Dec 17, 2010

My footwear

I have had a lot of people inquire about what type of shoes I use.
Like most people who are casual joggers and not looking to break any records, I use to buy whatever was on sale or what seemed the most comfortable. This is a common thing to do especially for beginners. However, along the way, as I started to increase mileage, I noticed certain muscles in my lower legs would seem to act up. Shin splints would arise whenever I would try to go farther distances. Even when I only increased my mileage by 10%.  
After a season of recovering from a sprained ankle, my lower legs were incredibly week. I heard about the Vibram five finger shoes and thought that these would help with strengthening my lower legs. It took a while to get use to these shoes, and I never took them out running until after a couple of months of just walking around in them.
Running in these definitely gave my lower legs a tough work out. It took time to build up my mileage in them but it was worth the time.  I can now run a marathon in these without any problems.
In saying this I do not want to mislead anyone by advocating minimalist shoes or going barefoot. While I wear these to train in and maybe do some races in them, they are not my primary shoes. However these are a great lower leg builder and can help build the proper form a runner needs. There are plenty of people who never have problems from over padded shoes, and that’s great. It really came down to the fact that I have a different style of running and this seemed to work for me.
And by the way I do not receive any endorsements from anyone to talk about their products.


  1. ArielJane12/17/2010

    Have you tried the Nike's that you can hook up to your ipod nano? I've thought that it would be so cool to track running like that, but haven't talked to anyone who has actually used them.

    How are the five finger shoes on your joints? That's my only concern for me.

  2. Barefoot TED12/18/2010

    Ditch the shoes go BAREFOOT it is the way you are meant to run!

  3. ArielJane, I have never tried the Nike's that you are talking about. I have heard they are good though. I am actually hoping for a Garmin this Christmas that I can track my runs with.
    I have less joint pain in the vibrams than alot of other shoes. This is because I have been able to strengthen the tendons and not put so much stress on my ligaments.

  4. Anonymous12/20/2010

    I've heard a lot about barefoot running. Several of my friends have read books about it and have tired it out. Some have used the five fingers as well. It seems a little crazy to me. They all seem to get the same concept out of it though, which is that it helps you run properly (limiting contact to your heals). That part makes sense to me, but I'm not sure you need to go barefoot to learn it.

    I do agree that footwear makes a difference though and you make a good point that cheap shoes should be avoided. They are usually quite a bit heavier. I like to stick to Addidas and look for a good sale.

  5. Barefoot TED12/20/2010

    You never know until you try it anonymous! I have been running barefoot for years now and have heard all the critics. I just remind them that I have nothing but success with this style. People are often afraid what others think about them, and feel the need to criticize things that are different. How you can learn to run barefoot style without going barefoot is a mystery to me.

  6. Skeptical112/21/2010

    I think both sides be it shoes or barefoot need to show more scientific evidence of what is really best for the body. Either side has come up with claims that can really stick.

  7. ThunderStruck!12/21/2010

    I have a neighbor who runs barefoot and sometimes where the toe sock shoes when the weather is bad. I think he is nuts. I do admire his determination to exercise, but it just looks to risky to me. It does sound like a fun thing to do though on certain terrain, but I will let other people who are braver than me determine if there is big risks for going barefoot.

  8. Bologne12/27/2010

    I have plantar fasciitis and have a difficult time walking distances or being on my feet for long periods of time. Have you ever known anyone, or is it possible to somehow be able to work up to using the Vibrom shoes? Are they padded at all on the bottom? What kind of materials are they made of?

  9. I have seen these all over the place,and they looked comfy so I bought a pair. I have done some running in them, but like you, they are not my primary shoes to run in. I have had people approach me about them when I wear them and I have to constantly tell them that they are just for strengthening purposes. There are way too many fanatics out there that make things like this look bad.

  10. I am completely interested. I am reading Born to Run right now (highly recommended--it is a page-turner), and buying running shoes has always seemed like a mystery to me. I've been analyzed at running shoe shops and bought them at discount warehouses and it seems like the high end shoes only sometimes make a difference.

  11. Born to run is a fun book to read! He definitely brings up some good points that shouldn't be overlooked by runners. For me it really comes down to how your form is, this alone can be jumbled by the wrong shoes. Improper form = injuries and pain. Thanks for the comment!

  12. I have recently started the barefoot style but I am trying to accomplish it in my regular shoes. I think that I would find more success in a more minimalist shoe. It's either that or go back to my old style!

  13. I just got a pair of Vibram five Fingers and ran in them for the first time today. My calves were just fine but the bottom of my feet were tender. How long did it take you to get past that? Were you still able to increase by 10%?

  14. Number one rule - do not rush it!!
    It took me some time to get fully used to the vibrams. After about a month of running consistently in them I was very comfortable in them. I would recommend doing the ten percent rule in them or every 2 or 3 runs using your old shoes just so you dont lose the distance. If you get blisters really bad take a few days off and dip your feet in an Epsom salt bath frequently. The first couple of weeks are the most difficult, but after that things slowly get easier with them.


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