I'm a beginner and I currently run 3 times a week for 5k.
I'd guess I'm an heel stricker (which as I understand is generally considered a bad thing) but I'm not completely concious of how my feet land.
Will I get any benefit from using a barefoot-like shoe like the ones from nike free series?
No, you won't. A shoe is a shoe...
I guess it completely depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to be a forefoot runner then IMO yes, minimal shoes will help as you'll find you natually migrate to your forefoot.
I migrated to minimals in January due to ongoing injuries and discomfort whilst wearing more conventional shoes. I've not had any problems since. In fact I've made more progress in the last 3 months of wearing them than I did the 6 months previous (I'm new to running). Pain and discomfort was limiting me to
It did for me, and since I did no injuries and several HM's run in them (plus a couple of hundred training miles) Nike Free 3.0 v4. Not being able to heel strike due to the fact it hurts in minimal(ish) shoes due to little cusioning helped the transition (took about 2-3 runs) - now I forefoot strike no matter what I wear.
I swited to forefoot 4 years ago, had no intention of it, but it happened naturally when I started HR training, I found I was going so slow the only way I could keep moving "like" I was running was to bounce from toe to toe. I didn't wear special shoes. I just did it and carried on.
I didn't have any of these calf issues that some say they get with changing to forefoot either despite going from heel running to forefoot in one day and doing my usual 5 mile easy. Maybe it's because I was wearing well cushioned ordinary shoes and not minimal ones?
I imagine that was the case - your calf won't have had to stretch as much to put your heel down at the end of your stride - I agree you probably don't need minimal shoes to transition. Unless I use my minimalish ones all the time I do feel a little calf stretch on a long run (like today's half).
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