giving minimal/barefoot a shot

needing advice with shoes

15 messages
19/08/2012 at 16:05

Hi all

Just wondering if anyone could give me some advice or tips for what shoes i should be looking at? im wanting to give minimal/barefoot a go but as i run mainly on roads should i stay clear of VFF and go for something with some cushioning?

I currently run in:

  • Nike LunarGlide 2
  • New Balance 1226

Im 5'10 and weigh roughly 90/95kgs. Im in the military so have quite a stocky build but reckon I should be getting down to 80/85Kgs to be in the right weight bracket for my size and after reading 'born to run' on holiday I want to up my running.

After assesing my running stride i believe i heel strike so when i run now i try to run mid to forefoot. I find that landing on my forefoot in my lunar glides makes my foot role out to the side? Is that correct posture?

It seems to be working ok and relieveing pain i get in my knees whilst running but im having to stretch of my calves alot more now. Ive been running roughly 3 - 6 miles when i go out and have been trying to stay off the treadmill. My running is always split between the treadmill and road as there are no off road trails near by.

Ive had numrous knee problems whilst in the military and suffer with PFS. I have had injuries that have taken nearly a year on each knee to recover from so its a little daunting getting back on the road and running. Military physio wasnt able to specify what injury i had so they just treated me for runners/jumpers knee. I was nearly discharged for these injuries so want to avoid doing my knees in again

I currently wear orthotics in my military boots but dont use them when i run in trainers.

I apologise for the essay but thought it would be best to give you the full picture, any responses, ideas would be appreciated. Thanks

19/08/2012 at 20:33

Which shoes will suit depends on foot shape as well as running style - I go for VivoBarefoot Neos because I have wide feet, particularly at the toes. Other people may prefere New Balance Minimus, or Inov8 baregrip, or VFF or whatever.

Barefoot style isn't just forefoot/midfoot landing. You want short strides (landing with your foot under you, not out in front) and fast cadence (at least 180 strides per minute). Also, don't try to stay up on your toes; it's fine for your heel to touch down, but that should be after your forefoot/midfoot touches, not before.

And yes, you'll want to do a lot of calf stretches. I also massage my calves pretty much every night and every morning (baby oil, as unscented as you can find, works reasonably for that). Takes time to work up to decent mileages.

19/08/2012 at 21:45

thanks for your response debra, ive definitely shortened my strides and im making sure to land my feet under my body rather than our infont.

Watched a video on scott jureks form whilst running so im taking notes on how i should be striding. I tried running 90 - 95 strides a min the other day but realised that had to be per foot instead of total after a couple of minutes so 180 it is

I have quite wide feet at the front so im going to look into the Vivobarefoot Neos so thank you for your suggestions.

how long have you been running minimal/barefoot style?

 

 

20/08/2012 at 08:26

Started in a small way nearly two years ago, then after an injury took me out of running for four months, started again as soon as I was no longer needing orthotics in my shoes, so it's probably taken me the best part of a year to work up to wearing Neos for pretty much all my runs. That's up to 50 miles longest so far trail run in the Neo Trail, and 15 miles or so on road. Still need to practice better form, as mine slips at speed.

20/08/2012 at 09:46

I have wide feet and use the merrell barefoot shoes, as they have a wide toebox.

you would be landing slightly on the outside of your forefoot and rolling slightly inwards (instead of the other way around) before your heel kisses the ground. 

Its better not to have any cushioning as then your foot can feel the ground surface and react properly. I did try a minimalist rather than a barefoot shoe at first and I found for me it did not work as it was neither one thing or another.

its better to start with shorter distances eg half mile, and work up the mileage slowly as it will give your calves a hard time as they wont be used to it! when i bought my barefoot shoes, i went out for a first run, and they felt so good I did 5 miles straight off. Then spent 2 weeks recovering and nursing my calves as i had killed them!

21/08/2012 at 14:01

fingers crossed thats a stage ill be at in the future debra. Ive done 30 miles trail (dartmoor) in boots before in the military, but id like to do something similiar for fun in the near future and not in boots lol

 

thanks for the suggestion Max's mum on the Merrell, ive always like the merrell brand and the wide toe box sounds like it'll be good for me. Looking into the New balance minmus, Vivobarefoot and the Merrells now althought the new balance look quite narrow

''Its better not to have any cushioning as then your foot can feel the ground surface and react properly''

I find that whilst running in my lunar glides im kind of guessing whats going on with my feet due to the cushioning so i think my running form will improve much faster without it as ill know whats going on.

 

Found a foam roller really helped massage my calves after they were hurting. Going to get some baby oil (thanks debra) to help also

21/08/2012 at 15:33

Hi Steve, not really advice as such, but encouragement. I used to suffer with sore knees after running any distance but since I switched to Merrell Trail Gloves and really started paying attention to my stride (shorter and faster as Debra suggests) I get virtually no soreness in my knees at all. Definitely worth trying out. Good luck!

21/08/2012 at 15:51

hi steve, i have been wearing nike lunars for nearly a year and found they were briliant for me as i was starting to suffer ITBS, it stopped almost immediately with the lunars as they were much flatter. ive just done a 50mile trail event in them with no probs and want to drop to merrells too .

mattDA, thats good to hear that both you and Maxsmum have positive feedback on the merrells, ive tried them on several times now and really like the feel of them so will be trying those soon.

21/08/2012 at 15:53
Max's Mum wrote (see)

 

I have wide feet and use the merrell barefoot shoes, as they have a wide toebox.

you would be landing slightly on the outside of your forefoot and rolling slightly inwards (instead of the other way around) before your heel kisses the ground. 

Its better not to have any cushioning as then your foot can feel the ground surface and react properly. I did try a minimalist rather than a barefoot shoe at first and I found for me it did not work as it was neither one thing or another.

its better to start with shorter distances eg half mile, and work up the mileage slowly as it will give your calves a hard time as they wont be used to it! when i bought my barefoot shoes, i went out for a first run, and they felt so good I did 5 miles straight off. Then spent 2 weeks recovering and nursing my calves as i had killed them!

 

thank you Maxsmum!!! i will remember that as its likely to be something id do too!!..10mins at first i think

22/08/2012 at 04:30

ive definitely shortened my strides and im making sure to land my feet under my body rather than our infont.

http://www.liveforexchart.info/g.gif

 

22/08/2012 at 06:53

+1 on the Vivobarefoots - I've got some Neos and Breatho Trails and they do the job perfectly for me. 

I started a couple of months ago, as I was wearing Asics 1160s that were giving me constant knee pain - since shifting to barefoot I've not had a single recurrence.

Luckily for me, my wife started running about the same time, so I've used mine to run with her in her 13 week zero to 10k programme - then starting running a quick half mile afterwards every now and then, switched that up to a mile, and ran a half marathon distance in them the other day. Got a trail half marathon in a couple of weeks, then planning to run the Kielder Marathon in the Breathos at the start of October (my first marathon).

I did have some aching in feet/ankles/calves as I worked through the transition, but nothing major and no injuries, just limbs adapting. Can't imagine I'll ever lace up my 1160s again. I used to run trails in a pair of (relatively minimal) Wave Harrier 2s, which felt pretty thin compared to my 1160s for roads. As the Breathos were wet the other day, I used the Harriers for a run, and suddenly they feel like they're chock full of cushioning.  

22/08/2012 at 16:14

Is the sizing on the Neos what you'd expect?

22/08/2012 at 19:53

New Balance minimus but I only do short runs or dreadmill sessions in them, just to work on technique. All my other runs are off-road and I rotate between salomon speedcross, inov8s, and NB 840s. I like to mix up what shoes I wear so my feet don't get 'used' to certain trainers.

23/08/2012 at 08:35

I'm a size 4 (yes, tiny feet!). I thought that's what I was wearing in the Neos, but I just realised yesterday that my oldest two pairs are both European 38, which explains why they're comfortably loose, while my newer pairs (including some I got recently and haven't worn yet) are 37,  which are more snug. Frustrating because I could swear they were all sold to me (by different outlets) as "size 4". I have done some long runs (up to 20 mile road, 29 mile trail) in the size 37s, including the Neo Trail (I have a pair in each size), but I think any new ones I get in the future I'll go for size 38 to allow for foot expansion in hot weatherand to let me wear twin-skin socks if I want to.

If anyone is looking for size 37 I have a pair brand new and unused at a very good price...

29/08/2012 at 09:20

loulabell


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