Monday, December 13, 2010

Vibram fivefingers

I wouldn't say I jumped on the boat, or that I am definately sold on the idea, but there are some really possitive factors that some people might be interested in.
First of all, I have been a surfer most of my life and being barefoot has just been a part of it. While running I have often thought how I would do, running barefoot, and lately I have seen a lot of people doing it. I often stop and bombard these people with questions, and all of them seem to be so sold on the idea, of their barefoot endeavors. Most swear of a greater since of ballance, less joint and bone ailments, as well as a better posture.
Once, during the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Race, I had a guy pass me at mile 52, and I never saw him again. He said he felt great, with no issues. He was wearing the Vibram fivefingers, like in the picture above.
Well the other day I found a returned pair in the garage sale area of REI. I would not normally buy a used pair of shoes, but these looked unused, and they were $24 rather than $100.
I soon found myself out at my local hills, giving them a test run. The plan was to run up the 1st hill, and then back down to the car, and exchange them for my shoes. I did exactly that, except for they were ok enough, to go ahead and do my normal training run in.
Right of way, I noticed the difference up hill, On the steep up hill they seemed to be better than shoes, mostly due to a slower pace, and the fact your feet seemed to wrap the contour of the trail tread. On the gradual downhills, they seemed to have plenty of cushion, from the thin sole.
On soft terrain, is where I enjoyed them the most. The traction is unsurpassed from any shoe, mostly due to the shape of your foot, and the spread of your toes.
On the hard rocky terrain, things were slower than usual. Once I landed on a small rock, and it hurt, but only shortly. There is no way you could match the speed of a good pair of trail running shoes, on rocky terrain.
At the end of 7 miles, I felt somewhat enlightened. There is something to these shoes, booties, fivefingers, or whatever you want to call them. Last night as well as today I did not feel any reprocussions from running, and in fact, I feel somewhat rejuvinated. I will not try them for anything more than 10 miles at this point, but will continue finding a place in the mix of my training. I think they are something you must break yourself into, after all we have been breaking ourselves into shoes all of our lives. I hope that this may help someone in their barefoot decisions.