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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,457
4/1/13 6:53 A

Humans have been running barefoot for thousands of yearrs. While shoes are only a relatively modern invention.

And one of the downsides of shoes is that it leads to a lot of the muscles in the foot that normally provide shock absorbtion, atrophying and getting weaker.

Even the staunchest advocates of minimalist/barefoot running suggest switching over only gradually, starting with shorter runs and softer surfaces only, so as to give your foot muscles time to get stronger.

Particularly as it sounds like your foot muscles are pretty weak, I'd recommend going with a more conventional type of shoe (and something that suits them better than your current pair) while training for a half marathon, and only converting over to something more minimalist later.


KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (82,009)
Fitness Minutes: (48,676)
Posts: 5,092
3/31/13 3:48 P

I have a pair of five fingers and I would say I have flat feet. I didn't get properly fitted when I bought them, and while I like them, I wish I did because my feet don't feel great in them. They feel okay, just not great. Get properly fitted for running shoes!

KAPELAKIN Posts: 1,984
3/30/13 6:58 P

Short strides and a forefoot strike are the most compatible with barefoot running. However, I personally found that Five Fingers didn't offer enough padding for me for running on hard surfaces and I ended up with a heel bruise after as stint of walking and light running in them. It's a personal choice, but I ended up with New Balance Minimus 730's instead and love them. They don't have an insole or any arch "support" and the forefoot is very flexible with a wide toebox, so my feet feel like they're functioning naturally, but they offer more padding than the VFF's. Altra is another shoe you might be interested in, as they are zero-drop and come with two different insole options. I found them too stiff for my preference, but I know many people love them. With all that said, I still do my long runs in a neutral Mizuno shoe (Wave Rider) and stick to my Minimus shoes for shorter runs. It takes a LONG time to build up the necessary foot strength to do the half marathon distance in minimalist shoes if you've been conventionally shod your whole life. Hope that helps!

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
3/30/13 6:05 P

My opinion as a running coach is to get fitted at your local running specialty store and talk to the personnel--the jury is still out as to the Vibrams benefits as many times running injuries are caused from weaknesses or tightness in our muscles which affect our running form. Therefore developing the muscles that are weak and loosening/lengthening muscles that are tight is more beneficial to your running than going barefoot. A book I highly recommend is Jay Dicharry's book Running Anatomy.

Happy Spark Running

Coach Nancy

3/30/13 5:38 P

I started running last year and did really good until November (several 5 k races a month and a few 10k races). I fell off the fitness wagon and haven't done much since then. I am getting back into running and thought it would be a good time to try the vibrams (I have my first half marathon the end of August). I have very flat feet and my arches never felt great (tolerable) in my current running shoes (Nike zoom). Toward the end of the season last year, my hips started to bother me as well. I seem to be short strided and strike with the ball of my foot.

Any thoughts, problems, recommendations, or reviews would be appreciated!

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