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Thread: Barefoot/minimalist running beginner tips page 2

  1. #11
    mmapags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockrunner View Post
    The key thing to follow is to do a very slow build up on the barefoot time...not just running but staying barefoot in everyday life it helps your barefoot running. It took me a couple years to adjust fully to barefoot running and I made all the common mistakes of over doing it etc...I learned the hard way. There are lots of subtle things about going barefoot you have to learn yourself that can't be coached...the big thing is learning body awareness...that takes time no matter how many tips and helpful hints you get from others. Its best to get some basic barefoot running info at first and learn the fine points yourself as you go along.

    As far as surfaces to run stay mostly on pavement in the beginning then after a few weeks start mixing in a bit of grass and trails. Don't worry about gravel in the beginning...mostly just stay away from it ...pointy rocks are the hardest thing to run thru so save that for later when you have some confidence built up.

    I'm really looking forward to switching back to barefoot soon for the warmer months...I've ran barefoot from mid March thru mid November every year since 2005.
    Agree with most everything said here. I use Fila Skeletoes and they have a denser bottom and are a little more forgiving with gravel and other non smooth surfaces. Go slow! A little at a time. Trust me! you are not used to this. It's great when you get there but it takes time and you will know some pain if you try to rush it! And I'm only talking about minimal not barefoot. You'll be glad you did in the long run but go gradual. More gradual than you think is gradual.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynna View Post
    The following companies make minimal or "barefoot" shoes. Merrell, New Balance, Vibram Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot, (Nike Free, but they aren't as minimal as some, but were a good transition shoe for me), Altra. Teva makes some really minimal sandals I think they're called the Zilch and they have some shoes close to minimal. You can also go with the Luna Sandals by Barefoot Ted Luna Sandals - Minimal Running Sandals / Huaraches inspired by the Tarahumara and designed by Barefoot Ted or you can do what Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton recommends and just go barefoot easing into it as your feet toughen - Barefoot Ken Bob's site -Running Barefoot. I attended one of his workshops and he's pretty cool (for a vegan).

    Some people here have bought the Feiyue, kung fu shoes, they're canvass sneakers, but nice and cheap.

    I personally like the Merrells, as I can wear them everyday to work as well as for walking/running.

    Thank you so much for the advice! I was actually looking at Merrells. I wasn't sure what kind to get though. Is there much of a difference between the true glove, run dash, run bare, or run pace? And how true is the sizing usually? I'm not sure if they're offered anywhere around me so I might have to order online.
    Last edited by outdoorgirl; 03-02-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynna View Post
    The following companies make minimal or "barefoot" shoes. Merrell, New Balance, Vibram Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot, (Nike Free, but they aren't as minimal as some, but were a good transition shoe for me), Altra. Teva makes some really minimal sandals I think they're called the Zilch and they have some shoes close to minimal. You can also go with the Luna Sandals by Barefoot Ted Luna Sandals - Minimal Running Sandals / Huaraches inspired by the Tarahumara and designed by Barefoot Ted or you can do what Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton recommends and just go barefoot easing into it as your feet toughen - Barefoot Ken Bob's site -Running Barefoot. I attended one of his workshops and he's pretty cool (for a vegan).

    Some people here have bought the Feiyue, kung fu shoes, they're canvass sneakers, but nice and cheap.

    I personally like the Merrells, as I can wear them everyday to work as well as for walking/running.

    I'm looking to replace my Nike Free shoes, soon, and the Merrells do have that kind of look to them; they're on the pricey side, though.

  4. #14
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    Ah spring is here; I finally get to shed my vibrams and go back to natural.

  5. #15
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    I wonder if anyone can help - I recently injured a calf muscle and it is now pretty much healed and I have the go-ahead to start running again. I have some Vivobarefoots which I was just getting used to before the injury happened. Do you think I should start out in these or stick to conventional trainers until I have built up a bit of strength?

    Any advice gratefully received!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRuth View Post
    I wonder if anyone can help - I recently injured a calf muscle and it is now pretty much healed and I have the go-ahead to start running again. I have some Vivobarefoots which I was just getting used to before the injury happened. Do you think I should start out in these or stick to conventional trainers until I have built up a bit of strength?

    Any advice gratefully received!
    I think it would be okay to use them, but stick to walking for a couple of months, gradually building up your distance.
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  7. #17
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    Thanks Trish. I will give it a go with a gentle walk this morning. Slow and steady winning the race, I suppose.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingjustalittlebit View Post
    I've just moved to a house surrounded by 2500 acres of fields and forest. I've been thinking of barefoot running also but I guess the amount of deer shit and branches etc would make it a bad idea to go barefoot?
    Our feet are specially designed to handle deer shit and branches.

  9. #19
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    I wore my vibrams out really quickly in a year's time. Since they have gained numerous holes I have gone on 5 mile hikes down the sides of highways, through woods, and even parkouring barefooted. You'll adapt fairly quickly for normal movement kind of things but dont push your body. When your feet tell you to stop, and they will, just stop. Good luck

  10. #20
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    It would be nice if there were a simple "Do this... then do that" set of instructions for transitioning to barefoot, but there's not. And the reason is simple: individual differences.

    I've now worked with thousands of people making the switch to barefoot (or to Invisible Shoes), and for every person who says "It took me a few months," there's another who said, "I went out barefoot and never looked back."

    FWIW, in my experience, barefoot walking is no preparation for barefoot running. The way you use your muscles, ligaments and tendons when you run is so different that no amount of walking will eliminate the need to, well, start running, and start SLOWLY.

    And even here, "slowly" mean different things to different people. First, it doesn't mean you have to run slowly or, rather, MOVE slowly. You'll want a nice, high cadence (165-180 steps per minute), even if you're not covering a lot of distance. In this case, "slowly" means, "go out for a few hundred yards, STOP, then see how you feel the next day." If you're sore, see if it's "I did too much" soreness, or "I did something wrong" soreness. Either way, wait until you can handle a few hundred yards comfortably... and then add another 100 on your next run. Repeat.

    It's also funny that we say "don't overdo it" when the only way to know what "too much" is, is by doing too much. We've all been there and, hopefully, learned from it. I know that for me, the hardest lesson was learning to actually STOP when my body said I should stop but my brain said, "Ah... just a LITTLE bit more."

    Also, keep in mind that almost all minimalist footwear is different enough from barefoot that it may slow your transition down, because you're not getting enough sensory feedback.

    I know that could sound self-serving, since I sell Invisible Shoes, but if you check the comments on our FB page, for example, you'll see that I'm merely reporting my own experience and that of our customers.

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