What do you think? If you've tried barefoot running or a minimalist running shoe, share your experience and tell us if these barefoot shoes are the next best thing or a flash in the pan.
- I have run in Vibram Five Fingers for a couple of years now and will never be a heal striker again.
- —Guest Phil
Love Nike Free
- My Nike minimalist shoes are amazing. I used to hate running because of the knee and hip pain I had (thanks to the high impact of trying to run long and heel striking). Since I got the Frees 2 years ago, I haven't had any knee or foot pain and actually enjoy running. I've shortened my stride, with a forefoot strike and you can see that has change the wear and tear on my sneakers as well as my body. FYI - I'm a moderate runner and only go out 2-3x a week. My muscles still ache from my runs, but not my joints. I'm a personal trainer and I've recommended the Nike Frees to many happy clients. I haven't tried the 5Fingers, but feel they might be too minimal for me. The Frees give more cushioning than Vibram but a lot more flexibility than conventional running shoes. Also great for gym training. Go for it - and start slowly as others have said.
- —Guest MissFit
Barefoot running shoes
- Tried the barefoot running shoes about a year ago, running interval sprints. The shoes actually improved my times, I could not believe how Good they felt. About 3 months later, I developed heel pain that took over a month to heal. They remain in my closet collecting dust, no problems now with conventional running shoes.
- —Guest Dan
Vivo barefoot Evo not worth the $
- Bought the Evos on sale ($120) instead of full price after running completely barefoot for a few months. The Evo is made of thinly-constructed hexagonal neoprene-like material, with a mesh backing. The hexagonal design broke apart after only a few months and the mesh became torn. Though I still wear them for biking, I do not wear them when I run. I'm concerned they will completely tear apart and become hinderous. I do not recommend them, especially due to the price. I have written the Vivo Barefoot company twice, and they've yet to reply. My recommendation: Vibram!
- —Guest Wib976
- I had been battling with a hamstring injury for almost a year when I got my pair of Fivefingers. I got them for Christmas and since then my Brooks Glycerin 8's are sitting in my closet collecting dust. Once I started wearing these shoes the pain in my knee from injury went away. I have finally been able to start running again and I am going to be able to get back into skiing. I swear by these shoes.
- —Guest Elizabeth F
Ultra Marathon Runner Response
- I mostly run with my Vibram 5 Fingers, and occasionally barefoot to remind myself how to run correctly while running in my Vibrams. I also run in my Nike Plus's on occasion when I've been really putting in high mileage because running long distances barefoot and with Vibrams really can put a workout on your muscles (which build up in time). I've been running barefoot and Vibrams for bout 6 months now. I couldn't put in 50 or 100 mile races if I didn't learn to undo bad running technique (heal striking) without barefoot and Vibrams.
- —Guest John
They work for me.
- I started having knee problems a couple of years ago. I had read about barefoot running and thought maybe that might take some stress off of the knees. I purchased my 5 Fingers in August, but really didn't start running in them until Feb. 1st. You definitely must start slowly and stay that way for awhile. I'm now putting in 15+ miles a week getting ready for an upcoming 10K. So far, so good. No injuries to speak of other than expected muscle soreness (especially the calves). I recommend them and I am feeling more and more strongly than ever that "barefoot" is the way to go.
- —Guest Mike
I don't think so.
- Just another crappy idea from running shoe manufacturers to sell the latest "cool" thing. If you're a relatively small person (man at 130 pounds or under; woman at 110 pounds or under), this MIGHT work for you. However, any improvement you make after a month or two can easily be explained by noting that you're just plain in better shape. This also depends upon your goals. If you want to run a couple of miles you probably can run barefoot, but if you're going to do some serious training for a 10K or a marathon, my guess is that the average 175 pound man or 125 pound woman will get injured. Do we know of any national class or world class runners who train or race barefoot either barefoot or with these new "shoes?" No need to be "cool" or be like a lemming, just go out and train. Distance running is all about patience and consistency. Go slow at first, cut yourself some slack, and have a little fun. Actually, most people can get by for awhile with their tennis shoes.
- —Guest Barry
- Been distance runner for 40+ yrs. Changed to Vibramfivefingers in Aug10, and followed everyones advice to transition slowly.Shoe store said I could try them for two weeks & return if desired, as long as I didn't run outside. Spent 2 weeks on a treadmill learning the new running style. Hard to relearn, but now I wouldn't run w/out them. Similar in price to other high quality running shoes, and wear well outside. Will definitely work the calves as you spend more time on balls of your feet versus heel striker. Snug fit is very important, as well as the socks, esp. if you wore socks in your older running shoe. Tried w/out socks 1st, but after using socks in the Vibram, it feel MUCH MORE comfortable. Do not worry about pebbles, rocks or glass - you won't feel them anymore now than in your older shoes. Vibram sole is as tough as the military boots its typically used on. No hip, ankle or knee problems as initially feared but have also been running for years pain free. Make sure to get right fit
- —Guest Mike
Hurt on first run
- I got a dull pain on the inside of my heel on only one foot during my first try with barefoot shoes. It is still there 2 weeks later even though I stopped running entirely. Now, just walking sets it off. It's not the Achilles nor Plantar Fasciitis... it's just below & behind the medial malleolous. Very strange ... I'd love to use the barefoot shoes, but am now a bit gunshy. My warning (advice) to others? If you switch shoes go VERY slow and stop the second you feel something odd.
- —Guest oh, no
- Vibram Five Fingers simulates walking barefoot, which moves your body in a more natural and healthy way. Vibram FiveFingers stimulate muscles in your feet and lower legs to build strength and improve range of motion.
- —Guest jack
- I have had them for a couple of weeks now. I can't take a step without realizing how different these shoes are. I feel like I do when I walk barefoot. They also fit like a second skin now. There really are muscles that don't get used when wearing shoes. I tried to walk in them in the sand on a beach and my middle toes actually hurt. They just didn't have the strength to grip through the sand and were being forced back - painfully. This wouldn't have happened in shoes since the soles would have made it impossible. I also find my arch support muscles getting stronger and I am doing stretches and exercises to build strength here as well before I begin to run. I did have an opportunity to run across a street in them using a forefoot strike and my wife noted I ran briskly and sprightly. I have to admit the short run felt great and not taxing at all, and I weigh 250 pounds and am basically a couch potato. Take it slow, get fitted in a store, and enjoy walking almost barefoot.
- —Guest John T
Changed my life
- Due to a complete ACL tear 20 years ago (never had it repaired) I was unable to run any distance without my knee swelling and hurting for days. Three months ago I began running barefoot and with 5 finger shoes and now I have almost no pain. As my body changes I am still going slow, only about 2 miles at a time. So far the results are awesome! It seems obvious that our bodies were made to run without shoes! The 5 fingers are the next best thing. I say go slow, listen to your feet and give it a try.
- —Guest Matt
So far so good
- I've been trying these for the past few weeks. I've always suffered from crazy shin pain, and so far, I am pain free. It feels weird to run barefoot, but after a couple minutes, it feels perfectly natural. I feel lighter on my feet, and have noticed a drastic improvement in my running times. Essentially, these force you to run properly. I used to start heel running when I fatigued, but to do that now, I receive immediate feedback not too, haha. So, while people stare while I run, I honestly don't think I could ever go back to shoes. Warning though, take it easy the first couple times. I couldn't walk for a week the first time I went out. Since then though, my calves have strengthened, as have my arches.
- —Guest CanadaFan
- I've been an on-and-off runner for years, always getting injured (knee and shin pain) within a month or two. I've been happily running in Vibrams for 4 months now, and haven't had any pain aside from the break-in blisters. Not only that, but after a few weeks, my stride became a lot "easier" and longer. Running is something I look forward to now!
- —Guest Lori