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John, Do You Run Bare Foot?
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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01-18-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Hey Friends,

A man e-mailed me asking if I have read "Born to Run" and if I agree with the premise of the book? He then asked me if I run barefoot. Let me just say that I agree with the premise of the book but the truth is it is very difficult for me to run barefoot here in Minnesota throughout the year. In a perfect world we would not need to wear running shoes and I agree that the natural 'flex' of the foot unencumbered by footwear would be very desirable. But lets be realistic, if you were to mess up your feet by running barefoot outside you could become seriously injured. So let me just tell you what I do. Every morning that I'm at home I train without clothing or footwear. This was advocated by Charles Atlas and it is a habit I've had since my youth. All my leg work is performed bare foot. And, if I can run on a golf course in the summer shortly before sunrise in my bare feet, I do it. But almost all of my running is trail running and I think it's important to use common sense and not put one's self in harms way. For that reason I run in trail running shoes. But believe me, I wish I could run barefoot year round.

---John Peterson
 
 
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JoeJustice JoeJustice is offline
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01-20-2010, 06:23 AM
 
And here I thought we Appalachian folks were to only ones to run around barefoot!

Hey John, have you tried Vibram Five Fingers? I've had a pair for a few years now and really love them. Free tried them once and said he can't stand them, so I guess they're pretty subjective. I use mine for wading in the Spring while trout fishing; just like barefood without having to worry about getting your feet all cut up!

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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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01-20-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Hello Joe,

No, I have not yet run in Vibram Five Fingers . But come springtime I will definitely be giving them a try. They certainly look impressive:http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/bar...ot_running.cfm

For the last ten years I have been running in Teva Running Sandals:http://www.teva.com/productslist.asp...d=TC|6883|teva running sandals||S||3046685851

I'm looking forward to trying out the Vibram Five Fingers in about two months. Thanks for the tip Joe.

---John Peterson
 
 
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Dominick Dominick is offline
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01-20-2010, 11:28 AM
 
Hi John,

Been on the forum almost since its inception, but haven't posted in a while. Glad this subject came up.

Been running for about 35 years, and have run barefoot on grass when the weather and circumstances permitted.

Learned about the Vibrams on a few 'barefoot running' blogs, and got a pair and they were great. Also read "Born To Run", and it only served to back up what I already was learning as I ran in the Vibrams.

Now the barefoot "purists" would say wear nothing at all. The VFF's are my one "concession" to avoiding the pain of rocks, glass and uneven terrain. But they're just like running barefoot in all the biodynamics of the movement.

I have two pair of the Vibram FFs. The "Classic" for warm months, and the "Flow" for cold weather. They're the closest thing you can get to running barefoot -- which I do, also. The Flow is the same sole, only with a covering that keeps you warm and toasty like a diver's wetsuit. I've run in freezing weather and snow and never had a problem.

(No, I'm not a shill for VFF... )

They take a little getting used to, or rather your usually shod feet have to learn to use their muscles in a different way. So start slowly.

But to anyone who'd like to experience this, give it a try. You'll never go back to running shoes again -- which feel awful after you've been running barefoot awhile.

And, yes, its a little like doing Transformetrics. No clunky equipment, using your body as it was designed to be, and -- as in John's case in wearing little clothes when training -- is as close to nature as you can be.

Best to all,

Dominick
 
 
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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01-20-2010, 12:06 PM
 
Hey Dominick,

Thank You. I didn't take it that you were a "shill" at all. I'm curious though, what is the longest run that you have experienced with the Vibram Five Fingers? Would they be appropriate for training runs of 10 to 12 miles? And could one consider the marathon distance of 26.2 miles? I look forward to your answer.

---John Peterson
 
 
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Pizzaman Pizzaman is offline
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01-20-2010, 10:57 PM
 
I've been running a couple of times a week in VFFs for several years. I have the Sprint model. The farthest I have done in them is 10 miles, but there are people who do marathons in them. I usually wear Injinji socks with them, to prevent blisters.

Vibram has a new kangaroo leather version that should be both warm and waterproof. You might be able to wear them even in the winter, John!
 
 
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01-21-2010, 06:23 PM
 
Hey Pizzaman,

Thank You for your post. This is something I am really looking forward to trying ASAP.

Now, for all of my friends that have experience with VFF would you men recommend that I run my standard morning run in my Asics Kayanos and then run later in the day and gradually adapt to running in VFF. I ask because I have run in Kayanos for more than 15 years and have never had an injury. Not even remotely. And during that entire time I always maintained a degree of running ability that would allow me to run 10 miles whenever I felt like it even though I usually ran in the 3 mile range.

Bottomline: I know me and if I really wanted to I could run Grandma's Marathon from Two Harbors to Duluth on June19th, 2010 but I'd rather take some extra time and be totally ready for the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, October3, 2010.

---John Peterson
 
 
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Dominick Dominick is offline
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01-21-2010, 09:22 PM
 
Hi John,

Thanks for your reply and question.

I've run 10 miles in them and had no problem. I have friends that have run 20 mile runs and love them. Also, there is a guy with the "handle" named Barefoot Ted (mentioned in Born To Run), who has run marathons and I believe others on his blog have run Ultra marathons. And they love them.

The constant caveat would seem to be that you need to get used to them. So if you regularly train at, say, 10 or more miles in a run, don't just go out and do that usual distance barefoot or in Vibrams. You'll REALLY feel it the next few days. Just work into it. Once you're used to it, then no holds barred.

But with your training protocols as I've learned and intuited from this forum, the Vibrams would be a natural fit for you, John.

Let me know how that goes.
 
 
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Pizzaman Pizzaman is offline
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01-23-2010, 11:31 PM
 
John,

There is a pretty big difference between the Kayanos and the VFFs, so I would echo Dominick's caution that you really need to work your way into them.

It also depends a lot on your running style. The Kayanos have a very built-up heel, and are intended for heel-striking runners. In the VFFs, as with barefoot running, you need to land on the balls of your feet instead of the heel. I assume you do this when you run barefoot on the grass, but I am not sure if you run that way in the Kayanos. Anyways, you may notice calf soreness for a couple of weeks if you switch to the VFFs. If it lasts longer than that, it probably means you are staying up on your toes too much.

As far as whether to do your normal Kayano run and a separate VFF run, IMO it's better just to take the plunge. Trying to run in shoes with such large differences in feel would just make it harder. 4 years ago, when I decided to try running in minimalist shoes I stopped running in my old motion control shoes. I had to cut my distance way back at first and work my way up, but it was worth it in the long run.

Whatever you approach you decide to go with, I hope you end up enjoying the VFFs.
 
 
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