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  • #16
    Keep in mind big soft running shoes encourage a heal strike which really jars the body. When you run barfoot your stride will need to change to a midfoot strike which allows the foot to cushion your foot the way it was meant to. It may take some time for your feet to strengthen but your body will like you in the long run.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    • #17
      Originally posted by The Scott View Post
      I am totally flat footed, how would this help or be good for someone like me? I have to do vast walking several times a year in dress shoes and usually by the end of the trip my shins are shot, and my (general area) of my arch is trashed and I will probably limp for a week. When I was in the Marines I had danner ft lewis boots and I could do 20-30 mile humps with combat load no problem. Same for running in boots, the danner has always treated me right but I have never found a shoe that has given me the same kind of relief.

      I currently run in brooks with a very aggressive arch system

      I started out completely flat footed as well. Before I began running in my Merrell's I spent weeks (maybe a month or more) doing foot exercises while winding down in the evening. While watching TV, reading, etc. I would work my way through foot exercises and actually noticed an increase in my arches after a couple weeks of doing this! Check out Mark's info on exercises and search for them online...They make a huge difference. Then once you've put some time in doing that start out slow with short walks or jogs to get used to them and focus on not heel striking when you jog. Be sure and give it time...You won't feel the worst of the muscle pain while you're doing it, it actually feels pretty good. But if you overdo it you'll have trouble getting around later the same day and the next, I'm speaking from experience...
      Goal: 230 @ 10% BF (preferably less)

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      • #18
        By the time I'd finished my 3rd surgery on my ankle (and they did the knee that time too), I was firmly convinced barefoot was the best option for me. I regularly do yoga and am terribly unhappy in shoes, so it seemed a natural fit.

        My surgeon didn't agree, but my PT did. I rehabbed completely either barefoot (at home) or in nike frees (at PT - "health reasons" required shoes most of the time). I ditched all my regular sneakers, including the running shoes doc said were "better for me" and the stupid orthotics that never worked (because the bone was broken! duh).

        I'm 9 mos out now and only wear frees when I have to (scuzzy gym) and I wear merrell barefoot trail shoes walking 3mi to/from work on city streets. I LOVE them. My feet have never been happier. I also sneak in hours of shoelessness at work.

        But the best part is my new trainer wants me working up to a bit of a light jog. I haven't been able to run at all in over 4 years and my surgeon said I'll never run again and to not even try. So, laced up my frees and gave it a try. My body naturally went to forefoot running. It kept the impact off the bone I'd broken and feels much better on the tendon I tore. My trainer gave me some tips and off I go. This would never work with regular shoes.

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        • #19
          If you run with the proper form, you don't need shock absorbers. However, running with the proper form takes dedication. There ain't no free lunch, but working at this will pay dividends...wearing "stability" and "motion control" shoes will only delay things, in my opinion. The poster who pointed you to Runners World is right...check out their forums, particularly "Barefoot Running" (it's also full of "minimalist shoe" folks, too...).

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          • #20
            I am flat footed also - plus I have had a recent (6 months ago) metatarsal injury - so I am hesitant to run in minimalist shoes. I run with a mid foot strike in regular running shoes and an orthotic. I am afraid of re-injuring my foot with a minimalist shoe. Does anyone have any experience with metatarsal issues and minimalist shoes?

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            • #21
              (I'm working - so to not spend too much time looking at a foreign screen I skipped the comments)

              This is what I told one of my buddies at Muaythai that said "running barefoot will hurt your knees"

              Think of it this way: If I asked you to punch a brick wall bare-fisted, how hard would you hit it? probably not very hard, as you wouldn't want to hurt yourself or your hand. Now, I take you over to another wall that has thick padding and I ask you to punch it again. This time, you feel more confident that you won't hurt yourself, so you wind up and punch it as hard as you can.

              This is what happens when you run in big, bulky, "protective" footwear. You feel a sense of safety and become careless with your form, you land on your heel because most of the padding is there and you land harder, much harder than you would if you were barefoot.

              Your body will instinctively learn to walk/jog/run more effectively and safely, it will know that adjustments need to be made in order to protect itself. The harder the surface, the softer you'll land.

              Go get yourself some water/swim shoes.

              Also, I HIGHLY recommend ZEM GEAR booties. I just got a pair and I'm obsessed. Everything I own as far as footwear is minimalist, and these take the cake. They feel much better than the VFFs I've tried, though in all fairness I do NOT own a pair of VFFs so I'm not sure how they feel after you break them in. Zem gear has a 'round toe' and 'split toe' version. I have the slit toe, love it! Also, half the price of VFFs.
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #22
                RUNNING SHOES?? lol!

                Why are we running in the first place? Chronic cardio is bad for your waistline as it is your knees. Stick to sprints around the back yard or the beach. Anything more than 100yards is a run and we are not designed to run ESPECIALLY not in foot coffins aka shoes.

                I dont even use vibrams as they are a gimmick. The foot needs to be naked to work properly. I love the term 'barefoot shoe' lol!

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                • #23
                  all i know is Nike Shox should be illegal!

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Karen Grok View Post
                    RUNNING SHOES?? lol!

                    Why are we running in the first place? Chronic cardio is bad for your waistline as it is your knees. Stick to sprints around the back yard or the beach. Anything more than 100yards is a run and we are not designed to run ESPECIALLY not in foot coffins aka shoes.

                    I dont even use vibrams as they are a gimmick. The foot needs to be naked to work properly. I love the term 'barefoot shoe' lol!
                    This post sucks.
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Karen Grok View Post
                      RUNNING SHOES?? lol!

                      Why are we running in the first place? Chronic cardio is bad for your waistline as it is your knees. Stick to sprints around the back yard or the beach. Anything more than 100yards is a run and we are not designed to run ESPECIALLY not in foot coffins aka shoes.

                      I dont even use vibrams as they are a gimmick. The foot needs to be naked to work properly. I love the term 'barefoot shoe' lol!
                      it's probably best that you stay in your 100 yards so it gives me more free space to run all over the planet. I don't think human fingers were designed to type or eyes designed to read illuminated computer screens. who cares... have fun!

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                      • #26
                        I like to think of it this way:

                        If you hike and wear big clunky hiking shoes, you miss the connection and feel of the ground. I find I am more likely to hurt myself hiking in the woods with heavy boots on as I can't feel the ground very well. If I step, I don't know if I have good traction, I can't tell if there is anything underfoot very well--I have to rely on my eyes, but when I hike in moccasins, I can feel the ground and can adjust my footing accordingly and I find I don't get injured. Same holds true for running, it's all about the feel for me; however, I hate running on concrete and most of the time I'll find a park with some grass or find a forest. Even running barefoot on concrete is better to me than running with shoes on. Just start running, don't think about it and your body will adjust itself to the new "style" of running.

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                        • #27
                          I have a new favorite:

                          the New Balance 730 (not the old model, the new one)

                          It has a minimal heel-toe drop (4mm) that I don't notice. It is very lightweight (7oz for size 9). There is just enough "cushion" without feeling like you are running on pillows. Very firm, actually. It certainly promotes a mid foot strike (I previously ran with an ugly heel strike).

                          No, I don't work for New Balance. I was waiting for the MR00, but the 730 fits my needs and is much cheaper ($69 at my local athletic store).

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                            This post sucks.
                            +1

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                            • #29
                              I think it's interesting to hear so many people say grass is a more 'natural' surface for running than cement or asphalt... I find I've twisted my ankle more running barefoot on a ridiculously cushy mushy grass soccer field than running on a sidewalk. Plus you are more likely to step on a rock or twig or one of the legions of glass shards and hypodermic needles that are EVERYWHERE according to the anti-barefooters of the world. Anyway - Lush lawns and soccer fields are NOT natural - go up in the mountains or out in a plain somewhere and you'll see what I mean!

                              I love running barefoot, but I'm lazy and like to zone out, so I usually wear minimal shoes, and have for years. In fact my 'transition' shoe like Lynna mentioned was a pair of shiny silver custom made Nike Free's I got at an outlet store 7 years ago... guess whoever ordered 'em didn't like them. But because of those shoes (which I still have and are probably my favorite shoes ever - although not necessarily my favorite for running) I gently transitioned to proper form such that when I got a pair of Brooks I couldn't run without almost crippling pain in my knee because of the difference. Switched to some Merrel's and the pain went away. Switched recently to some New Balance Minimus' and so far they work great.

                              I really like what Christopher McDougall has on his website: "Ultimately, the debate isn’t about Bare Soles vs. Shoes. It’s about learning to run gently. Master that, and you can wear — or not wear — anything you please." (However it definitely seems easier and less painful to wear the more minimal options with the correct form!)
                              Last edited by WarlordBlade; 02-19-2012, 06:29 PM. Reason: clarified
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                              • #30
                                If you wear "fat"running shoes and land on your heels then transitioning to barefoot is going to require some commitment like going Primal. Minimal shoes are only an aid. Good technique has to be learned, then your lower legs and feet need time to adjust.

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