Saturday, August 6, 2011

Minimalist Running Shoes: To Wear or Not to Wear

If you’ve been around the blog world for awhile, then you’ve most likely heard of Vibram Five Finger minimalist shoes.  If you haven’t… well then they’re those funky running “shoes” with a nice place to put your toes.  Kind of like gloves for your feet.

 

The idea behind minimalist running shoes is to mimic barefoot running, thus allowing the foot to move more naturally and freely.

According to Vibram, “The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.” 

Well, it kind of makes sense to me.  At least enough that I am intrigued.  I don’t, however, like the look of the 5 fingers.  There’s just something about putting your toes in a sleeve that creeps me out.  What can I say?  I’m weird. 

So when I came across the New Balance Minimus made with a Vibram sole my curiosity was peaked-- enough so that I tried them on.  I instantly fell in love.  They are so light, it’s like you’re not wearing anything on your fee at all (duh!).  

New Balance 20

 

I’m definitely a barefoot girl.  I love to walk in my bare feet and would choose not to wear shoes at all if it were possible.  I’d love to try out the concept of “bare foot” running and I think these shoes might be a good start. 

I’m not sure that running in minimalist shoes is right for me, but one thing is for sure, I’ll never know if I don’t try.  I like the idea of trying something new and who knows, I might just like it. 

I feel a little bad because I just asked for the Nike Free 2+ for my birthday.  This too is a minimalist shoe, but I’ll be honest I was interested in her (yes shoes are people too) more for the looks than for the use of bare foot running. 

Even though Nike products are tried and true, I still feel like if I’m going to buy a minimalist shoe I’d like to have the Vibram technology. 

I feel so badly because now I feel like I’m cheating on the Frees wanting the Minimus.  Don’t worry ladies there’s plenty of room for everyone over here and I will NOT discriminate.  I realize I only have 2 feet and a limited amount of time in the day, but I assure you that you’ll both be put to good use.  Now come home to mama… both of you… for my birthday… August 31st… 25 days away… I’m waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiting! 

What do you think of bare foot running or running in minimalist shoes?  Have you tried it?  What did you like/dislike? 

6 comments:

G. said...

Sorry I don't run! xoxox G.

amy_niklaus said...

Abbey has the Nikes and LOVES them!! She says it doesn't feel like she is wearing shoes at all..so light.

Afelton1974 said...

Ha! I just ordered a pair of five fingers for around the house and for weight lifting (at home, not at the gym). I will let you know my thoughts ;) I have foot issues and I'm hoping these will help strengthen them.

tracey smith said...

Haven't tried either. You can be my guinea pig! I hope you get them!

DiaryofaMadFatWoman said...

I am just waiting on my next paycheck to order the Vibram Five Finger KSO's. I've been having some joint stiffness and a dull ache in my left foot. From all the "research" I've done on my own (aka googling) it seems as though I might be developing a bunion (ew, I thought only old people got those??!) Anyhow, I decided to go barefoot as much as possible and wear flipflops unless I'm going somewhere formal. Its helped a lot.

I stopped by Elite Runners & Walkers and tried on the KSO's and they FELT FANTASTIC. It took about 5 minutes (literally) to figure out how to get my toes in there, but once I did it felt oddly... normal. I walked around a bit and could feel the difference in my joints immediately. That pretty much sealed the deal. I'm hoping that the transition will help alleviate some of my shin/knee issues caused by my bad running form.

I will keep you posted. I expect to get them next week!

Ronald Obringer said...

Ok, here is some advice that is essential for using minumus style shoes. I have the Vibram 5Fingers KSO. I like them, but I don't run in them often except for occasionally on the treadmill. If you get them, don't expect to be able to go out and run in them for miles on day 1. You need to work your way into them VERY slowly to prevent injury. Running "barefoot" shortens your stride and changes your point of impact to the ball of your feel instead of your heel. If you heel/toe like in normal shoes you will hurt yourself. I definitely feel good in the shoes when I do use them. They are INCREDIBLY light. If you run on rough surfaces you will feel every rock, every bit of uneven surface, and its surprisingly refreshing. Watch out for broken glass and other sharp object as you don't have a layer of foam in your shoes to protect you. If you have more questions let me know!!

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