Wednesday, January 20

Day One of the Vibram Five Fingers testing

Well I started my trial run (no pun intended) of street/trail/park running using the Vibram Five Fingers shoes today. I won't be posting every single day that I run, but I want to hit some significant ones; starting with Day One. I will report on several things during my periodic postings: knees, heels, calves, thighs, time/distance, and the balls of the feet....and possibly any weird questions/looks that I might get:)

Well, today I went short and slow; it is, of course, only the first day and any new training/equipment demands gradual exposure to prevent injury. So today I started with a 15 sequence Tabata with the work period being executed at only 50%. I ran half on the streets and half on the sidewalk. Immediately I noticed that whether I thought about it or not, I was not allowing my heels to strike the ground with as much force as I thought I would (possibly verging on landing flat footed). The following is how I felt either during or by the end of the Tabata:

Knees: After years of running, sports, military related stress and having the pain in my knees go away since starting CrossFit, I was excited to find that there was no pain in the knees whatsoever.

Heels: Due to the thin sole of the Five Fingers and knowing how much we tend to strike first with our heels, I was surprised to find that my heels felt fine by the time I was done. This expected pain may have been eliminated from the need to not heel-strike from the get-go.

Calves: Although I was only going about 50% on the work portions, I expected my calves to tighten quickly. I was again surprised that my calves felt fine and still do even as I write this post.

Thighs: Again, since I wasn't going all out, I did not notice any difference with the upper portion of the legs.

Time/Distance: As stated above, I am starting slow and carefully; probably only went about a mile or so. Obviously there was no timed trial conducted (but I will be shortly for a comparison months from now).

Balls of Feet: Here is where I started to notice a difference about 400 meters into the run. Like mentioned before, I switched back and forth from running on the road and then onto the sidewalk. Because the road I was running on was very rough, I noticed that the balls of my feet quickly got a little sore. Wondering if this was from the different technique in form or from the surface, I would periodically jump up onto the sidewalk; which would prove to be much more comfortable. The difference, I concluded, is quite obvious and expected: the smoother the surface, the less pin-point directed pressure on the front of the foot.

Overall experience was fine. I felt that I was forced to pull the landing foot up and forward quicker and the soreness in the front of the foot wasn't really that bad; part of me understands that this might be from it only being the first day. I am excited to start some early morning runs by my house with my son, and gym mascot, Ben, on roads that are far less jagged. I am also pumped to do a run this weekend on a trail or in a park and see how it guess, very comfortable.

Other than today, I have been wearing them around the house just doing normal "house" things and I love how comfortable they are! It was weird at first having material encasing every single toe, but that goes away quickly.

Misc. looks/comments: None today...but give it time:) And Ben did give them a thorough sniffing inspection when I brought them home...hopefully I won't have to report on how "chew-proof" they are:)


Pat W said...

What style of Vibram's do you have? How did you determine what size? And, how do they fit? In a couple of weeks/months I would like to know if they are worth the cost.

CrossFit Spokane said...

I've had mine for a few weeks and they have been great. It was a quick and easy break in time and they are comfortable. I started just wearing mine around town to get my feet used to them then did a few WODs with them then started doing a little running in them. The WODs and running will take a little time to get used to. If you are going to run in them start SLOW and build up it is very easy to get over zealous and end up with an overuse injury.

Derek said...

I would stay off the pavement for a while. Squishy shoes aren't natural, but I don't think bare feet were ever designed (evolved) to run on concrete. I get mine Monday, I'll let you know how I like them.

Owen Duff said...

Brandon, Im glad you posted this. I have had my Vibram Sprints since November 09 and have been wearing them practicly non stop. I lift in them and run in them daily I have been averaging 15 miles a week running in them since January, I would guess that i have atleast 200running miles in them since I bought them. I have not had any problems at all I have loved them since day one.
As far as different surface area goes... Over here in Iraq we dont get a big choice on where to run its either treadmill hell or hit the pavement. On a treadmill I have noticed that my feet become extreemly hot after about 40 minutes. The pavement does take some getting used to and the rocks dont help that. I have bruised my foot a few times landing on sharpe rocks but it heals quickly and has never hindered a workout.
Lastly I also have the Five Finger socks we are required to wear socks with them when in PT uniform. They are expensive, they fit well and are hardly noticed in the shoes. I prefer not to wear them though.

Amy said...

Vibram five fingers shoes is definitely a great shoes for running it is so comfortable.


Star said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Star said...

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