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VFFs -- advice on walking technique?

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  • VFFs -- advice on walking technique?

    We may be getting some VFFs this weekend. I've seen the advice and videos on running technique -- don't lead with the heel, try to move silently, build up slowly, etc.

    But I'm wondering about just plain walking. Yeah, I need advice on how to walk! Don't people pretty much always lead with the heel when walking? But that's OK in this case since it's not like high-impact running? Or...

    Without your advice I am sure the mere act of taking a stroll will break my precious porcelain feet, which have been spoiled by years of shoes, into little bitty pieces strewn all along the trails. SO tragic!

    Seriously though, I'm sure we'll very much enjoy this. But I was just wondering if there were Top Secret Tips to keep in mind for us slowpokes.
    "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

  • #2
    Same idea, just slower.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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    • #3
      if you want good practice walking in vffs, just walk barefoot. walk barefoot on a bunch of different surfaces. ideally, you'll land in the mid-foot area, or on the balls of your feet. my wife and i both have vffs and she still lands on her heel...after a walk her feet will hurt and i will be ready for more. it definitely takes a little getting used to (adjusting to walking was harder for me than running) but if you are used to walking barefoot, you should be just fine.


      • #4
        I find changing my walk harder than changing my run as well. You take shorter steps and you're higher up when you're landing on the middle/balls of your feet as apposed the the heels. It makes me wonder if anyone one else can easily tell and how different it looks. I have my shoes off all day at work (unless I have the VFF on)(I just got them so, I've only done that once) and I've found that I can switch between walking styles at will but I'm a bit self conscious of walking on the middle/balls of my feet.


        • #5
          I've always been a barefooter since a kid, and I heel strike while I walk (though I don't while running). I have vibrams now and I still lead with my heel (but I don't get any feet pain from it either). Just walk in them and adjust based on how you feel. Good luck!


          • #6
            shorter steps and it might also help if you let your back foot get further behind you before picking it up - this will help nudge you to a front of the foot strike (or at least it helped me)
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            • #7
              Interesting -- thanks, all. I do notice that I walk differently barefoot outside vs. inside, carpet vs. cement, grass, etc. I'll experiment and we'll see how it goes! Maybe it'll come naturally, we'll see.
              "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."


              • #8
                Let me just add that on trails, my KSO treks are far far more comfortable than my Sprints...and have the added benefit of being leather and therefore having far fewer odor issues.


                iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                • #9
                  heels is fine. walking is much more low impact than running. landing on your forefoot and storing energy of the arch... all that business is using elastic energy during running. one of your feet is always on the ground when you walk, which makes that all somewhat less important. i spent weeks trying to adapt to a forefoot walk... but it felt unnatural, and empirically i deduced that perhaps it IS unnatural.

                  the key is not to over think it. your body will react and change to your conditions if you let it. when you run barefoot (really barefoot) on the concrete, you will land on your forefoot so that it doesn't hurt. walking is the same. walk barefoot along the sidewalk and you'll figure out what works best for you. vffs are great (i have six pairs) but they can muffle the information your body needs to make these calls. so i'd recommend you really barefoot it before you start relying on them too much (empirical again, i ran in them for months before i ever ran barefoot and i wish i'd done it the other way around).

                  have fun!


                  • #10
                    I've been barefoot walking for about a month. In the beginning, it felt weird stepping onto the front of my feet, but now it feels normal. I didn't really try heel striking when I walked, so I can't really comment on whether that will be bad for ya with the VFFs, but I personally like the forefoot walking. Don't see why you shouldn't be able to do it in VFFs while walking.
                    "A man in this world without learning is as a beast of the field."

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                    • #11
                      Heels is not fine, for me. I have to consciously walk more on the balls of my feet while wearing my VFFs, otherwise after a mile or two walk my heels hurt (this from a 30+mile a week runner....when I loved me some chronic cardio). So walk to your mailbox barefoot. Walk around your house barefoot, notice your natural foot strike. Barefoot, I bet it's more on the ball of the foot than you realize. As soon as we put on shoes (even thin-soled VFFs) we change our foot strike.

                      I've noticed when I heel strike on a rock, OWEEE. But if I step on a rock with the ball of my foot it isn't as bad.

                      Again, generalities and everyone is unique
                      Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.


                      • #12
                        Since I got my VFFs, they're the only shoe I've worn, except for flip-flops perhaps once a week. I found that I gravitated toward a mid-foot stride naturally. My advice would be to wear them as much as you possibly can and you'll adjust faster. I got the most soreness in the metatarsal arch - about an inch up from the toes on the top of the foot. This lasted for a week or so but was by no means debilitating.


                        • #13
                          I have to focus on not heel striking when I walk, but its getting more natural. If I engage my entire body and bend my knees a little it feels really good, but I do feel like I look odd walking this way. Usually my heels dont even touch ground. If Im in a hurry, sometimes my stride will reset to heel striking and it doesnt feel good.

                          I find going true barefoot helps and my treks sometimes feel like shoes.


                          • #14
                            I would like to learn to never heel walk too. I need to find out from other people though if they call see a difference in how I'm walking.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Daemonized View Post
                              I need to find out from other people though if they call see a difference in how I'm walking.
                              I crossed paths with a hippy dumpster diver dude a few weeks ago who walked with a very obvious toe strike, he didnt wear VFF's, just barefoot. It was quite obvious to me, but then I tend to notice everyones foot strikes now. It looked like he was walking on tippie-toes.

                              When i was hiking in my VFF's my mom said I walk like a ballerina, graceful and quiet.