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Yet another running shoe question

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by The Big Ragu, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I have run on Asics (usually Gel Kayanos) ever since asking about running shoes on here a few years ago. Boom's recommendation, and I haven't had any leg problems since switching.

    Thing is, the way I have always run is flatfooted. I don't run heel to toe, unless I force it, and it isn't comfortable for me. The flatfooted (but not heavy footed) running works fine with my Asics shoes, but with all the newer movement back to basics (and barefoot running) and the research demonstrating that a more flatfooted running style is natural, I was wondering about the five-fingered shoes (they look silly to me, but. ...) that I see people running in.

    Does anyone run in those shoes, such as the ones made by Vibram? A lot of the running magazines have rated them really highly. I am wondering if it might be worth trying. Anyone have any experience to report?
  2. NDub

    NDub Guest

    I've seen them and have heard the same stories about the barefoot style being more natural.

    I'm not sure your current running regimine, but you'll likely have to start out slow with these and build your ankles. The Vibrams offer zero support.
  3. Madhavok

    Madhavok Well-Known Member

    You could find a medium with the Nike Frees and go from there. When I worked for Nike we couldn't keep those sneakers in stock.
  4. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    I also run in gel kayanos.
    I have had enough foot/ankle problems over the years that I am not gonna be lured into the minimalist shoes, until Jesus himself appears to me around the 2 mile mark on my running route and tells me they are a good idea.
    Only over-50 guy I know who ever tried them ended up with a stress fracture.
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the responses. Still not sure if I should just buy a pair and try em and see, it's just that if they don't work for me, I am going to hate having wasted the money.

    Beardpuller, I am not over 50, but I have given myself stress fractures from running -- when I was in my 30s. Both legs at the same time, and it was painful as hell. I couldn't walk, let alone run. One of my legs is still a bit gimpy, as a result and I have to baby it a bit. But I can still run, thankfully.

    NDub, along those lines, after my stress fractures, I was supposed to get physical therapy, but I never went. I did read up on my own, though, and it sounded like strengthening the muscles in your lower leg and around your ankles was important, so I have really worked on that, and I think it is part of the reason I haven't had problems since. I work on them every day, after stretching.

    Madhavok, I will check out the Nike Frees. I am always suspicious of Nike products, though.

    I guess if it ain't broke I shouldn't be trying to fix it, but I am just really curious about those shoes. They seem to be designed for the way I run naturally.
  6. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member


    Are you familiar with the Primal movement? Espoused by Mark Sisson and his website, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/, Primal is a fast-growing eating and exercising theory and one of the main points is that modern running shoes are terrible for our bodies. The Vibrams are hugely popular with these folks.

    Having a shoe fetish myself, I haven't brought myself to buy them because, frankly, people look absurd wearing them. But having spoken to footwear dealers at REI, I've learned that the sizing on these things are very, very tricky. One rep told me that every single pair their store had sold had been returned and replaced by a different size. So if you buy them, don't do it by mail order.

    Have you tried Salomons? I swear by them, as the 9 pairs I've burned through in the past 4 years attest. These shoes are also worn by just about all of the Survivor contestants, FWIW.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Tiger, Thanks. I have seen things about the Primal movement, saw the Real Sports segment on HBO and see people running in Vibrams (and even barefoot) in Central Park. But I don't know a ton, other than from what I do know, it makes sense intuitively, because I never ran heel to toe the way they tried to get me to, and I have had trouble with modern running shoes in the past.

    I don't know anything about Salomons, but from the photo that looks like a hiking shoe or a trail running shoe and I am not sure that would work for me. Unless I am wrong about them. I like for my feet to feel light and because of my history with stress fractures I am careful about the surfaces I run on. But I will read up more about them.
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Do we need a running thread on this?
  9. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    BTW, Ragu, I wasn't implying that you are over 50, I was stating why I am leery, cuz I am, sadly, over 50.
  10. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I know. Thing is, at 43 I am really feeling my limitations. I can tell it goes downhill from here. But I did happen to do a pretty long run this morning and I am floating in endorphins still, a few hours later!
  11. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    I run 5 or 6 days a week, usually 3 miles or so. I got a pair of vibrams this spring. I like them a lot. Shoes, regardless of the sport, have never made a difference for me.. but I like these.. they are so light.

    I worried there would be stress on my feet, with no "support" but I feel fine with them. I only wear them when I go on longer runs (5-10 miles).

    The only caveat is that it still takes me a few minutes to fit all my toes into the little toe sockets... Its kind of a pain in the ass.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, poin. I am going to size up a pair and order them. If they don't work out for me, I'll eat the cost. What do you use, the classic ones or one of the other models?
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