So the Vibram Five Fingers have been life-changing. Seriously, my feet havent felt this good in ten years. I’m running two miles a day and doing it with no pain. In fact, it’s been going so well that I’ve switched to barefoot shoes for all my everyday footwear.
I never intended to become some aficionado of some crackpot health trend, but here I am, saying crazy things like “barefoot running let me run again.” It’s amazing how big the difference has been for me. Of course, once I had the running shoes work for me, I had to go crazy and add on everyday shoes. These shoes in blue canvas get me compliments for being stylish at work, while leaving me feeling like I’m wearing slippers all day long. These cross-trainers in gray/black also look snazzy, and are a good match for Krav.
But it took a while to work up to being able to wear barefoot shoes every day. There’s the foot fatigue, which is significant, and getting used to not having padding to lean on when you’re tired — less significant than you’d think, but occasionally dispiriting. For me, however, the bigest change was from walking and running with an extreme forefoot strike to aiming for more of a midfoot strike. It’s impossible to choose your footstrike when walking in most athletic shoes, because there’s so much between you and the ground; but, in a barefoot shoe, you can choose all day long. For me, the midfoot strike prevents overflexion of the plantar fascia and also seems to minimize pronation.
Unfortunately, this comes with a cost: tendinitis in my left Achilles. Most shoes are very careful to give you a foot posture with the heel up and the toe down, which minimizes the risk of tendinitis in that area. Barefoot shoes are flatter, and this means more stress on the Achilles. I didn’t realize this at first and got myself some strain there. Fortunately, I’m healing; and, even with this challenge, I’m doing better at running than I have in 8 years. Plus, I go to work looking snazzy and feeling like I’m in my slippers. Thanks to my Vibram Five Fingers, what’s not to like?