Posted by: jawsome | March 19, 2009

Long time no blog

Hi bloggy friends! Man I feel like I’ve been gone forever! Had some personal life stuff come up (darn that pesky life, always poking it’s nose in just when things are going well). I think I’ve resolved (or at least I’m working on) most of it, so I have time to write.

It looks like I’m in 5th place in Speedo Steve’s competition (boo), so barring any hidden fan club there won’t be any socks for me. That’s ok – thanks for everyone who voted, you make me feel all warm and snuggly inside. So, as a consolation prize I bought myself a new running toy (seriously, who doesn’t love new running toys?). I, my friends, purchased the (in)famous Vibram 5 fingers. Wohoo!

Wheeeee!

Wheeeee!

My hip has been bugging me, and I’ve been getting into ChiRunning to help my biomechanics. The premise that we’re not meant to run in flurfy kooshy shoes makes sense to me. First God created mankind, then he created predators, then he created Nikes…riiiiight. I was a barefoot child and teenager (ask my step mom – we were the only ones at our black tie Christmas parties in dresses and bare feet!). I still walk barefoot as much as possible, and take off my shoes as soon as I walk in the front door. It seemed like the 5 fingers would be perfect for me.

I read a bunch of reviews, and was ready for some pain in my foot muscles, calves, and possible blisters. These shoes are supposed to be so revolutionary (or evolutionary, if you take my meaning) that they take a while to get used to. Vibram even recommends “walking around on carpet before putting them on, to get used the the sensation of being barefoot.” What the heck? Do the rest of you walk around in wooden clogs all the time or what? I decided to skip that part.

I read that many people have trouble adjusting or fitting into 5 fingers – the way it was written made me think that people tried the shoes on and simultaneously had their minds blown. “What’s this? It’s the weirdest feeling…like I can actually feel the floor! Outrageous!” People also complained about them being hard to put on. Well yeah, it’s not a wooden clog people! I experienced none of this drama. I put them on, walked around, and loved them. As advertised, just like being barefoot without the stabbing pain of broken beer bottles.

I was still concerned by the cautious warnings of the reviews – only walk around in them for a day or so “to get used to it” and then if you feel like running, start with very short distances. In my typical hatred of delayed gratification, I took none of this advice. I ran for a mile on the treadmill with zero problem (I really liked them!) so decided to head out to the trail. I should note that although this tough guy ran the Boston Marathon and a 100 mile ultra in them, I would not recommend running in them on pavement. I haven’t actually tried this, but running on pavement is so bad for you anyway that running on pavement with such little support would probably be extremely uncomfortable.

In short, I LOVED my run. I grinned like an idiot almost the whole way. My feet felt so light and free! I did not notice any discomfort from small rocks or roots. I mean, you have to watch where you’re going – you can’t just blunder along like some blind Wildebeast – but small trail shrapnel are not an obstacle. I ran down the 100 stairs to the beach and back up (suggested for whenever you feel like you need to remind yourself what a heart attack might feel like).

All in all, I think the shoes are fantastic. What a great idea Vibram! (hint: maybe you should sponsor me! I’ll write all kinds of good reviews! My audience of 4 will really help your ad campaign!)

Drawbacks: I did not notice any muscle pain in my feet, but I do walk barefoot quite a bit so that might have something to do with it. I had some minor blistering behind the ball of my left foot, and under the big toe of my right foot. Nothing serious, considering I ran 4 miles in completely new shoes!  I did, however, experience really sore calves. The 5 fingers change your gait to a more natural (barefoot) stride, which forces heel strikers (like me) to land with a more mid-foot strike. This is good, because heel striking is bad. My calves are really sore (even after rolling), but it’s the “good workout” kind of sore, not the “injured” kind of sore.

If you’re adventurous, I highly recommend them. They can be hard to fit (esp if your second toe is longer than your big toe) but when they do it’s glorious!

Sorry for the long post, I get excited about stuff sometimes.

Happy running!

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Responses

  1. What a good review! It seems like they would be fantastic for beach running. I’ll have to keep them in mind when my kayak shoes die, and then they can be double duty shoes.

  2. Oh Joselyne you crack me up! (wooden clogs) Sarah has some of those too and she loves them as well. I’m really considering getting some too after hearing such great reviews!

  3. […] absolutely love them! You can read more about how they have changed my running (really!) here. For the bulleted […]


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