Vibram Five Fingers - Barefoot Running

#1
Has anyone seen/tried these things : Five Finger Shoe Linky!

I have read a bit about forefoot running, the POSE method and barefoot running then saw a review on these in runners world. Any thoughts? Apart from looking a bit like a Ninja Turtle! I'm sure once you have worn them a few times you get used to the looks you get?

sneak
 
#4
I was away training this week and one of the lads turned up wearing these.
The science sounds good and makes sense, but by God they look stupid. There were pelnty of comments about his monkey feet.

Seriously, he reckons he's has them two weeks and so far has only run just over a mile on a treadmill. Apparently you can feel right away that all your muscles are working differently and at the moment he's in agony!
 

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#5
LanceBombardEars said:
I was away training this week and one of the lads turned up wearing these.
The science sounds good and makes sense, but by God they look stupid. There were pelnty of comments about his monkey feet.

Seriously, he reckons he's has them two weeks and so far has only run just over a mile on a treadmill. Apparently you can feel right away that all your muscles are working differently and at the moment he's in agony!
Good! He deserves all the pain he gets,short arse git. :D
 
#7
I suffer from a multitude of foot problems, plantar fasciitis most currently diagnosed, my feet feel like my heels have been hammered. I discussed the very subject of vibram 5 fingers, the young person agreed that children should be encouraged to wear them as soon as, to stop them wearing shoes with raised heel blocks etc.
 
#8
grimbo said:
Just run barefoot ?
Great idea! Obviously there are no stones, broken glass, or dog shit where you live.
 
#9
Bollock-chops said:
I suffer from a multitude of foot problems, plantar fasciitis most currently diagnosed, my feet feel like my heels have been hammered. I discussed the very subject of vibram 5 fingers, the young person agreed that children should be encouraged to wear them as soon as, to stop them wearing shoes with raised heel blocks etc.
I got PF last July from picking up my running but the main thing that got me was too much down hill running (which I did during speed sessions).

I got from vibrams at the end of January this year and was running 2 milers in them by mid february.

I generally do 1-2 5+ milers in them a week, mainly on the street but I do try and run on the hills/foresty areas as it's more interesting.
My times are still about 1-2 minutes slower then in trainers (thus far over that distance I'm averaging 8 min 20 a mile, whereas before it was 6 min 50 - 7 min 20), but touch wood I haven't developed any knee or PF injuries which was normal when I would get back into the running. You are supposed to be able to surpass your shoed speed and be able to run for longer given time.

I'm guessing that because I've had to start out slowly and build up the distance and then the speed, I've adapted whereas before I would put on the trainers and put in the milage and speed from the get go.
God knows you can't do that when running on the forefront of your foot, the first few runs left me in agony for a few days afterwards in the calves.

I would suggest getting some off fleabay but also trying some in store first. My feet are euro 44 but I had to buy some 42's to properly fit my feet (that's with the classics).
 
#10
There is an interesting piece in the times today about barefooted running. It is something they have done a couple of articles on

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/features/article7045833.ece

Runners with expensive running shoes are 123% more likely to become injured against those with cheap shoes.

It has got to the point where Nike are now designing a minimalist shoe.

Apparently the human tread in barefooted runners lands mid foot whilst those with shoes lands on the heel. Therefore, and bizarrely, all of us running are not running as we have evolved to do.

Research by evolutionary biologists at Harvard University appears to bear this out. Dr Daniel Lieberman, who published his findings this year in Nature, says that striking the ground heel first is “like someone hitting your heel with a hammer with up to three times your body weight”. He adds one note of caution: if you switch to barefoot, do it slowly and carefully (if you are diabetic, you should also seek medical advice before attempting it).

Skilful barefoot runners lift the toes and drop the ball of the foot in a natural arch to strike the ground with their leg underneath them rather than striding out in front. “Think of it as stroking the ground before you lift your foot off again,” Woodward says. Your stride falls shorter and faster and you look as if you’re prancing on tiptoes. To make the point, we are filmed running in trainers. In my mind I am like a gazelle; to my dismay, I’m more of a clumsy rhino. But a natural barefoot runner is poetry
 
#11
in_the_cheapseats said:
There is an interesting piece in the times today about barefooted running. It is something they have done a couple of articles on

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/features/article7045833.ece

Runners with expensive running shoes are 123% more likely to become injured against those with cheap shoes.

It has got to the point where Nike are now designing a minimalist shoe.

Apparently the human tread in barefooted runners lands mid foot whilst those with shoes lands on the heel. Therefore, and bizarrely, all of us running are not running as we have evolved to do.

Research by evolutionary biologists at Harvard University appears to bear this out. Dr Daniel Lieberman, who published his findings this year in Nature, says that striking the ground heel first is “like someone hitting your heel with a hammer with up to three times your body weight”. He adds one note of caution: if you switch to barefoot, do it slowly and carefully (if you are diabetic, you should also seek medical advice before attempting it).

Skilful barefoot runners lift the toes and drop the ball of the foot in a natural arch to strike the ground with their leg underneath them rather than striding out in front. “Think of it as stroking the ground before you lift your foot off again,” Woodward says. Your stride falls shorter and faster and you look as if you’re prancing on tiptoes. To make the point, we are filmed running in trainers. In my mind I am like a gazelle; to my dismay, I’m more of a clumsy rhino. But a natural barefoot runner is poetry
I've read a few bits about it and the amount of anecdotal is pretty high, while slowly but surely the good research trickles out. I don't think there will be a flood of such studies being released for a while until companies get ahead of the curve so that they can profit from it.

Nike have released the Nike Free which is minimalist and there are quite a few european based companies with more shoe like minimalist bits of footwear (unlike the vibrams which do indeed look daft when work with trousers like I have done at work sometimes, which isn't as bad if worn with injinji socks- http://www.injinji.com/).

From a biomechanical pov, you can see how having a long stride and landing on your heel is less efficient (as it is constant breaking and reacceleration) then landing on the forefront of your foot and using the musculature to dampen the force while continuing to 'fall forwards'.
 
#12
Ian1983 said:
I've read a few bits about it and the amount of anecdotal is pretty high, while slowly but surely the good research trickles out. I don't think there will be a flood of such studies being released for a while until companies get ahead of the curve so that they can profit from it.

Nike have released the Nike Free which is minimalist and there are quite a few european based companies with more shoe like minimalist bits of footwear (unlike the vibrams which do indeed look daft when work with trousers like I have done at work sometimes, which isn't as bad if worn with injinji socks- http://www.injinji.com/).

From a biomechanical pov, you can see how having a long stride and landing on your heel is less efficient (as it is constant breaking and reacceleration) then landing on the forefront of your foot and using the musculature to dampen the force while continuing to 'fall forwards'.
I think the most telling thing about this story/ release of info is the fact that there is no counter claim from any of the major shoe companies. Now that may just be them simply seeing another good marketing exercise to come but more likely they can't argue with the evidence so far released.

BTW - had pairs of socks like that for years. Sister in Law lived in Japan where they are v common who used to supply us with sets. Bit strange to get used to but actually v comfortable.
 
#13
Agreed.

I think because they as yet can't say anything negative they are keeping their mouths shut for the time being.


I would suggest people try running in water shoes before they splash out for something like vibrams. Water shoes last about 500 miles and are almost 1/10th the price.
 
#14
Minimalist footwear is available that doesn't make you look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle.



I'd quite happily run in these (off road). I've got a pair of very old and very worn desert boots that now look very similar to this. I use them for running on the beach.
 
#15
^^^

feelmax, that's the brand I was thinking of. Finnish brand. Their trailer on the website shows them being screwed up and fitting into your pocket.

Having a look at purefootwear also kicks out vivo barefoot.

edit- that said, feelmax don't last long I think, that's the problem with thinner soles.


Mr_Deputy said:
Wouldn't thin soled shoes (like daps) and an improved stride style do more-or-less the same without it looking like you are wearing your little brother's comedy slippers?
Yeah pretty much


The idea is that without the sole and extra cushioning you have more ability to flex the whole foot and bring the supporting musculature into play.

A lot of people like the vibrams because they give you the ability to use your toes more, therefore more like a barefoot style, but the supporting evidence for being able to individually control your toes when running isn't exactly high at present.

I have found my vibram style transfering over to normal trainers (ie forefront landing).
 
#18
The_Duke said:
The Lieberman research is not as cut and dried as the selected quotes shown above would have you believe.

Read the link and you will see that there is a lot of theorising and anecdotal evidence, with every possible result caveated by the need for more empirical research.

http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/
I would agree

Most of the info I have found is anecdotal and the studies with numbers aren't high enough to warrant the fanfare.

That said hopefully it will prod some non biased research into action.
 
#19
I do alot of long distance running, i'm not setting the world alight but i'm a decent club runner. Kept on getting alot of niggling little lower limb and knee injuries, my coach was been banging on about vibram fivefingers, and nike frees 3.0 and 5.0 which while being a little more conservative, aim to get you running more on your fore foot mid foot.
The science behind it is pretty simple. Imagine your barefoot on concrete, now if you had to jump up and down you'd do so on the ball of your foot with your calves and plantar factis (or however it's spelt!) acting as a damper. There is no way you'd jump up and down landing on your heels, but this how modern running trainers make you run!
I'd personally recommend the nike free 5.0 or 3.0 for the majority of your running, and do some strides barefoot. But make sure you allow your feet to get used to them over a period of say 6-8weeks, as you'll be using muscles in your leg and foot that have never been used or neglected, giving them time to strenghten. My calves and feet feels so much stronger.
 
#20
i_love_ftorres said:
The science behind it is pretty simple. Imagine your barefoot on concrete, now if you had to jump up and down you'd do so on the ball of your foot with your calves and plantar factis (or however it's spelt!) acting as a damper. There is no way you'd jump up and down landing on your heels, but this how modern running trainers make you run!
I'd personally recommend the nike free 5.0 or 3.0 for the majority of your running, and do some strides barefoot.

I am a heavy heel striker, and it don't half make my back stiff. What you say there makes sense, and I will be giving those Nike 3.0s a try as the ground around here is not suitable for the 5 fingers.
 

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