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Paul Smith Paul Smith is offline
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08-20-2010, 05:22 PM
 
In what could reasonably be interpreted as an indication of the spreading popularity (or at least an uptick in "buzz"), the Huffington Post is conducting a poll on whether or not its readers would wear the VFF.

Click to see:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_689407.html
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monty monty is offline
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08-20-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Sorry, been around competitive running for 42 years and no of not one top runner that would wear these to do any training for more than a few miles in these things.

John gives good advice on where and the how of these things. Personally i think they are a gimmick and studies are being done now on injuries these are causing and if they should be worn by the average runner.

MOnty
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Paul Smith Paul Smith is offline
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08-20-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Monty,

I posted the link because I thought it might be of interest to some of the forum members, but I can't imagine using them myself. I think I'd be in a lot of pain.

They do seem to have generated a lot of conversation in fitness circles though. Inerestingly, when I checked the poll results, 60% claimed they would wear them.

Take care.

Paul
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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08-21-2010, 09:31 AM
 
Hey Paul,

Back when the running boom first took off in the mid 70's there were very, very few running shoes that offered any real cushioning. Believe me when I say that back then the cushioning in most shoes was little more than VFF today. As you might imagine there were plenty of injuries because people that were too heavy to start with were trying to push up their mileage before their body's were acclimated to it. This is why the development of running shoes with superior cushioning became a reality. Personally, I never had a problem back then because my strength to body weight ratio was in the stratosphere compared to most people.

With the above in mind, I think that one of the major benefits to VFF is that by necessity one must cut way back on mileage. However, as people try to push up their mileage with VFF it will be interesting to see what the injury rate will be. If it becomes obvious that injuries are increasing for the average runner it won't be long before these types of minimalist shoes are no longer popular. But one thing is for certain, time will tell.

I have enjoyed running in VFF on trails but that is the only place that I would run with them. Without, a certain level of cushioning I can't help but believe that running long distance on either asphalt or concrete will be a source of injury.

---John Peterson
 
 
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Pizzaman Pizzaman is offline
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08-22-2010, 04:28 PM
 
I agree with John that one of the likely outcomes of the minimalist running boom will be that people will get injured as they increase their mileage and then either give up running completely or go back to traditional running shoes.

However, if I may respectfully disagree with John on one point, I don't believe the reason for that is that running long distances on concrete or asphalt inherently increases the risk of injury. Rather, I believe it is because many people will rush into things and try too much too soon, and will not take the time to learn how to run with a mid to forefoot strike, which is essential to safe minimalist running.

In the book Born to Run, Chris McDougall cites studies that suggest that cushioned shoes may actually increase the risk of injury, rather than reduce it. With proper form, it is possible to run on hard surfaces just as safely as on dirt or grass. God has designed our legs and feet to be able to cushion our landing much more effectively than the running shoe companies have been able to do with their shoes. But the key is spending the time to learn that proper form, and to give your body (especially the feet) the time to adapt to a new way of running.

I started minimalist running over 5 years, after decades of injury-prone running in so-called "motion-control" shoes. I finally got to the point where I was ready to give up running more than a few miles at a time, since I was constantly hurting my knees or hips. Since altering my technique and switching to minimalist shoes (including VFFs) I have been able to train for and run 2 full marathons (26.2 miles each) plus several half marathons and other races without any injuries. I do nearly all of my running on sidewalks and streets. And there are many others like me out there.

If you are interested in trying out minimalist running, I strongly suggest spending the time to investigate proper technique. Pose Running and Chi Running are two very popular approaches to learning. Or just do a Google search on "barefoot running" or "minimalist running" and you will find all sorts of sites with instructional info and even videos. But if you just buy a pair of minimalist shoes and go out and run the same way as you used to, you are setting yourself up for possible injury.
 
 
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08-23-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Fantastic post Pizzaman! Thank You fro sharing your insights. Ultimately it all comes down to technique.

---John Peterson
 
 
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