Vibram Five Fingers - Follow Up Thoughts

A while ago I got my first (and second) pair of Vibram Five Fingers and then wrote about it.  Heads up here that I was able to buy two pairs for $60 because I got last year's model on closeout from the REI Outlet.  I bought these shoes for Zumba and circuit and other cross training activities and I feel like I got the right thing.  I use these mostly for indoor workouts on solid flooring and every once in a while wear them for walks or to do errands.  I've running miles on them, although only 1 mile or 2 mile runs at a time.I've had a hard time doing a follow up because it's been hard to figure out what I really wanted to say.

Start out slow: I've read this everywhere, since long before I even had the shoes.  It's legit and it's important.  I wanted to be in my new shoes all the freaking time.  They're so fun!  I've been super careful about limiting my running miles in them, and limiting the amount of time I'm in them working out.  If I do circuit and Zumba in the same night in these things, I'm usually done.

These shoes do not automatically make you a forefoot striker: Sorry, they really don't.  I mention it becuase it seems a big misconception I run into.  I talk to people who want to change their gait and assume changing shoes will automatically change their foot strike. Try a forefoot strike in your current shoes first.  See how it feels.

These shoes will automatically help your legs get stronger: Yowza.  I think my legs are stronger.  If they aren't stronger I can definitely feel them more.  If that makes sense.  I'm more aware of my feet as well.  When I run in shoes I tend to land on the outside of my foot, near the pinky toe.  When I run in these guys, I really try to land near my big toe and push off with the entire foot, not just the outside edge.  It's easier in these than any other shoe I've worn.

Sometimes they're just too much trouble to 'slip' into: Let me lay it down for you.  It's work getting into these shoes.  I'll make the effort for Circuit or Zumba or Body Pump, or when I'm going to have them on for a while.  But when I'm only headed out for a 1-mile run, it's not worth it to put the shoes on to be in them for 10 minutes.

Sometimes they're not the right shoe: The other reason I don't wear these sometimes is if I know I'm going to run on an imperfect or 'pokey' surface. The street next to mine just got a new coat of chip tar and you can't believe the gravel that was everywhere.  These shoes are not meant for gravel, at least the model I got.  When I run, I've really started to pay attention to where I'll be.  Indoor track is no problem and some of the outdoor paths I take are fine, just stay away from gravel and sticks.  

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