On my recent trip to the US of A, I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of Vibram Five Finger KSO’s for about USD$85 + shipping. I’d been thinking about buying them for quite some time but getting your hands on a pair in Australia (for a reasonable price!) had proved extremely challenging. Regardless, the Five Fingers served as my impetus to get started with ‘barefoot’ running.
I wanted to briefly share with you my initial experiences of learning to run barefoot. Bear in mind, that I am a relatively heavy-set male (think 100+ kilos) and have never really enjoyed running all that much. website speed test . Part of the reason I wound up loving CrossFit actually!
To summarise my experiences so far:
- Running barefoot is an absolute joy,
- You don’t realise how badly shoes are impeding your natural running style until you actually get them off your feet,
- You recognise that the musculature of your calves and quads are designed to absorb the shock of your landing – NOT your heels, knees and hips,
- You recognise just how underdeveloped this musculature is once you start using it properly,
- Your calves will hurt!
- Start slow and build up your distances gradually,
- Running on grass at a park is such a pleasure – you foot will spread out and act more like a claw, giving you more spring and speed from each landing,
- Your agility improves significantly as you can change directions much more effectively when your toes can grip the turf,
- Running barefoot is therapeutic for any ailments you might have accumulated from running WITH shoes.
I can’t recommend this more highly. You honestly don’t need the fancy Vibram’s to get started. They’re nice, but not essential. Find yourself a nice patch of grass and start to FEEL the ground with your feet. Its truly amazing.
Get your feet out of their leather coffins! They’re capable of so much more if you just let them
I hope your barefoot running experiences are as enjoyable as mine.
***17/10/2010 UPDATE: Check out the below video for some useful tips on common running issues***