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  • Running With Supportive Shoes

    Hi all!

    I read "Born to Run" about 3 years ago, and was pretty convinced. I ended up getting some 5 Fingers, which I wear a couple of times a week, but I don't care to run more than 3 miles in them because my calves get insanely sore. I mainly do CrossFit and sprints in the 5 Fingers.

    Instead, I've just been wearing my old supportive shoes (Adidas Supernova with overpronation support) for 3 years. I run about 20 - 25 miles a week. I've also run a marathon in that time.

    I've noticed in the last few weeks that my knees, hips, and ankles feel kinda creaky and achey when I run. I'm wondering if running on busted up old Supernovas might actually be worse than running on new super padded up Supernovas.

    What do you think? Should I try to transition to running 100% in 5 Fingers?

    Erin

  • #2
    I would go to vffs 100% . I loved wearing mine and used them for everything . Running and cf incl

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    • #3
      It completely depends on your running mechanics and approach to training. Running in padded shoes is likely to lead to injuries, but running the wrong way in minimal shoes will too (and probably faster).

      If you try to go minimal you need to make the transition slowly. I also suggest completely barefoot sprints on grass weekly to improve mechanics and strengthen your feet and legs.

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      • #4
        Slowly transition to your VFF's full time. But before doing so, be sure to get the mechanics of POSE running down pat. It'll be a slow, gradual climb, but your body will thank you.
        Travel, eat well, and learn about life - three things I love to do

        Curious about what YOU should pack next time you're on the road? Check out my Definitive Guide to Backpacking Nutrition

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        • #5
          Definitely transition slowly. I personally don't like the VFF's mainly due to their soles and weight (they were pretty fat until the See Ya's). Any very low weight, low cushioning show with a large toe box + injinji socks will do the same thing. I love VivoBarefoot's Ultras which I did the Columbus Half in and I run ultras in shoes like Mizuno Wave Universe and Saucony ProGrid A5. There are some other ones out there as well.

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          • #6
            You could do a low/mid support shoe like Komondor suggests. I've been enjoying my saucony kinvara. Almost as light a VFF but with slightly more cushioning. Running or walking on grass in VFFs will help with the transition.

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            • #7
              Minimalist running isn't for everyone. If your calfs hurt after longer runs in your vff's then you need more support on those longer runs. if your old adidas are worn out & have lots of miles on them that can be whats bothering you too. vff's are good but don't go crazy & don't rush into them. listen to your body & don't get hurt.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by erinzest View Post
                Hi all!

                I read "Born to Run" about 3 years ago, and was pretty convinced. I ended up getting some 5 Fingers, which I wear a couple of times a week, but I don't care to run more than 3 miles in them because my calves get insanely sore. I mainly do CrossFit and sprints in the 5 Fingers.

                Instead, I've just been wearing my old supportive shoes (Adidas Supernova with overpronation support) for 3 years. I run about 20 - 25 miles a week. I've also run a marathon in that time.

                I've noticed in the last few weeks that my knees, hips, and ankles feel kinda creaky and achey when I run. I'm wondering if running on busted up old Supernovas might actually be worse than running on new super padded up Supernovas.

                What do you think? Should I try to transition to running 100% in 5 Fingers?

                Erin
                I want to reply to this post without even reading any of the responses, because I don't want to be influenced by those responses. This post struck a chord...

                I have had a 20 year experimentation with orthotics and supportive shoes. The results, for me, are conclusive - supporting your feet may feel like relief, but it is an insidious relief that ultimately causes major problems. The creakiness and ache you feel is real. I had the same response to support. I thought, "But the podiatry community says you must support a pronating foot"! And if that support ruins your hips (my left hip always hurt in orthotics), makes your knees ache (mine did) and makes the joint of your big toe hurt worse (yep...happened to me...got swollen like you wouldn't believe), how is that good? Every time my feet got tired and I felt the need for support, I would insert orthotics, and it would feel good...for a while. Then the other symptoms, as you have reported, and as I have delineated, would surface, and I'd go through the whole cycle again.

                I have ditched support, walk barefoot when I can, and cannot believe how much more fluid my joints feel. Pain? None. My vote is go without support. Start slow...work up to it. Don't run long distances until your muscles (especially atrophied foot muscles) get stronger. I'm doing it...it feels right.

                By the way, I run in several shoes...Saucony Progrid Ride 5 (8 degree toe to heel difference), and two versions of Nike Free Run.
                Last edited by Bear; 04-12-2013, 06:24 AM.

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                • #9
                  My opinion is to switch over to a zero drop shoe or barefoot, whichever you prefer. But, as others have said, go slowly and pay attention to your form. I think your previous problem with running in VFFs is that you didn't allow your legs to transition slowly and long enough.

                  I read something in another forum that really rings true: "you can run with good form in any shoes, but you MUST use good form if you're running in minimalist shoes." IMHO, for a lot of people, form may degrade in regular shoes when you get tired. At least in minimalist shoes, you can feel it and attempt to correct it.

                  For the record, I run in Luna Sandals (originals and Leadvilles) and have been using minimalist shoes for three years.
                  My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread82833.html

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                  • #10
                    You probably need new adidas too-even if you are transitioning. When I get 400 miles or so on my shoes my hips start to hurt. Everytime the miles go up my joints hurt-new shoes and I have relief.

                    Just my experience going minimalist-I got a double stress fracture in my heel due to calf issues in 2010. It was hell. I eased into, everything I was told to do. But it didn't work for me. I am a happy camper back in my regular shoes. Just me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by relaygirl View Post
                      Just my experience going minimalist-I got a double stress fracture in my heel due to calf issues in 2010. It was hell. I eased into, everything I was told to do. But it didn't work for me. I am a happy camper back in my regular shoes. Just me.
                      Good point, Relaygirl. Everyone is different. I think the most important thing is good form, no matter what is on your feet.
                      My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread82833.html

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                      • #12
                        Yesterday, I ran 4 miles in my Merrell barefoot shoes. Calves are sore, but not horribly so. It took me over a year to get used to running in them and that was after I started wearing them everyday to work. I had fits and starts with them and running and had to keep going back to my Nike Free shoes. Got a nasty case of bronchitis (or the flu) which knocked me out of exercising for almost 3 months. Finally this spring, after alternating them with the Nikes I've been wearing them every time I go out. I do have to make sure I stretch my calves after a run or walk, and this helps a lot.

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                        • #13
                          I am a shoe fiend! I got VFF's, NB Minimus, Nike Frees etc...

                          Not all Nike Free shoes are the same and I think the newer Nike Free's have less sole but still have enough for support and are a good compromise between conventional runners and zero drop barefoot shoes. I prefer running in them or the NB Minimus runners (4mm drop) over VFF's. Im a big boy (a lean 235lb) and so a little cushion goes a long way, especially with hard surfaces!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by paul119 View Post
                            Slowly transition to your VFF's full time. But before doing so, be sure to get the mechanics of POSE running down pat. It'll be a slow, gradual climb, but your body will thank you.
                            This is quite the way to go^
                            Free your mind, and your Grok will follow!

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