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Barefoot running

(15 Posts)
Goldberry Thu 28-Apr-11 18:43:48

I know there have been a few threads about this in the past, but wondered what the general consensus was amongst any of you who have tried barefoot running. I've just read 'Born to Run' and was totally inspired. The thing is, the only people I know who do barefoot running are thin as whippets, and I really wonder whether it is advisable for someone who is exerting a little more - ahem - weight on their feet! Maybe I should just go for some lighter weight shoes instead of going the whole hog. They all look so pricey though. Any recommendations?

Sleepwhenidie Thu 28-Apr-11 20:35:38

There is a poster called fishie on the addicted to running thread, I think has just switched to barefoot running and seems pleased, take a look and maybe get in touch....

Goldberry Fri 29-Apr-11 09:38:09

Thanks! I'm on that thread, but haven't looked in for a while. Will check it out.

Lcy Tue 03-May-11 09:05:31

I wear barefoot trainers to run. They basically just protect your foot from the road but have no cushioning. They help you run in a more natural position (toe to heel instead of heel toe) so are meant to help prevent injuries.

I decided to try them because I had loads of foot pain, shin splints and sore knees and kept having to stop running while things fixed. I was a bit dubious because I have high arches but I have been using them for three months and have run every other day with no injuries! My feet feel much stronger and running feels easier (more smooth?) and I have been able to increase my distance and speed.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 03-May-11 12:37:31

what are barefoot trainers?

I think the evidence for the benefits of barefoot are pretty compelling and I fancy giving it a try

Does anyone know if I can keep doing normal running and build up barefoot in between - or will that confuse my body / hurt me? .

fishie Tue 03-May-11 12:50:41

it's me I'm here! i am not a whippet i am 67kg and I stomp. I've got these have been out in them 5 times so far no problem except I laced them badly and got a little bruise on top of foot which is annoying. There is so much room for my very long toes! And excellent side effect, nail polish is not rubbing off end of toes.

Previously I was in men's trail shoes size 8, now these mens size 9. My feet aren't all that big, just flipperish. I've got high arches too and a wide forefoot, so I was already running toe to heel naturally.

I read some running blogs and looked at some reviews before buying and it seems that those of us who naturally run like this don't experience much of a transition, whereas others who run onto the heel first have a bit more work to do.

fishie Tue 03-May-11 12:55:32

Are you in London? Terra Plana in covent garden sell them and are having 20% off on Thursday evening, there is a Seven Dials shopping event (i work locally). Would be £68 if you got the mens, the ladies ones are £99 full price. narrower so I didn't try.

DH says they look like golf shoes but it is such an improvement over the lime green monstrosities.

Lcy Tue 03-May-11 17:38:49

I have the same pair as fishie and think they are fab. Ran off road in the mountains near my house in them a couple of days a go and it felt amazing.

pawsnclaws Tue 03-May-11 18:37:32

fishie your feet sounds like mine - I have some problems fitting my toes in due to an old (not well healed) broken toe on one side, so my second toe on one foot is longer than the other and I always get blisters under the nail - meaning the nail drops off every few months.

I'm fascinated by barefoot running, at the moment I try to run on grass or offroad as that's meant to help strengthen the ankles and feet and negate the impact of over-cushioning. Born to Run is a fabulous book.

I'd love to know the answer to ItsAll's question about whether you can use both types of footwear during the transition?

Goldberry Wed 04-May-11 09:55:21

Ooh - more replies! Thanks folks. Since I first posted, I have been for a very brief run around the park completely barefoot, and have been trying to run 'barefoot style' as described in 'Born to Run' and on the various websites I've checked out - i.e. with a forefoot/midfoot strike, concentrating on lifting my feet early and kicking them out a bit more behind me, try9ng to keep my body more upright. It actually feels much better, and I've had no foot pain since, and far fewer aches and pains in general after my runs - so I figure I must be doing something right. The silly thing is, I used to run with a midfoot strike, before my husband told me I should be running with a heel strike!
What I'm now wondering is whether it would be beneficial to go for some of these lighter shoes, or whether I'm fine just running in this style but with my normal shoes. Or indeed whether I'm really up for going completely barefoot most of the time.
Thanks for the suggestions, fishie. I'm near Oxford, but there are a few places which have a pretty good range of shoes. Do you run completely barefoot sometimes too, or just in the barefoot shoes?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 04-May-11 12:46:38

I tried running barefoot style last night ie on my toes - felt fantastic, far less impact, my calves are pretty knackered this morning though.

Am going to definitely give it a bash nd try running barefoot, as well as digging out my vibram five fingers...

fishie Wed 04-May-11 15:36:03

ooh no i always have shoes on. there is a lot of gravel where I run. and brambles. Never had so much room for toes though, such a relief, my feet were going numb after 8k or so.

i don't see why one couldn't wear both shoes so long as not running different styles. I am feeling it slightly in my calves today, although i've put in a lot of miles over the past few weeks with all these hols so it might be that.

thecoo Wed 04-May-11 16:44:15

I have the barefoot Lucy terra plana's, but haven't used them for a while as I was training for a race (and am now injured). I also got inspired after reading Born to Run and looked into it more.

My knees felt a lot better when I used them! My calves got very stiff though as I think I am a heel striker, so wasn't used to running this way and the first time I could only do about half a mile. I gradually built up to about 3 miles, just using them once a week for my short easy runs.

This site is useful.

All I would say is that you need to ease into it very gradually unless you already run with a barefoot style.

Lcy Fri 06-May-11 08:48:27

I started using the barefoot trainers at the begining of a couch to 5k training plan and built up very slowly as I was recovering from a c section with DS. I was a heel striker before but I think that was because of the shoes I was wearing. I changed to a toe striker almost immediately with the bare foot trainers.

I would never go back to my old trainers now as I used to get so much pain (inc foot cramp) even though they were measured properly by a good trainer shop.

There is a serious dog poo problem round here so i would never run bare foot - ick!

bigbuttons Fri 27-May-11 17:27:06

I am a barefoot runner. I can't run in normal shoes.

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