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stevenStefano
08-23-2012, 07:34 PM
Bit of a longshot, but do any of our more fitness-conscious members wear these and if so could they offer any insights? I run about 5 miles twice a week and I've been thinking of buying a pair for a long time but I'm still on the fence. Any insights or thoughts from anyone here?

wenus2
08-23-2012, 07:42 PM
I've worn em for a few years, casually though. My arches require more support for running and weren't keen to the task, so I wear them for chores. Yet, I know people who find them perfect and can run 50 miles a week in them.
These shoes really exemplify how "everyones different," and you really have to give them a go to find out.
I really would say its about a 50/50 chance you get on with them.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 07:50 PM
i have some... but i dont run much... kind of lazy

GlassEye
08-23-2012, 07:53 PM
I really like them, I have the Mocs and Trek LS; it may take a few weeks for your feet to strengthen if you haven't been going barefoot(or minimal footwear) but after that, they are very comfortable. I had some foot and back pain before getting a pair, but that all stopped once I adjusted to minimal footwear, I also gained better balance and agility. I am not a runner, but they seem great for that; I like them for hiking, but I usually hike barefoot now. They are rather ugly shoes and people will want to stop you to talk about the "toe shoes", and after a while they will smell bad, those are the downsides. I would not get the leather insoled models for running because they don't breathe very well and are hard to clean, it might be worth trying the socks with them from the start to avoid or delay the smell, I wish I had gotten some before wearing my most recent pair.

JohnyChai
08-23-2012, 08:04 PM
Have the Merrell Tough Gloves and they can do a full days work(in the kitchen) and a full trail-run or hike journey as well. Not the best on the road but these aren't as thin as the Five Fingers...+1 on having better balance in general with these kinds of shoes and mostly likely their will be a break-in period. Certainly different than true barefoot...only use them because need a shoe at work. Huarache sandals might also be something to look into...

tk59
08-24-2012, 03:49 AM
I've been using these for a while. I don't run long distances anymore (<4 mi.) but I like them. They take some getting used to and I don't like the thinner soled models for running either. I wash them in the washing machine fairly frequently and dry them with a fan, among other things to keep the stench under control, lol. I use Merrells when I want to wear socks. Toe-socks are too constricting. I will say these shoes are definitely built for folks with a certain shaped foot. If they don't fit well, go elsewhere.

stevenStefano
08-24-2012, 06:51 AM
Hmm this is great and I wasn't expecting so much feedback. When I started running I had the (misguided and rather dumb) approach that buying fancy trainers was unnecessary so my knees aren't in great shape now which is why I am considering buying a pair of Vibrams. Anyone have any recommendations on which model to buy? I run on tarmac

mainaman
08-24-2012, 09:53 AM
what brand are you considering? Vibram is just the rubber sole material I believe.
I have La Sportiva for mountain hiking and running and they are ok, I prefer actual running shoes for jogging.

stevenStefano
08-24-2012, 09:58 AM
These ones, (http://www.vibrams.co.uk/) the five fingers. It's kinda daunting the number of different versions there are and I'm having a little difficulty choosing one

mainaman
08-24-2012, 10:04 AM
These ones, (http://www.vibrams.co.uk/) the five fingers
I thought you might be referring to those but was not sure.
I have a colleague of mine that has a pair, he said that you basically can feel the ground with them, every small rock , or any other unevenness. They are not cushioned like a regular running shoe, so I guess going with those would be really a personal preference thing.

TB_London
08-24-2012, 12:57 PM
I have the bikilas and a trek. Wear them a lot and like them. took a while to get used to running in them and find it much harder on my calves forefoot striking vs heel but it feels better on the rest of my joints. Getting ones that fit can be hard. i tried on about 4 different sizes before i found ones that fitted me comfortably so it's good if you can go to store that stocks them before ordering online, or check the returns policy. In the UK much much cheaper to buy online than in stores though.
i've put mine through the washing machine about 30 times and the stitching is wearing a bit, but otherwise the smell gets a bit toxic.

Namaxy
08-24-2012, 01:34 PM
Hmm this is great and I wasn't expecting so much feedback. When I started running I had the (misguided and rather dumb) approach that buying fancy trainers was unnecessary so my knees aren't in great shape now which is why I am considering buying a pair of Vibrams. Anyone have any recommendations on which model to buy? I run on tarmac

Sore anything..knees in your case, arches, insteps etc. is usually a sign of upping your mileage too much too soon. Before I busted up my shoulder I was doing a minimum of 40 miles a week. After my shoulder surgery, when my Docs finally gave the OK for light jogging I did two miles the first day and felt great. Did 4 the next and everything hurt...Too much too soon.

Shoes alone won't cure the problem, although the barefoot running concept is aimed at producing fewer aches and pains. It's also a technique to work into...among other things shorter strides, higher cadence and less heel strike. There is a book about it...I think it's called 'Barefoot Running'. I haven't tried running with minimalist shoes yet, but do almost everything else (including cooking) barefoot when I can.

jm2hill
08-24-2012, 01:50 PM
All I can say it: Buy them, you won't regret it.

And read this to get you into proper technique: http://www.barefootrunningreviews.com/how-to-start-running-barefoot/

Quick Edit: In terms of which model vibrams, the Bikilia is the "beginner" model. It has a bit more rubber under the foot compared to their other models and reduces toe flex.

Where to buy: Go try them on anywhere and you can usually find them super cheap on REI.com Sometimes as much as $50 off if your okay with the funny colours.

stevenStefano
08-24-2012, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the help everyone I really appreciate it. So in terms of which model to get, would the Bikilas be the best? It is rather baffling the number of different styles there are

Craig
08-27-2012, 03:18 PM
One thing I would advise if you get a pair is ease into them. Don't think you can just read about them, then start doing 5 miles in them at a time. It takes some adjusting to run properly in them, so I suggest just wearing them for no more than a mile your first try, then gradually build up to your 5 miles or whatever your target is.

Have you considered other zero-drop options besides the five fingers? Lots of companies make them now, so there are plenty of options out there. I've been meaning to pick up a pair of Merrell's like these for a while now: http://www.merrell.com/UK/en-GB/Product.mvc.aspx/28144M/66570/Mens/Barefoot-Run-Road-Glove?dimensions=0

There is also a level between traditional runners and zero-drop shoes like five fingers. They're designed to let people gradually make the shift to flat shoes without hurting themselves. Nike Frees I think are the most common shoe like that.

stevenStefano
08-27-2012, 05:49 PM
I wanted to try the Fivefingers because they seem the most popular barefoot style shoe about and I've known a few people who own them and like them. I wanted to try them rather than sort of in-between because I'd worry that if I tried some sort of halfway measure it might not work and I'd end up buying a lighter pair in the end. I ordered a pair of Bikilas today so hopefully they fit me ok. It will probably take me a good while to get used to them so I might have to make a dreaded trip to the gym or 2 :no:

labor of love
08-27-2012, 06:47 PM
i have the zero drop new balance road running shoes on order and i cant wait to get them. ive slowly been transitioning to the minimalist/barefoot experience, which i favor over stability running shoes.

DwarvenChef
08-28-2012, 05:34 AM
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/272746_10150219894959728_3464351_o.jpg

I'm not a runner but I got a pair over a year ago and love em, great when riding my bike as I can really feel the peddles :)

Lukas
08-28-2012, 10:09 AM
I own the Speed model, I like them on the treadmill, hate them on pavement.

I talked to a doctor about them, he's specialized in sports injuries and performs a lot of knee surgeries and he was not very fond of them, according to him the shock of your feet hitting the ground must be absorbed by the shoe and not your joints.

If you buy a pair, make sure you take it easy the first month or so, let your body adapt, and if you want to know more here was an interesting discussion in reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/y9d19/cushioned_running_shoes_or_barefootminimalist/

Craig
08-28-2012, 11:07 AM
I own the Speed model, I like them on the treadmill, hate them on pavement.

I talked to a doctor about them, he's specialized in sports injuries and performs a lot of knee surgeries and he was not very fond of them, according to him the shock of your feet hitting the ground must be absorbed by the shoe and not your joints.

If you buy a pair, make sure you take it easy the first month or so, let your body adapt, and if you want to know more here was an interesting discussion in reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/y9d19/cushioned_running_shoes_or_barefootminimalist/

This is why a lot of people like the in between step. The shoes in that space are zero drop, meaning the heel isn't raised, but they still have padding on the sole to protect your feet. Plus most of the shoes in that space don't look nearly as silly as VFFs.

Lukas
08-28-2012, 02:42 PM
Plus most of the shoes in that space don't look nearly as silly as VFFs. they do look silly, no one can deny that.

Craig
08-28-2012, 02:53 PM
I actually just bought a pair of the Merrells an hour ago. I'm looking forward to trying them out and accidentally horribly injuring myself the first time I use them.

DwarvenChef
08-28-2012, 03:21 PM
I used to run way to much (Army Inf) and after bruising both heels I was running on my front pads/toes. To my understanding this is the exact way you are suposed to run in the VFF's. I like running that way (if I ran anymore) and found it far easier on my legs than the heel to toe impact running.

stevenStefano
08-29-2012, 10:51 AM
So I got my pair of Bikilas today. To those who own similar shoes, do they feel very strange at first? I think they fit ok, but I want to make sure in case they are the wrong size and I gotta send them back. A slight problem is that my small toe doesn't fit in the pocket thing but I have a sort of stumpy one so it is perhaps normal

Craig
08-29-2012, 02:00 PM
They always feel weird at first.

RavenFire
09-03-2012, 02:00 AM
So I got my pair of Bikilas today. To those who own similar shoes, do they feel very strange at first? I think they fit ok, but I want to make sure in case they are the wrong size and I gotta send them back. A slight problem is that my small toe doesn't fit in the pocket thing but I have a sort of stumpy one so it is perhaps normal

Just be careful you didn't get counterfeit vibrams - apparently they're very, very crappy.... Bad fit, bad quality, etc...
http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/13/smallbusiness/vibram_fivefingers/index.htm