This year, the boyfriend gave me my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers! I’ve been wanting them for the longest time (secretly) but never got around to getting them for myself.
At first glance, it looks pretty freaky. I couldn’t stop laughing after opening the box. The base is black with green linings along the “fingers” and pink stripes all over the body! The colours are all part of the forbidden colour scheme. It is bad enough that the shoe moulds your feet. Now, with it being BRIGHT and FREAKISH looking, I guess I’m a running clown!
Excited with my new Five Fingers, I wore them the next day. I’ve always wanted to try barefoot running but I couldn’t imagine putting my feet through the pains of running on asphalt. .The Vibram Spyridon was the closest I could get to barefoot running.
As expected, the first 20 minutes was pretty torturous. I felt a lot of pressure pressing against my feet. This forced me to land on my forefoot to reduced the overall impact. I began using different sets of muscles which were probably underused over the years. My core and calve muscles were activated to keep this running form. I had to listen to my body and constantly change my running form to reduce the pain. I was doing great and soon, the pain left and I was running wild and free!
With traditional running shoes, forefoot-striking doesn’t come naturally. I had to always remind myself of it. I tend to get lazy and put the pressure where I’m not supposed to.
Nike Free 3.0. I still LOVE them.
Recently, much attention has been given to barefoot running or minimalist running. Before the first running shoe came about, running barefoot was the only way to go. It was probably better if humans left it at that.
Scientific research has been shown to support the benefits of barefoot running. Some cultures, such as the Tarahumaras and Kenyans, still practice barefoot running till this very day. The evolution of the running shoe towards having a more padded heel encourages the runner to heel-strike as oppose to fore-strike. The impact from heel-striking would shoot straight to your knees and hips because they’re not meant to absorb shock.
Barefoot running has been known to reduce chronic running injuries such as the popular Runner’s knee which is a result of wearing cushioned shoes (heel-strike). Still, barefoot running remains a controversial topic and it may not be for every runner.
Transition to barefoot running would take a considerable amount of time. Be patient. Good things are ahead of you! The pain you feel when running barefoot would force you to change your running form and to land on your forefoot. Forefoot striking allows the activation of your natural shock absorbers: lower legs, foot arch and Achilles tendons. These places would hurt initially, but as you ease into it, you’ll soon be up and running in excellent form.
Say Hello to PAIN FREE RUNS!