Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby mfw on Tue 1/Dec/15 7:06am

I'm still suffering concussion symptoms after my crash and Dr's advised not doing any real MTB for a few more months :(
SO, thought I'd try running again to fill in the gap. Since I'm a tech geek, the only apparent running 'tech' in the last few years seems to be getting rid of the shoes!, well, the cushioned ones anyway. Two of my mates are have converted to barefoot / minimalist shoes (i.e. Vibram 5 fingers or Huarache sandals) but the shoe shops (here in Nelson) are not selling them, and dismissing them as a fad.

Anyone here:
=} got any experience with barefoot / minimalist running?
=} know where to get Vibrams or Huaraches around here? Reluctant to do the mail order thing 'cause it's the sort of thing you need to try on.

I'm already a high cadence (180+) forefoot striker so it might give me a head start, but guess it would still take months to adapt, while foot muscles get conditioned and skin thickens up.
Last edited by mfw on Wed 2/Dec/15 9:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby dwgknz on Tue 1/Dec/15 8:22am

Didn't Vibram have to buy back or refund every pair of five fingers they sold due to false advertising? Are they still made?
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby Yogi on Tue 1/Dec/15 8:47am

Did a bit of investigating into minimalist shoes. From what I've read, there can be some benefit to some runners using a low drop shoe (<10mm drop between heel and forefoot). Something about being better on the knees if you suffer knee pain, but worse on hips (or something? if you already suffer hip pain?). Minimalist shoes also have the benefit of greater trail feel and mobility so good for technical trails, just make sure there's enough sole protection if you're running trails with rocks/roots that could bruise the sole of your foot.

The whole vibram five finger style shoe sounds like it is a fad and generally offers few benefits (hence Vibram being done over in court for false advertising). However, if you're brave enough to be seen wearing them, you need to make up some reasons to justify it to yourself and others.

Check out this website: http://runrepeat.com/ that has collated all the reviews and ranked all shoes based on users experiences. Minimalist shoes rank highly, but read the pro's reviews as they do point out the limitations.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby danose on Tue 1/Dec/15 9:36am

firstly are you talking about running on-road or off-road? secondly there's a big diff between 'barefoot' shoes (NB minimus series, five fingers etc) and 'minimal' shoes - espec off road (try running rocky terrain in barefoot shoes). And of course the latest fad seems to be 'maximal' shoes (hoka one one especially) - mainly for road but I see they're trying to push them for off-road too now (don't understand that personally - recipe for rolled ankles)

there's lots of hype around shoes (about as much as around wheel sizes) - 95% is pure marketting bull. In the end you need to find what works for you, your fitness and biomechanics. Personally I like relatively low drop but still cushioned shoes (so shoes like the salomon sense mantra and inov8 x-talon) - but I'm both a supinator and a mid-foot striker so that's no surprise.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby danose on Tue 1/Dec/15 10:47am

mfw wrote:where to get Vibrams or Huaraches around here? Reluctant to do the mail order thing 'cause it's the sort of thing you need to try on.


NB minimus are probably easier to find in NZ - rebel sometimes carries them, and Athletes Foot certainly do. Also cheaper than the other options

http://www.newbalance.com/pd/minimus-10 ... _and_Black

I've got some mt10v2 - use them for occasionaly short runs on good tracks (zero rock protection and as you know most port hills tracks and littered with rock) - cheap way to try 'barefoot'
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby danose on Tue 1/Dec/15 11:07am

you may also want to read this (which makes the good point that we spend most of our day in non-running shoes, so maybe we should change that as well as what we run in)

http://www.jameskuegler.com/blog/which-shoe
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby philstar on Tue 1/Dec/15 2:32pm

Yogi wrote: However, if you're brave enough to be seen wearing them, you need to make up some reasons to justify it to yourself and others.


https://xkcd.com/1065/
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 1/Dec/15 5:05pm

bought some merrells 'barefoot' running shoes off Torp7 recently, were on special really cheap. dont do any running, but i wear them and they's comfy! (some of thesein fact, but they were only $69). kinda thought i might run in them, but seeing as i dont run (yet), it's kinda tricky... anyway, they're pretty blimmin flat, but seem to have arch support too, which is good.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby mfw on Tue 1/Dec/15 10:50pm

Cheers for the great response guys, good to know there are a few runners lurking out there :D

Trail running is my focus but will be doing road work too for practical reasons, so no doubt will end up having specific shoes for each. Sounds like the N+1 formula as per bikes :rolleyes:
If I can stay injury free (had achilles problems in past) I will be doing a half in March and a Marathon in June.

I already have some xero's on their way to get started as they were cheap. Am also looking at some minimalist covered shoes like ones recommended here for the rough stuff / winter.

I may also have a go at pure barefoot just for shits and giggles.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby mfw on Tue 1/Dec/15 11:02pm

danose wrote:there's lots of hype around shoes (about as much as around wheel sizes) - 95% is pure marketting bull.

Yes I'm coming to this conclusion, it's driving me nuts!
danose wrote:In the end you need to find what works for you, your fitness and biomechanics

...so starting on this road of discovery.

Currently reading 'Born to Run' about the Tarahumara, the book that seemed to shake things up 5 years ago, a great story.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby danose on Wed 2/Dec/15 1:35pm

mfw wrote:If I can stay injury free (had achilles problems in past) I will be doing a half in March and a Marathon in June.


depending on who you read, low-drop shoes will either help your achilles, or wreck it. So keep us posted :satan:

for off-road, low drop but not 'barefoot' shoes (i.e. enough cushioning you can run rocks without bruising your feet) and with enoough grip for typical SI conditions (so many shoes you can tell are aimed at typical california dry/dusty conditions on groomed trails - deathly on wet/loose NZ tracks) my personal recommendations are:

inov-8 x-talon (great all arounder - and they now do a 'performance/narrow' version and a wider one too which gets around fit issues people with wider feet had)
salomon s-lab sense ultra4 'soft ground' (really good agressive sole unlike the 'normal' su4 which sucks on anything even vaguely damp/loose, rock plate really works without making the shoe feel dead)

old model s-lab xt wings 'soft ground' was also great (and wasn't as low drop as the sense so a good intermediate step from typical high drop shoes like asics) - new model is lower drop and has lost the stabilising 'wings' that gave it it's name, haven't tried the new one and to be honest it's so close to the su4sg I see no point in bothering. New model xt wings pro is closer to the old one (just not as agressive a sole unit)

things to avoid - any trail shoes from asics, addidas, nike - they're all just slightly ruggedised road shoes aimed at people running groomed trails, not proper off-road
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby slidecontrol on Wed 2/Dec/15 7:32pm

mfw wrote:I may also have a go at pure barefoot just for shits and giggles.


Do this, and on concrete. That way the soles of your feet give out before you do any damage to your achillies/calf complex. By the time your soles harden up, your connective tissues have strengthened.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby Fraser on Thu 3/Dec/15 6:22am

All I would say is that try running offroad barefoot on some trails will be better for changing your style. As you tend to be on the balls of your feet than heel first on the road in shoes. But you run the risk of bruising your heal tissue running on asphalt/concrete straight off the bat.
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby danose on Thu 3/Dec/15 11:36am

Fraser wrote:All I would say is that try running offroad barefoot on some trails will be better for changing your style. As you tend to be on the balls of your feet than heel first on the road in shoes. But you run the risk of bruising your heal tissue running on asphalt/concrete straight off the bat.


ahh no, you've opened the whole 'heel-strike vs mid-foot' can of worms :crazy: :satan:

http://running.competitor.com/2014/02/i ... ning_95678
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Re: Barefoot Running And Minimalist Shoes

Postby Spagllegs on Thu 3/Dec/15 1:37pm

Progress slowly, slowly. You're probably in peak physical health from biking and it's easy to out-run your legs. Ya running tendons, muscles and bones take a bit to get fit to it but your cardiovascular is fit as. I too read Born To Run and got all keen on barefoot running. Went too far too soon (Two 5k runs) and got a good dose of plantar fasciitis. Was doing a lot of running at the time and thought I'd be ok. The Little Red Book of Running is a good book too.
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