Sunday, October 11, 2009

Running with the VFFs

I just did two 1.5 mile loops in my new Vibram 5 fingers.
You don't have to dig around for clean socks.
They feel like you're running barefoot in all the good ways.
They force you to use your whole body, including the upper legs.
The slapping sound on the pavement makes you realize how bad your form is (I'm working on it).
It's a great workout for the shins (especially for those of us with shin splints which are not stress fractures).
They are LIGHT on the hills, both going up and down,
They look much less weird to passers-by than going barefoot barefoot.
They have good grip on slippery surfaces and wet areas.
They will be GREAT for travelling since they take up about a third the space of regular running shoes.

They're not easy to put on, but generally, if you get your first and second toes in, the others follow suit.
They are one width fits all, and I have narrow feet, so my pinky toe is spread a little too far.
Rubbing of material on said pinky toe.
Like I said in a previous post, they are not the perfect fit, but they seem to be okay anyway.
They are kind of like a ballet slipper, they come up to just where your toes turn into foot, which is a bit like putting on one of those footies at the shoe store. It feels like it should come up higher.

They have a drawstring that I initially had pulled tight, but when I loosened it, it was much better. It would be hard for them to fall off with your toes wedged into the toe holes anyway.

All in all, I like them. I did not run far, but I did expect to have something to show for it, like blisters or sore spots. I don't. I would like to plunge right into using these and putting my regular shoes away for a while, but promised myself that I would ease into them if I feel any kind of discomfort at all.

This is going to sound strange, but running down the street in them brought back memories of running on a beach somewhere. I know, but the sensation is similar. You have direct contact with what is under you (even through the rubber) and the absence of cushion forces you to use your entire body as a shock absorber, which is one of the reasons, I think, that running barefoot is so satisfying. When you finish your run, you have the feeling that your whole body was part of the running process, from your feet up to your shoulders.

So far, so good. Once my pinky toe toughens up, the VFFs are going to be awesome!


  1. There would be no way to wear them in winter, huh? Especially without socks?

    You are brave to be experimenting! I'm sure they would show off my bad form - I am a terrible heel smacker, but am working on it.

  2. I plan on wearing them all year, so I hope it doesn't get too cold...

  3. i agree with everything you said about our new barefoot shoes. glad you're enjoying so far. i am too, except i have been out of them for a week because i developed a strange little pain right behind my middle toe on the left foot after last week's 5 miler in them. that pain's gone now..will probably run in them again today or tomorrow. i will be wearing them in all weather, too!

  4. I totally agree with you too! And for the winter: Vibram (but not just Vibram) makes socks with separated fingers-pockets, so... ;-)