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Thread: Bare footing/Vibrams transition page

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    Paul's Avatar
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    Anyone out there have trouble adjusting to bare footing/wearing Vibrams?


    I am finally feeling better but was having knee issues. They didn't hurt, but my knees felt kind of numb and brittle (best way to describe it). To be clear, I'm an idiot and started using my Vibrams 24/7 and had an uncontrollable urge to run and jump all over the place, including on pavement.


    I’m curious how long it may have taken others to adjust.


  2. #2
    Grumpycakes's Avatar
    Grumpycakes is offline Senior Member
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    It took a walk around the block for me to get adjusted to Vibrams. Barefooting, on the other hand, is going to take a lot longer. I really have to toughen up my soles, as even sprinting on grass worked up enough friction to tear the skin at the joint of my big toe.

    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    I made the mistake of working a 15 hour shift in the mall with my Vibrams. My symptoms have been exactly the same. knees have not hurt, but the outside of my right knee in particularly feels.... like I cant quite feel it.


    now I wear normal shoes for hard surfaces. I don't think my body is intended to walk on man-made hard surfaces barefoot for any extended period of time.


    as for using the vibrams on the grass/dirt/trees, everything feels fine.


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    I've been wearing my Vibrams while going for primal walks through the river valley here for about a month and my Achilles tendons are pretty sore afterwards. They're getting used to the Vibrams slowly, but still sore. I also wear them while weightlifting and they feel really good while doing squats and deadlifts.


  5. #5
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    Thank you for the responses.


    It is refreshing to hear about others having similar experiences. I get a bit worried because so many people around me say I'm crazy for wearing vibrams -- doubt does start to creep in, sadly.


    mseibel, I too found that Vibrams are great for lifting weights and walking. It seems I have to be patient with the running, especially on pavement.


  6. #6
    Wilchar's Avatar
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    Paul, I went to run in mine this past week for the first time and after 5 minutes on pavement I thought....this isn't what these things were designed to do.....did Grok run on paved paths? So I took a new route which led me through parks and when I came to a sidewalk I ran in the grass alongside. It was a wonderful experience!


    The best part was returning home, looking down and seeing clover flowers caught between my toes *LOL* Darn, I should have taken a picture of that!


    Stick to the grass and "natural" earth paths.....


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    Paul, I am going in to a sports medicine doc on monday morning for my right knee. If I find any useful information or techniques, ill let you know.


  8. #8
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    One thing with lighter footwear is that you do have to be mindful not to smash around. A lot of people come down with a lot of force when walking. It seems to be related to what "normal" shoes are like - since they have got those thick heels (and sometimes thick soles as well) it is possible to almost slam your feet in. Since we're a high-pressured society, people will, even without noticing it, go faster and harder at most things so long as it doesn't actually hurt. In fact, coming down hard when walking probably won't make you faster - it's just wasted effort - but we tend to think it does. The other thing conventional shoes encourage is an unnatural lengthening of the stride: but if you're stepping out too far, there's a tendency for the leg to get pushed back into the hip (actually, probably the lower leg into the knee, too.)


    If you watch primitive people, you notice they tend to be light on their feet:


    http://video.google.it/videoplay?docid=-423741174290993696&ei=IYydSJvJMZOi2ALd7KDBCg


    I'm much lighter on my feet than I used to be, but sometimes I notice myself walking a little hurriedly, stiffly, and heavily - all three are kind of related. It usually happens when I've got a bit lost in a train of thought and am not really "there". Then I'll stop and stand still for a few seconds, if possible. I'll allow all those unnecessary tensions to go, and consciously start again in a more relaxed way.


    You never read of stiff and awkward tribespeople in old ethnographic accounts: you're more likely to find writers marvelling at how lithe and graceful they are. They tend to stay in the present moment much more than we do, too.


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    I must say that I wear my vibrams everywhere, pavement grass, dirt, water and I have never had a problem. Most comfortable things ever, second only to my bare feet!


  10. #10
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    Wyatt: any news from the doc?


    Mick: Agreed. I have watched several clips of tribesman gliding across the landscape. Coincidentally, I just read “Born to Run” which talks a lot about how graceful, light and fast the Tarahumara run (Great book btw, really got me amped up about running again – although the diets he seemingly extols are not my style).


    Rafiki: I hope to get where you are – right now they are the most comfortable shoes I have – but not on pavement (not yet, at least).


    The good news is my knees improved rather quickly. I simply avoided running. The bad news is I did 5x5 of heavy lunges yesterday in my Vibrams – not on a hard surface – and my knees are numb/slightly sore again. Damn! Probably need a bit more rest and an extended "breaking in" time.


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