Running In Vibrams

by Matt on October 30, 2010

Hey everyone, I am out of town this weekend, so Teri will entertain you today! Show her some love!

Hi all! I’m from ! [this is me :) ]

Like many others, I recently hopped on the bandwagon. My reasoning was twofold: I was feeling kind of bored with running and I felt like I was constantly dealing with recurring injuries. So for my birthday, I asked for Vibram FiveFingers. This is my VFF success story…so far. :)

In the beginning…

  • I started out with very short mileage. My first run in the VFF was 0.75 miles and I stuck to that mileage for a week before gradually adding more mileage. When I wanted to run longer, I just took off the VFF and switched to my Asics.
  • My feet got sore after runs. Not like painful, but an achy sore…like muscles after a strength workout. I took that as a sign that my feet muscles were strengthening!
  • I didn’t get any blisters, although they rubbed at the back of my heels a bit.
  • My toes felt like they were being stretched when I ran. Odd sensation.
  • I could feel my calves working overtime.
  • My ankles felt like they were being challenged. It didn’t hurt, but I could tell they were working. In a good way.
  • I definitely noticed when I landed on my heel. It only happened a few times but it didn’t feel good.
  • It wasn’t as hard to run up on my mid-/forefoot as I was expecting, but it’s definitely a conscious effort at this point.
  • I took smaller strides to keep my legs under my body instead of reaching forward with my legs and heel striking (like my horrendous form seen below).

  • When I stopped running, I felt an odd sensation in my arch of my right foot. Kind of like it was charley-horsing and needed to be stretched.
  • Overall, it was a much easier transition than I was expecting.

After running in Vibrams FiveFingers for almost 3 months:

  • Putting on regular running shoes feels so weird…like constraining and heavy.
  • My calves still feel a major workout. But this is the first time in my life I’ve actually had some visible muscle tone in my calves. Woohoo!
  • I haven’t felt ANY pain in my SI joint since I’ve been running in the VFF, something I struggled with for months last year when training for my marathon. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don’t strike with my heel anymore, which I think was really jarring and impactful to the SI joint area. I’ve also struggled with IT band problems for over 6 years, and haven’t had any issues since switching to the VFF.
  • I haven’t run in my Asics in over a month.
  • My longest run to date in VFF is .
  • I have developed some big blisters on the bottom of my feet, but they really don’t hurt, surprisingly. The rubbing at the back of my heel is gone.
  • I love that I can toss them in the washing machine on the gentle cycle [and let air dry] because they get pretty skuzzy. Yes, skuzzy is a technical term.

I’ll be putting a Vibram Q&A up on soon to answer a lot of common questions I get. Feel free to leave any questions in the comment section of this post and I’ll try to address those also! Or if you are a Twitter junkie, you can with any questions.

Happy Running!

Would you or have you ever run in Vibram FiveFingers?

I personally have a pair of Vibrams, but I haven’t taken the plunge to start running in them yet.

Guess what is on the agenda next week?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

October 30, 2010 at 9:16 AM

think i’m gonna start using ‘skuzzy’ in my daily vocab :)

vibrams are so neat! i’d love to give them a whirl sometime
Shannon, Tropical Eats recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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October 30, 2010 at 10:04 AM

haha! I definitely recommend using “skuzzy.” :)
Teri [a foodie stays fit] recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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October 30, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Great post! I recently bought a pair of Vibrams last week and was wondering how to go about starting running in these guys. I started off with a 0.5 mile run and based on your starting milage, it seems like that’s pretty reasonable. Thanks for a great “here is what’s to come” tutorial for those of us just starting out with barefoot running!
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October 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Your running pic looks like there are mountains in the background. Running at altitude is on my list of things to try.
I like the shoes, but I dont think I will be as ambitious as you are by running in them. not even on a treadmill
also, i would love to roller blade the boxer. he looks energetic
matt gordon recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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JenNo Gravatar October 30, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Thanks for the information, Teri! One of my running buddies is a big proponent of minimalist running & owns his own pair as well.

I’m stoked about getting my own, but there are no retailers nearby… I’ll have to order online. I’m rather nervous about that, actually. I have never ordered any shoes or clothes online, because I’m so afraid of getting the wrong size. Yes, I know how to use a ruler, but I second-guess myself a lot. Meh. :P

So I was wondering–did YOU order your pair online? If so, I’m guessing you got the right size? No fitting problems?

(Or did anyone else order their pair online? If so, please share your experience with sizing and all that jazz.)

And, by the way, I have seen Vibram’s sizing video on their website. Simple stuff. And yet, I’m still nervous. :P

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October 30, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I LOVE my Vibrams and there are the only thing I road run with. Glad to see you are having success with them and love your color choice!
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October 30, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Very neat that you can just pop them into the washer. My big old clunky trainers could definitely use that…

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October 30, 2010 at 8:25 PM

I have a pair of Bikilas and so far I love them! I did my first Naked Foot 5k in them a month ago and it was great! 4 miles is my longest distance in them so far, but I’m working my way up slowly but surely!
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T.No Gravatar October 31, 2010 at 7:26 AM

I am awaiting my pair of Performa Jane VFFs. (No local retailer near me, so I had to order online.) Whenever I change shoes, I get nervous the first time doing the plate loaded leg press with them. And I am especially nervous about it this time. Have you used your VFFs for any kind of strength training?

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October 31, 2010 at 10:49 PM

Great post, Teri! I want to try Vibrams.. soon enough. And I love that Maizey made a debut ;)
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November 3, 2010 at 9:23 PM

I’m not sure about Vibrams, at least right now since it’s leading into winter. Would you recommend waiting till the Spring?
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