Exercise! - Barefoot running shoes




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Wannabeskinny
07-07-2013, 08:30 AM
Does anyone run barefoot or with barefoot running shoes? I'm always a little shocked to see someone running with no shoes on but I do think the barefoot shoes are kinda cute, anyone experience this type of running and how is it different to running with shoes? Is it a different technique?


CherryPie99
07-07-2013, 09:06 AM
I run exclusively in Vibram Bikilas. I've never run in traditional sneaks, so I can't advise you on transition, but there are a TON of articles and a whole forum on runnersworld about how to make the switch.

TripSwitch
07-07-2013, 09:35 AM
Barefoot running does involve a different technique... landing on the ball of your foot and avoiding heel striking.... I limit my barefoot running to short "jogs" on the beach and occasional gentle sprint repeats on soft grass... That being said I AM NOT a fan of the whole barefoot running craze... I've seen quite a few people getting injured and I see a lot of people running in them on surfaces that are much too hard and unforgiving like concrete and asphalt that IMHO are just asking for trouble... I've tried a few different pairs including Vibram 5 fingers and some other zero drop shoes and they just weren't for me and my style of running, as well as the amount of running that I do... So I stick with what works for me and that's the well cushioned Asics Gel-Nimbus for most of my everyday training...

Also if you google "Is Barefoot Style Running Best? New Studies Casts Doubt" you can read the latest New York Times article that I think is worth taking a look at to see what some of the latest research is saying about it...


Kscott
07-07-2013, 08:47 PM
Does anyone run barefoot or with barefoot running shoes? I'm always a little shocked to see someone running with no shoes on but I do think the barefoot shoes are kinda cute, anyone experience this type of running and how is it different to running with shoes? Is it a different technique?

There are a few people that can run "shoe--less"--but not many. We Westerner's have always worn shoes--not barefoot--and those avid runners that have tried them--(the majority) typically go back to regular--supportive running shoes.

CherryPie99
07-07-2013, 09:23 PM
Kscott - citation? From what I've read, most who switch never turn back...

Kscott
07-08-2013, 01:43 AM
Kscott - citation? From what I've read, most who switch never turn back...

Not from what I have seen--and here is a good example of what happened to my husband who is an ultra-marathoner--when he decided he was going to try the shoe-less running shoe. They sound great--they made sense to him too BUT he ended up in a boot for tendinitis for 2 months and when he healed up he never put those shoes on again. BTW--he did not use these shoes for a marathon--he was only using them on the treadmill and this is what happened to him.

LOS ANGELES — Swept by the barefoot running craze, ultramarathoner Ryan Carter ditched his sneakers for footwear that mimics the experience of striding unshod.

The first time he tried it two years ago, he ran a third of a mile on grass. Within three weeks of switching over, he was clocking six miles on the road.

During a training run with a friend along a picturesque bike path near downtown Minneapolis, Carter suddenly stopped, unable to take another step. His right foot seared in pain.

"It was as though someone had taken a hammer and hit me with it," he recalled.

Carter convinced his friend to run on without him. He hobbled home and rested his foot. When the throbbing became unbearable days later, he went to the doctor. The diagnosis: a stress fracture.

As more avid runners and casual athletes experiment with barefoot running, doctors say they are treating injuries ranging from pulled calf muscles to Achilles tendinitis to metatarsal stress fractures, mainly in people who ramped up too fast. In serious cases, they are laid up for several months.Many converts were inspired by Christopher McDougall's 2009 best-seller "Born To Run," widely credited with sparking the barefoot running trend in the Western world. The book focuses on an Indian tribe in Mexico whose members run long distances without pain in little more than sandals.

While the ranks of people running barefoot or in "barefoot running shoes" have grown in recent years, they still represent the minority of runners. Some devotees swear they are less prone to injuries after kicking off their athletic shoes though there's no evidence that barefoot runners suffer fewer problems.

In some cases, foot specialists are noticing injuries arising from the switch to barefoot, which uses different muscles. Shod runners tend to have a longer stride and land on their heel compared with barefoot runners, who are more likely to have a shorter stride and land on the midfoot or forefoot. Injuries can occur when people transition too fast and put too much pressure on their calf and foot muscles, or don't shorten their stride and end up landing on their heel with no padding.


Podiatrist Paul Langer used to see one or two barefoot running injuries a month at his Twin Cities Orthopedics practice in Minneapolis. Now he treats between three and four a week.

"Most just jumped in a little too enthusiastically," said Langer, an experienced runner and triathlete who trains in his barefoot running shoes part of the week.

Bob Baravarian, chief of podiatry at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Calif., said he's seen "a fair number" of heel injuries and stress fractures among first-timers who are not used to the different forces of a forefoot strike.

"All of a sudden, the strain going through your foot is multiplied manifold" and problems occur when people don't ease into it, he said.

Running injuries are quite common. Between 30 to 70 percent of runners suffer from repetitive stress injuries every year and experts can't agree on how to prevent them. Some runners with chronic problems have seized on barefoot running as an antidote, claiming it's more natural. Others have gone so far as to demonize sneakers for their injuries.

Pre-human ancestors have walked and run in bare feet for millions of years often on rough surfaces, yet researchers surprisingly know very little about the science of barefoot running. The modern running shoe with its cushioned heel and stiff sole was not invented until the 1970s. And in parts of Africa and other places today, running barefoot is still a lifestyle.

The surging interest has researchers racing for answers. Does barefoot running result in fewer injuries? What kinds of runners will benefit most from switching over? What types of injuries do transitioning barefoot runners suffer and how to prevent them?

While some runners completely lose the shoes, others opt for minimal coverage. The oxymoron "barefoot running shoes" is like a glove for the feet designed to protect from glass and other hazards on the ground. Superlight minimalist shoes are a cross between barefoot shoes and traditional sneakers – there's little to no arch support and they're lower profile.

Greg Farris decided to try barefoot running to ease the pain on the outside of his knee, a problem commonly known as runner's knee. He was initially shoeless – running minutes at a time and gently building up. After three months, he switched to barefoot running shoes after developing calluses.

Halfway through a 5K run in January, he felt his right foot go numb, but he pushed on and finished the race. He saw a doctor and got a steroid shot, but the pain would not quit. He went to see another doctor, who took an X-ray and told him he had a stress fracture.

Farris was in a foot cast for three months. He recently started running again – in sneakers.

"I don't think my body is made to do it," he said, referring to barefoot running.

Experts say people can successfully lose the laces. The key is to break in slowly. Start by walking around barefoot. Run no more than a quarter mile to a mile every other day in the first week. Gradually increase the distance. Stop if bones or joints hurt. It can take months to make the change.

"Don't go helter skelter at the beginning," said Dr. Jeffrey Ross, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of the Diabetic Foot Clinic at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston.

A year and a half ago, Ross saw a steady stream – between three and six barefoot runners a week – with various aches and pain. It has since leveled off to about one a month.

Ross doesn't know why. It's possible that fewer people are trying it or those baring their feet are doing a better job adapting to the new running style.

There's one group foot experts say should avoid barefoot running: People with decreased sensation in their feet, a problem common among diabetics, since they won't be able to know when they get injured.

Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman runs a lab devoted to studying the effects of running form on injury rates. He thinks form matters more than footwear or lack of – don't overstride, have good posture and land gently.

In a 2010 study examining different running gaits, Lieberman and colleagues found that striking the ground heel first sends a shock up through the body while barefoot runners tend to have a more springy step. Even so, more research is needed into whether barefoot running helps avoid injury.

"The long and the short of it is that we know very little about how to help all runners – barefoot and shod – prevent getting injured. Barefoot running is no panacea. Shoes aren't either," said Lieberman, who runs barefoot except during the New England winters.

Carter, the ultramarathoner, blames himself for his injury. Before he shed his shoes, he never had a problem that kept him off his feet for two months.

In April, he ran his fourth 100-mile race – with shoes. Meanwhile, his pair of barefoot running shoes is collecting dust in the closet.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/barefoot-running-injuries_n_1536017.html

I admit for some they work--but I don't think it's worth the risk to try them out--any injury--and many doctors are reporting more and more serious injuries with these shoe-less shoes--just isn't worth it if you really enjoy running. There are all kinds of articles on the web about the injuries doctors are seeing with these shoes.

My personal theory is--we grew up with shoes on our feet. We didn't walk or run barefoot--so our feet adjusted to shoes--our muscles--tendons--and the way our foot and ankle operates is formed around wearing shoes. Unlike those that grew up barefoot--like African runners and the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico that do very well shoe less. So what we are doing is basically trying to reform our foot--it's muscles and tendons by trying to run in the shoe-less shoe--which makes no sense--and that is why we're seeing all of these injuries. I saw a man one time in Mexico--that you could tell never had a pair of shoes on his feet. His soles were so thick--wide and calloused compared to ours it was actually amazing.

fatferretfanatic
07-08-2013, 08:38 AM
You have to let your feet and other muscles adjust to the shoe. If you're not going to give your feet a few months to adjust to them by starting small (walking a little in them at first, wearing them around the house, working up to running ), don't even try them. I grew up only wearing shoes when I had to, and grew into doing that too.

When I started running, I wore minimalist, and then transitioned to zero drop, and now I run primarily in my Vibram Speeds. I've run over ten miles with them at once so far, and they make running hills so much easier for me. However, I run slower in them because I am much more aware of how my foot lands in them, and I think that's a good thing. You're supposed to be self aware and when you run doubly so. I've dabbled in barefooting, and I love it, but I'm always scared to get glass in my feet so this is a good compromise.

Minimalist is wonderful but you have to be willing to put the work into adjusting yourself or else you'll get hurt and have wasted time.

CherryPie99
07-08-2013, 08:57 AM
I think that's the key. Even the article points out that the VAST majority of injuries happen when people go too far, too fast.

I spent most of my life as barefoot as I could get. Never wore shoes outside and was in as loose fitting shoes as I could get when I did have to wear shoes.

So when I started running I never even considered anything but minimalist. I LOVE my Vibrams.

Kscott
07-08-2013, 11:31 AM
I think that's the key. Even the article points out that the VAST majority of injuries happen when people go too far, too fast.

I spent most of my life as barefoot as I could get. Never wore shoes outside and was in as loose fitting shoes as I could get when I did have to wear shoes.

So when I started running I never even considered anything but minimalist. I LOVE my Vibrams.

Well--I believe that ultra-marathoner's would know that their feet needed to adjust to shoe-less--after-all they're the experts at running. And as we see from the above article they're getting serious injuries from using them.

Anyone who does a heel strike needs to completely re-learn their stride and do a ball of the foot change in order for shoe-less to work for them--otherwise they're asking for problems.

I equate shoe-less to me going into an aerobics class barefoot--which was done many years ago. In an aerobics class you typically land on the ball of the foot. People found out that those shin splints really hurt--henceforth--shoes designed for aerobics--running--etc. came out to our delight.

While I know that the Running Man is a great book--( I read it also) I think we probably should be listening to our own bodies--and our Podiatrists and running experts before setting out on a new fad.

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/615993/thumbs/s-BAREFOOT-RUNNING-INJURIES-large.jpg?4

(An injured ultra--marathoner--that has had it with shoe-less)

KindaSortaAthlete
07-08-2013, 01:16 PM
Not from what I have seen--and here is a good example of what happened to my husband who is an ultra-marathoner--when he decided he was going to try the shoe-less running shoe. They sound great--they made sense to him too BUT he ended up in a boot for tendinitis for 2 months and when he healed up he never put those shoes on again. BTW--he did not use these shoes for a marathon--he was only using them on the treadmill and this is what happened to him.

IMHO, what I'm reading this article as saying is that your husband did too much too soon when trying to switch to minimalist running. I also understand that he developed a stress fracture in his foot. While there is a correlation between the two issues, minimalist running and the stress fracture, this article shows no evidence of a causational link. There are plenty of runners who develop stress fractures while running in shoes. Ultra marathoners certainly put a lot of additional stress on their bodies. What contributed to the stress fracture? Minimalist running? Running in general? Years of running long distances? A combination of these factors? Again, from the information presented, it's a leap to lay the blame solely on minimalist running.

I personally think anyone would be hard pressed to make statements like "most minimalist runners go back to shoes", or "most minimalist runners end up with more injuries", or "most folks who run wearing shoes are healthier", simply because those generalizations are hard to back up. There are a lot of personal anecdotes, what we see our friends/running communities doing, what our doctors tell us they see... But there's just still a lot of grey area out there when talking about causation vs correlation.

Kscott
07-08-2013, 06:49 PM
IMHO, what I'm reading this article as saying is that your husband did too much too soon when trying to switch to minimalist running. I also understand that he developed a stress fracture in his foot. While there is a correlation between the two issues, minimalist running and the stress fracture, this article shows no evidence of a causational link. There are plenty of runners who develop stress fractures while running in shoes. Ultra marathoners certainly put a lot of additional stress on their bodies. What contributed to the stress fracture? Minimalist running? Running in general? Years of running long distances? A combination of these factors? Again, from the information presented, it's a leap to lay the blame solely on minimalist running.

I personally think anyone would be hard pressed to make statements like "most minimalist runners go back to shoes", or "most minimalist runners end up with more injuries", or "most folks who run wearing shoes are healthier", simply because those generalizations are hard to back up. There are a lot of personal anecdotes, what we see our friends/running communities doing, what our doctors tell us they see... But there's just still a lot of grey area out there when talking about causation vs correlation.


My husband had been running for 20 years prior to attempting an ultra-marathon. He's also a running shoe expert. All the kids in the family that are runners always ask for his advice regarding shoes.

Like I stated before--he read the Running Man-(took notice and it made sense to him to try these shoes out.) IOW he did his homework and knew that he had to start out slow with them. Yet he still ended up in a boot up to his knee cap for two months because he tore a tendon using the minimalist shoe. Since then he will not use them, and went back to supportive running shoes--like many other runners have done.

Now I understand that the discussion is ("that running shoes cause injury--and that running in minimalist shoes doesn't.) I disagree and I think that anyone that investigates this on the internet--it's more than plain to see that there are and have been serious--longer term injuries--using the minimalist shoe--even with expert long time runners.

Today we have very light-weight supportive running shoes--made to fit any type of foot--some people have pronation problems in their feet yet they are able to run--because of the shoe--and the support they offer. Minimalist shoes don't offer that. Everyone is different--but you can go to any marathon in this country--and count on 2 hands the minimalist shoe runners out of thousands that are running in supportive running shoes. And that in itself speaks
volumes.

The below article is a case study of runners. (one group stayed with the supportive running shoe--and the other test group switched to the minimalist shoes.) Along with the results of an MRI scan of their feet after a few weeks.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/barefoot-running-can-cause-injuries-too/

Wannabeskinny
07-10-2013, 09:29 AM
Thank you, this has been really enlightening. I spent the day yesterday in very thin-soled shoes and walked 6miles. My feet and ankles are achy and swollen, I don't think I'm up to trying the barefoot thing.

Riddy
07-14-2013, 03:39 PM
I'm fascinated by minimalist shoes, but also slightly terrified to try them. I've had plantar fasciitis in both feet, ACL surgery in 1 knee, and chondromalacia in the other. I don't know if they'd be a great thing to strengthen my feet, or the worst idea ever for me. :dizzy:

I did get a pair of Vibram Sprints for super cheap. I wore them around the house for a few weeks, then took them for a 20 minute walk. They gave me a black toenail, so I'm pretty sure that style is not for me.

Brendansmum
07-14-2013, 04:18 PM
Riddy- I'd say the worst idea ever ;)

I recently experienced mild plantar fasciitis and have been told before by my podiatrist never to go barefoot. I recently bought a pair of Birkenstock because I can't even wear my nike sandals due to lack of support.

I love my asics gels and those were recommended for me prior to my injury, which resulted in me wearing my flip flops too much, lol.

Kscott
07-15-2013, 10:44 PM
Thank you, this has been really enlightening. I spent the day yesterday in very thin-soled shoes and walked 6miles. My feet and ankles are achy and swollen, I don't think I'm up to trying the barefoot thing.


Exactly-I was at-the (Leadville Silver Rush run) a 50 mile ultra marathon yesterday--and saw several runners wearing these new very thick soled shoes called Hoka Shoes. They look like clod hoppers--they're huge--but talking to some of the runners after the race--they told me the only way they could make it through this ultra was with these shoes. I did see one runner come in wearing a pair of minimalist shoes--and when he took them off--my god--the entire soles of his feet were nothing but one huge blister. He had to soak them in ice and then his girlfriend put antibiotic cream on them--then he hobbled to his car. I doubt he is walking too good today.

Anyway here is the information on the new Hoka shoe--I think they're going to catch on in a very big way.

http://running.competitor.com/2013/04/shoes-and-gear/sole-man-hoka-is-in-for-the-long-haul_68788

http://cdn.running.competitor.com/files/2013/04/hoka-shot-694x421.jpg

fatferretfanatic
07-16-2013, 07:50 AM
Ugh, I could never wear something so large. As far as getting hurt goes, I'll risk it. I watch the way I run, and I can't stand having big old moon bounces on my feet. I don't think the minimalist shoes are only to blame. Barefoot Ted is also an Ultramarathoner, and you can tell by his name that he likes to go, well, barefoot.

Wannabeskinny
07-16-2013, 08:36 AM
I think one has to do what feels right to them. I'm sure barefoot runners aren't the only runners who get blisters on their feet.

Kscott
07-16-2013, 10:38 AM
I think one has to do what feels right to them. I'm sure barefoot runners aren't the only runners who get blisters on their feet.

Of course--runners get blisters on their feet--but it was quite noticeable that the only runner I saw at this ultra--marathon was the only one that really had a hard time getting to his car after the 50 mile run. The blisters on the balls of his feet were enormous.

Everyone needs to find the right shoe that works for them--I am just saying that the evidence is out there now--that barefoot or the minimalist shoes do cause injury and they definitely were NOT used at this marathon--except for the one man I was referring too.

fatferretfanatic
07-16-2013, 01:22 PM
I think one has to do what feels right to them. I'm sure barefoot runners aren't the only runners who get blisters on their feet.

I couldn't quote this enough times. Indeed, this is wise and true. Everybody has to find their own way, what works right. If everything was the same for everyone this forum wouldn't exist, because one diet would suit everyone! All I know is, I grew up wearing almost no shoes except to school, and to town at my parent's behest. I walk outside barefoot still even in the snow to do menial tasks like getting the mail, walking next door, just because I'm too lazy to put them on. I love feeling connected to the earth, feeling the grass, feeling the asphalt, the rocks below, even blazing hot or cold. Vibrams and other minimalist wear makes sense to me. I have dabbled in barefoot running with my completely naked foot, and what a thrill! Maybe it's not right for us all, and I encourage those interested to try it. But maybe, just maybe, it's just the kind of shoe for you.

TripSwitch
07-16-2013, 01:42 PM
Just wanted to give a +1 to the Hoka One One's... I've heard nothing but good things about them from my friends that run ultras... I've run several marathons and I've also done a "baby" ultra 50k... I used to run in racing flats, but I've since switched to just racing in a second pair of my regular well cushioned training shoes with low mileage on them and I'm much less sore post race and I recover faster as well since making the switch...

But I can't wait to try out the Hoka One One's... and if all goes well, I probably run my next ultra in a pair of them...

Kscott
07-16-2013, 08:06 PM
Just wanted to give a +1 to the Hoka One One's... I've heard nothing but good things about them from my friends that run ultras... I've run several marathons and I've also done a "baby" ultra 50k... I used to run in racing flats, but I've since switched to just racing in a second pair of my regular well cushioned training shoes with low mileage on them and I'm much less sore post race and I recover faster as well since making the switch...

But I can't wait to try out the Hoka One One's... and if all goes well, I probably run my next ultra in a pair of them...

Well--my runner husband did it again. As soon as he saw these Hoka shoes being used at the Silver Rush--a 50 mile marathon in Leadville he went right down today to the Boulder running company and discussed this shoe with the owner of the store. The owner stated he won't run in anything else and has been using them for the last two years. He also has his wife running in them--because she had some kind of problem with a larger left big toe--and these shoes work great for her.

So my husband gave them the test run--as the owner suggested running on larger rocks--as if you're doing some trail running--and my husband stated he couldn't feel a thing through the soles of these shoes. Very cushy--you can get them for pavement--dirt or a more traction type for mountain trails.

Anyway--he is going to try them out on Saturday on a 10K he has signed up for. I will let you know what he says about the Hoka Shoe after the race. BTW--they're so big--they look like they would be a heavy shoe--but they're not. He paid $160.00 for them.

TripSwitch
07-16-2013, 08:29 PM
Well--my runner husband did it again. As soon as he saw these Hoka shoes being used at the Silver Rush--a 50 mile marathon in Leadville he went right down today to the Boulder running company and discussed this shoe with the owner of the store. The owner stated he won't run in anything else and has been using them for the last two years. He also has his wife running in them--because she had some kind of problem with a larger left big toe--and these shoes work great for her.

So my husband gave them the test run--as the owner suggested running on larger rocks--as if you're doing some trail running--and my husband stated he couldn't feel a thing through the soles of these shoes. Very cushy--you can get them for pavement--dirt or a more traction type for mountain trails.

Anyway--he is going to try them out on Saturday on a 10K he has signed up for. I will let you know what he says about the Hoka Shoe after the race. BTW--they're so big--they look like they would be a heavy shoe--but they're not.

Small world... I use live and train in Boulder.... I've seen them on Zappos for quite a while now at really good prices... I think I'm just going to go ahead and order a pair and try them out on my treadmill... since I'm a VIP at Zappos I get free overnight shipping and if there is a problem with the size I just call them up and they send me out another size the next day before I even ship back the pair I don't want... all for free... Can you tell that I have a bit of a shoe fetish... lol... :D

Kscott
07-16-2013, 08:57 PM
Small world... I use live and train in Boulder.... I've seen them on Zappos for quite a while now at really good prices... I think I'm just going to go ahead and order a pair and try them out on my treadmill... since I'm a VIP at Zappos I get free overnight shipping and if there is a problem with the size I just call them up and they send me out another size the next day before I even ship back the pair I don't want... all for free... Can you tell that I have a bit of a shoe fetish... lol... :D

Ha.Ha.--so does my husband. Every time I get near the treadmill downstairs there's another pair of running shoes. That's why I refer to him as the running shoe expert--lol.

He got the Time to Fly Hoka's if you care to look those up. Well skip that I think he bought the same shoes you want--pronounced one' one' on the back side of the shoe? They seem to fit him pretty well to size--so there should be no problem in you ordering them online. I was really surprised at how light they were.

Anyway--good luck--