Barefoot running and Nike Free's *and shin splints*

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 01, 2010 11:31 PM GMT
    Hey,

    I was wondering how many people out there are into 'barefoot running'. I've heard a lot about it recently and that it's supposedly so much better for your joints and feet and also changes the way your feet land when they strike the ground (balls of feet first rather than heel) which, I've read, is better for your entire body. I'm intrigued by it.

    Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a practical way to do this besides the beach. Can't do it at the gym on a treadmill, and outside I could cut my feet on a rock/shards of glass, etc. Has anyone who runs barefoot found a way around this?

    It seems the next best thing is lightweight/very thin-soled sneakers. The Nike Free sneaker seems to fit that category as the whole front of it bends with the ball of your feet. Anybody wear them?

    Dan

    *I probably should also clarify that I have a tendency to get shin splints and am wondering if barefoot running has helped anyone else with shin splints?*
  • PipHop

    Posts: 439

    Feb 02, 2010 2:18 AM GMT
    I just saw a guy in my gym with the Vibram Five Finger contoured shoes that are shaped like feet. He said that wearing them makes him walk and run on the balls of his feet and has improved his leg strength and balance. As for running barefoot, I'm not sure where it would be safe to run (depending on your locale) other than a beach. Try the barefoot running website http://runningbarefoot.org/?page_id=525 for some extra info on the subject. Best of luck to you and update us on your progress with it.icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 2:44 AM GMT
    I have yet to wear my Vibram five finger for run. I am still nursing tendinitis on right ankle icon_sad.gif Love to try running in them. Comfy just wearing around the gym for crossfit workouts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    I was dying to get into running again after having stress fractures on both shins, so I tried barefoot running on the beach... Trouble is, the beach was slightly sloped, so I threw my hips and lower back out of alignment and needed a couple months of chiropractic!

    Make sure your beach is flat. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 3:19 AM GMT
    As a runner, I wouldn't trust vibram. Go to a running store, get your stride analyzed, buy the right shoe.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 02, 2010 3:49 AM GMT
    vibram-five-fingers-kso.jpg

    I'm wearing mine right now!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 3:58 AM GMT
    Yes, barefoot running is much better for your shins. When I used to do track, we always would run on the grass every chance we could. (and being from California helped this) I still run on barefoot on grass when I go back home.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 4:05 AM GMT
    I have a pair of Vibram's Five Fingers, and used to get shin splints all the time. Now I'm a happy runner, and I have insane calves. They're easily worth it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 5:51 AM GMT
    I have been running since I started Jr high track in 1963 which was 47 yrs ago. time flies when you are having fun. During my 20's and 30's I ran 7 to 10 miles a day. As a result I have had all the injuries you can get running and have had some major time off because of it.

    I run about 10 to 15 miles a week now but cross train with biking and swimming.

    I kind of agree with Pinny look at the way you run and fit the shoe to it. I like lighter shoes and have had the best luck with them.

    Like rowbuddy I got planters fasciitis twice in my life and as I was recovering I broke a toe. Went to a ortho-doc that specialized in feet and was a marathon runner herself.

    I know wear drugstore feet inserts in ALL MY SHOES all the time. I have for the last 5 yrs. Not a problem in my legs or feet. You can spend hundreds of Dollars on each set of inserts or $8 to 10 on each set that works equally well as determined in the research she showed me.

    I have 8 pair of running shoes of different weight depending on running surface but all of them and street shoes have inserts.

    I wish I had used the inserts twenty years ago!

    Doesn't hurt to experiment!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 6:22 AM GMT
    Pinny saidAs a runner, I wouldn't trust vibram. Go to a running store, get your stride analyzed, buy the right shoe.


    Ditto.

    I owned some Nike Free shoes when they first came out around 10 years ago. They were...ok then. Now, they suck. I gave the spaceship looking ones a try after finding them on clearance...which should have told me something. They were awful. I took them back.

    I used to run barefoot on the farm. I've never tried it in the city. Seems rather unwise. I will run barefoot at the beach though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 8:35 AM GMT
    dcblue saidUnfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a practical way to do this besides the beach. Can't do it at the gym on a treadmill, and outside I could cut my feet on a rock/shards of glass, etc. Has anyone who runs barefoot found a way around this?

    You're moving to San Diego, right? So go run barefoot on the beach! I've been doing so for twelve years now, year round. Barefoot beach running is incredibly motivating, especially on a warm sunny day, but just as fun (or should I say a different kind of fun) in winter when you're dodging the cobble that's been washed onto the sand. With barefoot running on sand I no longer experience the knee pain I used to get with crappy shoes. And as abelian0 mentions, insane calves.

    See also this thread and this thread.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 8:43 AM GMT
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127134241.htm?
    Barefoot Running: How Humans Ran Comfortably and Safely Before the Invention of Shoes
    ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2010) — New research is casting doubt on the old adage, "All you need to run is a pair of shoes."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 3:50 PM GMT
    Interesting... but all I can think is that you can still stub the hell outta your toes in those things. That may not hurt like shin splints, but still... not a lot of fun.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 7:56 PM GMT
    Running barefoot seems unwise, unless you're on a treadmill or padded track or some other surface where you know there is no debris. Stepping on glass or metal objects is no fun.

    If you have shin splints or other running related ailments, work on your running form. You can teach yourself to run on the balls of your feet, it takes time. Look up "pose running" on Google and youtube. Lots of information and tutorials for you to look at.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 11:36 PM GMT
    Wow guys, thanks for all the advice. I certainly have a lot to think about and I'm glad I asked the question here before I spent money on anything. I love running and everything I've read about barefoot running makes sense. Still, I will take all into consideration.

    Thank you for all of the links and photo examples. I'll report back with my progress and what I find out through trial and error.

    -Dan
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 02, 2010 11:48 PM GMT
    i actually have a tendency to strike with my toes anyway. i think it's true that striking with your heels can put a ton of stress on your shins, because when i had shin pain in xc in high school i always found that landing on the balls of my feet felt way better than landing on my heels. that being said, i'm still skeptical of the 5 fingers, but mostly because i'm into long-distance running and go on runs longer than 8 miles. i think i'd like to get a little more cushion for those runs than what the 5 fingers look like they offer.
  • PipHop

    Posts: 439

    Feb 02, 2010 11:52 PM GMT
    heckyeah09 saidi actually have a tendency to strike with my toes anyway. i think it's true that striking with your heels can put a ton of stress on your shins, because when i had shin pain in xc in high school i always found that landing on the balls of my feet felt way better than landing on my heels. that being said, i'm still skeptical of the 5 fingers, but mostly because i'm into long-distance running and go on runs longer than 8 miles. i think i'd like to get a little more cushion for those runs than what the 5 fingers look like they offer.


    Hey I'll ask the guy at the gym if he runs a lot in them and if he only runs on a treadmill or out in the world as well. I'm really interested in them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 03, 2010 12:11 AM GMT
    PipHop said
    heckyeah09 saidi actually have a tendency to strike with my toes anyway. i think it's true that striking with your heels can put a ton of stress on your shins, because when i had shin pain in xc in high school i always found that landing on the balls of my feet felt way better than landing on my heels. that being said, i'm still skeptical of the 5 fingers, but mostly because i'm into long-distance running and go on runs longer than 8 miles. i think i'd like to get a little more cushion for those runs than what the 5 fingers look like they offer.


    Hey I'll ask the guy at the gym if he runs a lot in them and if he only runs on a treadmill or out in the world as well. I'm really interested in them.


    that'd be good. i'd like to see what kind of distance people can get in them at one time. all i know is i haven't seen anybody out running in the streets of boston in them yet. although it's still pretty @#$%ing cold out.
  • soccerstriker

    Posts: 46

    Feb 03, 2010 12:31 AM GMT
    dcblue said

    Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a practical way to do this besides the beach. Can't do it at the gym on a treadmill, and outside I could cut my feet on a rock/shards of glass, etc. Has anyone who runs barefoot found a way around this?


    I have yet to give barefoot running a go but I would check out your local school track (highschool or college). They are usually well maintained and free of debris you would normally find on roads or sidewalks (glass, sharp rocks, etc.). And if the track is cutting up your feet, try to run on the inside grass.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Feb 03, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    Here's a kid that has some opinions (cute alert!):
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2010 12:17 AM GMT
    This is an awesome video. He really seems to know his stuff and the video foot landing examples are really insightful. Vibrams definitely seem to be the way to go, though he mentions that you need to work your way up to them and mainly use them on trails (use flats for roads).

    This may be a stupid question, but I wonder if it's the "paved asphalt" of the road which makes it not as conducive to vibram use? I say this because all of the "trails" near me are also paved asphalt. Maybe packed dirt/grass are the only surfaces he recommends using the vibrams on.

    Some roads are concrete and concrete is much harder than asphalt and not recommended for running. I'll have to ask him about specific running surface recommendations for the vibrams via this video on youtube.

    I really appreciate you sharing this video, thanks!

    Dan
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
    i never risk running bare, i always run protected icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    great thread I am also interested in the Vibram five fingers.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2010 9:53 PM GMT
    I would have to let you know that I absolutely would recommend Vibram Five Fingers! I own 4 pair, of which two are on my prifile, and have a hard time wearing any other for of device on my feet! Ha

    I run on the road.. I run on trails, play grass volleyball in them, and wear them at any given point in time.. as long as it's warm enough!

    I stand behind the 100% as a very active guy outdoors!

    One great thing about the location I get my vibrams from is that they back them 100% as well.. Your vibrams should be coverd from defects 100% meaning that if there is a stitch that comes out from agressive use... they replace them FREE! I only have to pay the shipping.. yet where can you send shoes back like that..

    Let me know if you have any questions about them!

    BTW.. I no longer have lower back pain since I wear them constantly..! lower back pain is the result of something wrong with your legs being out of line or positioned wrong.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Feb 12, 2010 6:09 PM GMT
    Broke down and picked a pair of KSOs up. Did a short and easy 30min jog this morning. While they are great, I'm not sure I'll be replacing my regular running shoes for road running.
    I did a quick treadmill run the other day as well and they're more suited to a running environment that is more giving like grass.
    It is interesting how many foot muscles come alive adjusting and compensating.