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20130806113707-andrew

Andrew M asked the question in Barefoot Runners

Any tips for a someone new to barefoot running?

I've been running  a lot over the last year, but with cushioned trainers.  I just bought a pair of http://tribesports.com/products/running/running-shoes/barefoot-running-shoes/2969893-vivobarefoot-evo-ii-nylon-running-shoes and I'm keen to start running with these.  I want to make sure I start in slowly to make sure I avoid injury.  Has anyone got any tips?

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Answers (8)

Start slow! I had to abandon running in my five fingers after a few months because of calf cramps - for 2 months I couldn't even run one block without my calves cramping up - but I started out running 5 milers in them.  I'm not familiar with those specific shoes, but my recommendation would be to start at 1 mile, or even half mile distances and increase distance very slowly, perhaps by as little as half a mile or less a week.  The second time around, I was religious about this strategy and am up to 7 miles barefoot, injury-free and loving it!

Don't think of those shoes as an end but as a step towards going truly barefoot.  It's a beautiful thing. Good luck!

Kaleem K answered Comment

20120124212915-emlynr

Same experience here. Calf cramps after 3 or 4 miles, something I've never experienced before. You need to build up gradually, maybe wear barefoot shoes to go to work/ shopping etc to give your feet time to adjust. Strangely, I don't cramp if i stick to trails and fell....

Enric M encouraged this.

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I started off doing the warm ups for my runs in the VFFs (minimalist) and then changing into normal running shoes. This way you can build it up gradually. Take it very easy, and only run in them every second day until you are well used to them.

Sports-iqsilver Eoin O answered Comment

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@andrew I haven't got time at the moment to tell you my thoughts but barefoot running and running in minimalist shoes is different. You will not learn proper barefoot form and biomechanics until you actually run barefoot but you can improve your form and switch slowly to forefoot running in minimalist shoes if your biomechanics were messed up by wearing bulky shoes and shoes with unnecessary support encouraging wrong biomechanics. I will have to sit down and write a lot more although I did write about this a few times on Tribesports. The shoes you got are a very good first step in minimal running and you will notice the excellent ground feel..,.. More later

Nikos G answered Comment

20130914025027-enricm

Indeed. Barefoot can teach you to run minimalsitic (or even with "boots") but the opposite is not necessarily true. Running minimalistic, even with huaraches uses a different technique and form. Fortunately, running barefoot is rather instinctive; It's very difficult to do it wrong. I guess that it is more like when you grab something with your hands; even with an unknown object you will find a way to manage it properly without thinking too much. This has to do with the amount of nervous receptors in the hands. And our feet have the same amount.

Amy P encouraged this.

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Agree with Kaleem K - start slowly,  and make sure you don't overstride.    I've had my Vibram 5 fingers for around 18 months and have run a 1/2 marathon in them without any issue.   Also, when going off road - stay away from thorns - I've had a couple of punctures and it hurts! 

Merric M answered Comment

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Which version of the five fingers do you use for running?  I'm looking at getting a pair but there seems to be a few choices, with laces, velcro just open etc... prefer the simple open ones to the laced up ones but wondered if anyone had any issues with these falling off etc...????

Gill S answered Comment

20130221131930-glenda200876

I like the Bikila's as well. Once you get used to it they are easy to get on and off and no laces or velcro to fiddle with (They have a velcro strap but I never need to touch it). I can't see how any style would fall off if they were sized properly.

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I'd recommend the Bikila's for running. My brother and I have been running in them for 4 months now without any complaints. I tend to take them off for the last 10 minutes of my run in order to go truly barefoot. Slow process but fabulously enjoyable!

Kevin P answered Comment

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  I started running BF by going in my shoes first and then doing the last 20 mins without them. Now I don't use my shoes anymore unless I'm in an area that is really dirty with things that could cut me. 

Something interesting to do to really realize the different BF running does to the posture. Find a long group of windows at street level and then look at yourself running with shoes. Then do the same thing without shoes. I was amazed at how my posture adjusted to something more erect, less falling looking. I ran this morning on the Sebastapol-Santa Rosa trail - a really nice experience. In fact, that is BF running. I've gone from having a chore, running, to having an experience, running barefoot.

Vladimir A answered Comment

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I think I've probably done it the other way round but following an injury went barefoot to get back to basics. Fantastic way to run as completely different focus. Built up carefully doing trail and road. Have worn my Vibrams once to try but even those change the style of running from true barefoot. New to all of this but will not bother with anything on my feet until it gets too cold.

Sports-iqsilver Elaine G answered Comment

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