small scale, to strengthen my legs and feet and to see if there is truth to the studies out there claiming that barefoot running is a good way to end PF, and to strengthen the body to reduce overall pain (back pain, knee pain, etc.l) all caused by running.
This is review Part 1 of 3. I want to keep a running review of the shoes as my running in them changes. This means that I am committing to wearing them at least in training through a 5k. This inital review is discussing the overall wearing of the shoe as I have only a limited experience in running in them (this morning being my first).
I have heard that you need to slowly adjust to wearing the VFF's when you first get them to get your body acclimated to being without so much support. The VFF's ahve no support, so coming from my super cushy Asics, I know that I will need to be careful.
I wore the VFFs the first night I got them, just to get the feel for them. The next day I wore them while volunteering for a race, then all day long at Autorama. All in all a total of 9 hours in the Vibrams that day alone. Sunday I took a day off from them and my calves were telling me that that was the right choice.
Even though I walk barefoot a lot, it is not the same as being in the VFFs. I can tell that already. My calves feel the work most of all. I am going to wear the shoes only once every other day if not every third day to start, and then slowly working up to normal shoe wear. I ran in them today and felt great, no foot issues, no leg issues, so that is promising.
My next review will be after I have acclimated my body, my third will be after a 5k race in them.
Fit: 9 out of 10
Comfort: 9 out of 10 initial rating