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Old 08-20-2010, 04:36 PM #1
kida2
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Five fingers running?

Hello fitness folks. My old PL started running in some fivefingers shoes and says they are "interesting" and "fun". I'm wondering if any of you guys have a take on them. Do they help with running or are they more of a gimmick.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:53 PM #2
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the argument for them is laid out fairly well in Born to Run. There are a few points. First the foot is an arch, it gets stronger as more weight is out onto it, and is weakened when pressure is exerted from below. so the thinking is that arch support undermines the structure of the foot.
Second, running shoes with a padded heel cause people to strike with their heel, which may cause injuries and that landing more midfoot/forefoot is more natural and lead to less injuries. the book goes a lot more in depth.
and third the padded soles constricts the foots natural movements. A foot naturally pronates, spreads and the toes splay as the foot reachs down to feel, find and grip the surface. a running shoes does not allow this and can cause a person to exert more pressure downwards as the foot tries to find a hard surface through the padded soles.

These are brief summations of the debate. I doubt we will ever know which is better. its very hard for even scientific studies to point out which is better for a variety of reasons. it depends on the individual. but be careful and start out slow with them. its learning to run again and u will be using ur muscles in different, and using tendons and ligaments in different ways and your body will need some time to adjust.

My thinking is we have survived and used to be a running people without all the new running shoes so I believe in them. I encourage people to try to learn a running style where the runner lands midfoot/forfoot and kicks the foot back with smaller quicker strides with a more upright posture
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:22 PM #3
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Thanks for the response. Right now I'm running in some Newton Gravity shoes that encourage running more with the front of your foot but they are wearing out. I think I'll give some fivefingers a try if I can find them in a local store.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:55 PM #4
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if you run with them i highly suggest not to run more than10% of your mileage in them at first. i've talked to people who run 100 mile weeks and they run all 100 miles in them but honestly... if you don't really know what you're doing and not too into running i advise against it. you need a really specific stride to not hurt yourself.

and please for the love of god, don't run on concrete/pavement with them when you're starting.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:01 PM #5
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That's going to be tough... I run three to four days a week and it's all on pavement. I guess I could start using them on the next deployment running on more of a "trail" or on a treadmill.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:12 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p8ntballoc11 View Post
if you run with them i highly suggest not to run more than10% of your mileage in them at first. i've talked to people who run 100 mile weeks and they run all 100 miles in them but honestly... if you don't really know what you're doing and not too into running i advise against it. you need a really specific stride to not hurt yourself.

and please for the love of god, don't run on concrete/pavement with them when you're starting.
sad part is, the specific running you are talking about, should be done regardless of the shoes. Peoples main cause of injury from running is poor running mechanics, the five fingers force you to create and use good strong mechanics, where as padded "running" shoes simply soften the impact of horrific technique
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:25 AM #7
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I have a pair of them. I think they do work. I would give a detailed explanation why, but I'm tired.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:01 PM #8
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I'd appreciate your input when you aren't so tired.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:21 AM #9
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I was a competitive runner in high school for 4 years. For four years I used running shoes. I had a normal arch, but I tended to over-pronate, so I used support shoes. No matter the shoe I had an injury, either shin splints or extreme lower back pain. My heels and arches would hurt pretty bad after a long distance run if I didn't have enough toe room in the shoe. (The only shoe that provided me with the least pain were the Asics Kayano 15s with a green superfoot insert, but at 300$ a pair every 3 months it wasnt cheap.) My back put me close to the edge of tears after finishing a 5k cross country race or even a 800m track race. I always had good running form, I never really heel striked, but I always had constant injuries.

After high school ended, I bought my pair of Vibram Five Fingers (I got a pair of the Bikilas). While I never heel striked (sp?) in support running shoes, I kind of forced myself to run on the balls of my feet. With the bikilas they just naturally made me run on the balls of my feet without forcing myself at all.

Now, remember, this is after I got used to them. If you are a competitive runner I HIGHLY SUGGEST easing yourself into them. Going from running 50+ miles in running shoes to the five fingers instantly with no grace period will give you problems. The first couple of times I ran in mine, after even short runs my feet would ache horribly. You have to give them time. Instead of breaking in the shoes you have to break in your feet. Since I've been broken into my back problems and shin splints have gone away *almost* completely. I say almost because I have some kind of rare spinal defect that always causes me aching; I can't stand, sit, or walk for a long time without feeling it.

In all, I would highly recommend trying them out. When I first heard about them I believed that it was all hype. After trying them out I doubt I will ever go back to conventional running shoes. By the way I hope this made sense and I wasn't just rambling on.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:16 AM #10
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I run in mine 3-5 times a week.

Like stated ease into it, or you will hate yourself. I ran a quarter mile, waited a day, ran a half, waited another couple days did another half and slowly built up that way to as not cause any problems with my feet.


And like the guy above me I will probably never go back to a normal running shoe after these.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:38 AM #11
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Thanks for the info. I don't know if it matters but I have super flat feet. I haven't worn arch supports for 20 some odd years. I'm in the Army so on a normal work week (as in not in the field) I run between 9-12 miles a week (three to four miles a day three days a week)... so not that much when compared to competitive runners. I'm not sure how I would run a half mile at a time in these unless I started on the weekends and after work, both of which are doable. I guess I could always just run in them twice a weed and hate myself for a few weeks while my feet got use to them.

Do you guys have a suggestion on what style would be best for mainly street running? We don't really have a real track around here so I'll be running on either pavement or unimproved/dirt roads.

Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:40 AM #12
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damn if you have flat feet i advise against it. I have very flat feet as well (can't join the army because of it) and that's one of the main reasons i don't wear them. also, the short strides aren't nearly as efficient as long strides (although long stridse are a lot harder on your body).

they say you can wear vibrams with flat feet but it takes a much longer time to transition into them. it's much harder for flat feet people than people with normal arches.

if you have flat feet i wouldn't wear them. way to much effort and pain then what it's worth i think. especially if you're a pavement guy.
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the creatine has entered my veins. i can feel it raging inside of me. i look down and realize my 11 inch biceps have swollen at least half an inch. i become scared of my own strength. mother knocks on the door to tell me good night, but i tell her not to open the door...i dont want her to see me like this. moments later i catch myself looking at myself in the mirror...i can barely recognize myself.

then i remember the internet is down...and im forced to jack off to thoughts of a girl in my class into a sock. i watch the george lopez show then go to sleep"
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:40 AM #13
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You might get stress fractures if you over do it. they are not very much fun at all.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:55 PM #14
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Originally Posted by kida2 View Post
Thanks for the info. I don't know if it matters but I have super flat feet. I haven't worn arch supports for 20 some odd years. I'm in the Army so on a normal work week (as in not in the field) I run between 9-12 miles a week (three to four miles a day three days a week)... so not that much when compared to competitive runners. I'm not sure how I would run a half mile at a time in these unless I started on the weekends and after work, both of which are doable. I guess I could always just run in them twice a weed and hate myself for a few weeks while my feet got use to them.

Do you guys have a suggestion on what style would be best for mainly street running? We don't really have a real track around here so I'll be running on either pavement or unimproved/dirt roads.

Thanks.
I believe Vibrams will help your flat feet. They are meant to making your feet stronger. Though, you will need some extra time to get used to them. Try wearing arch supports for awhile while you get used to them and slowly stop wearing them.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:28 PM #15
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Kida, If you go over to Abrams the outdoor track that goes around the basketball courts is that recycled rubber stuff, you could use that for the break in period.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:58 PM #16
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If you're wary about trying vibrams, try racing flats instead. All the major brands make them, Nikes, NB, Asics. They're also light shoes with little rubber on the bottom, so they also force you to use proper form. But really, if you don't run so much, I don't think it will really matter at all.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:27 PM #17
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If you're wary about trying vibrams, try racing flats instead. All the major brands make them, Nikes, NB, Asics. They're also light shoes with little rubber on the bottom, so they also force you to use proper form. But really, if you don't run so much, I don't think it will really matter at all.
Racing flats ****ed my feet up more than my five fingers. Also, no matter the racing flat, they give HORRIBLE blisters.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:07 PM #18
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Kida, If you go over to Abrams the outdoor track that goes around the basketball courts is that recycled rubber stuff, you could use that for the break in period.
Just go for a nice 5 mile run down battalion to break em in.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:36 PM #19
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I have a pair of the bikila ones. I like them, but they are definitely different. If you don't run barefoot at all you really need to ease into them because they are so different from normal running shoes. I started out with a mile run and slowly added a little distance as my feet/legs got stronger. Once you get used to them though they're great. My wife uses hers for all kinds of things. Aerobics, kayaking, hiking, running, swimming. She loves them.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:51 PM #20
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Just go for a nice 5 mile run down battalion to break em in.
... you don't break the shoes in with Five Fingers, they break you in...
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:03 PM #21
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Matt, VFF are awesome for running. But the only thing is, you gotta take it slow because your feet will get ****ed up. Run on and off in them, walk around in them, work out/do Crossfit in them until your feet are strong enough to hold up to the pressure of your entire body as you run.
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