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  • Going barefoot!



    Hi all!

    I didn't figure out how to search on this forum so I'm excusing for asking already answered questions.


    I recently got interrested in barefoot running. Since I don't do any workout / fitness at all I probably could need some hints on where to start...


    I walk regularly (couple of hours weekly). Problem is that I've used soft reebooks (walking model) and my feet a probably quite untrained.. This week I've started out walking in my old converse shoes. Since these are notoriuous "bad" flat shoes I guessed it could be a start. I've also gotten a pair of swimming shoes mentioned here. Now my feet are hurting a bit (not too bad, mostly a "tired" sensation in the arches) and I'm afraid of getting any common feet problems..

    Also, I tried out some slow and careful jogging the other day (1min jogg / 1minute walk for a half mile).


    Appreciate any tips/tricks !


  • #2
    1



    well you got it right... you gotta walk before you run.


    I say get a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. Go to the track and walk a couple rounds on it. Do that for a week. If you can't find a track go walk around on some grass for some padding. When you feel more comfortable progress to speed walking/ light jog.


    At first do not jog for more than a lap on the track. You really have to give your body time to recondition your feet and ankles. The foot is also a muscle and it takes time to heal.


    I have humongous ego issues so I thought I could run in them right off the bat. A week off of workouts and constant icing taught me a good lesson.


    Just take it slow... luckily the human body adapts very quickly. You can reprogram those feet with a little bit of patience.

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    • #3
      1



      Thanks for a fast reply Randy! Good tips!


      I'm definately getting a pair of VFF's asap (or as soon it gets a bit less icy/snowy outside).


      Gonna take it slow with the running and focusing on stenghtening my feet.

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      • #4
        1



        I found it really helpful to wear the fivefingers all the time. Daily use of them helps you start to stretch/strengthen the calf/achilles tendon and all of the little muscles, tendons and liniments in your feet without the sudden stress that using them only for workouts creates. You end up stronger in the end with fewer pains when you actually start to run in them.

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        • #5
          1



          I'm really excited about this! I think I'm gonna get some moccasins or similar to wear at work for now and definately aquire a pair of vibrams when it gets warmer!


          Thanks guido!

          Comment


          • #6
            1



            Do more walking on the swim shoes, remove the insole for a closer to the ground feel and take your socks off, take it slow. I run on those, don't want to shell out the money for Vibrams and also I don't think I could wear them, two of my toes on both feet are kinda fused together halfway (it doesn't look weird, most people don't even notice) but since Vibrams separate the toes I could see that being an issue with me wearing them.


            I've found jogging/sprinting in a more barefoot way gives you AWESOME calf muscles, soreness is very common at first but after a while they'll start looking real nice. My Muaythai buddies were interested in my "secret" since a lot of the kicking and kneeing techniques require you to get up on your toes and flex your calves.


            I saw a guy at my college wearing all black Vibrams with jeans on, it looked rad! I bet not many noticed either ...

            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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            • #7
              1



              Another shoe that is great for wearing in casual settings and helping you adjust to barefoot is Vivo Barefoot from Terra Plana. I have the Dharma in both black and brown and they are pretty much the only shoe I wear to work now. They are expensive but well worth the money.


              http://www.terraplana.com/vivobarefoot.php

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              • #8
                1



                I do have to say its addicting though. I use my Vibrams for all of my CrossFit workouts.


                I'm excited for you..

                Cheers!

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                • #9
                  1



                  Anyone else recommend the Vivo's? (Not that I mistrust your endorsement, ToddF, but I'd like to hear more input).


                  Vibram has been out of my size (I wear a 9 in US men's, 38 by their standards) for over 6 months now, in every shoe that I have tried to find. Even wanted to do a high women's fit, and nothing. Alas, its impossible for me to get Vibram's atm


                  So looking like Vivo's, but damn they are expensive... look nice though!

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                  • #10
                    1



                    It looks like the Vivos are great for making me feel better about the price of fivefingers Treks ;-)

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                    • #11
                      1



                      I've torn out the inside sole on the swimming shoes. Today I'm going for a little stroll down town to try 'em out


                      A question on regular walking.. When I walk in the swimming shoes I notice that I slightly hammer down my feet.. How do I best position my feet when I walk? Is it ok for some pronation (rolling slightly outwards midfoot -> in) ?

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                      • #12
                        1



                        For me, I find that if I don't really focus on walking what I feel is a slight impact on the heel. But if I really tune in to my feet, what is really happening is that I am landing on the ball/midfoot and that soaks up 99% of the real impact shock and only the last tiny touch of the heel bone touching down on the heel pad registers as impact. You get used to this pretty fast, try softer surfaces until you do. I would not sweat pronation (which is pretty much of an artifact of wearing shoes that prevent the natural function of the foot). Focus on feeling full even contact with the ball of the foot and the base of all of your toes. In a short while that even distribution will become your normal stride and your foot will naturally support you properly. After walking remember to stretch your achilles tendon and do lots of full range of motion rolling of the ankle.


                        good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          In the martial art I used to study, proper walking was burned into our very being.


                          If you think of placing your foot in front of you, then "pulling" your body forward over the foot with each step, it reduces the impact to almost zero.

                          In this way, you maintain your balance, and can take the weight back OFF the foot if something unexpected happens (like coming down on a nail). He also emphasised always keeping your knee and foot pointed in the same direction.


                          It's simple...but not easy. It took awhile to learn; but it's still paying dividends for me with my torn-up meniscus. My sensei is in his 80's now, and he still takes his dogs out walking several miles per day. Nobody can keep up with him :-)

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                          • #14
                            1



                            More answers, nice!!


                            I've been out today shopping, wearing the swim shoes. I had my iphone gps on and it measured about 2miles. I feel a little sore in my heels so I guess I have to pay more attention..Maybe the cold numbs the feet a bit too (not to the point of acheing freeze but cold).. I also think I'm getting blisters on the balls of my feet so I'm probably doing _something_ right


                            Is there any exercises one can use for strengthening the feet? (except being out walking). I read somewhere about doing jumps on the top of my feet but also squats (squatting with the whole foot touching the ground)


                            Thanks fo the support, you guys rock!

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                            • #15
                              1



                              primalmart,


                              Another really good exercise is to pick up a small object on the floor with your toes (plus, it's fun!)

                              I like to pick something up with one foot, then try to drop it into my opposite hand.


                              The gripping motion your toes perform with this exercise really strengthens and stabilizes your whole foot.

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