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Running shoes...barefoot or not

5 watchers
Mar 2016
2:29pm, 30 Mar 2016
1884 posts
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Bear with me as I am total newbie to actual running.

I have horrible feet, truely horrible, genetic bunions and hammer toes and have always experienced some pain after being on them for any length of time. Shoes buying is a stressful experience and most of my shoes are described by my lovely husband as 'old lady shoes'. About 5 years ago I discovered barefoot shoes and they have been a revelation and my pain has significantly decreased.

However I have now started doing a little running (accidentally signed up for a 5km - as you do!) and after 2 runs already have some pain in the ball of my foot. I have just been wearing my normal 'barefoot' vivo's. I coincidently went to the podiatrist today (hammer toe = nails you can't actually cut yourself) he said that he wouldn't recommend anyone ever running in barefoot style shoes. Now as he said no one I take what he says with a pinch of salt as I know there are many people who happily do. However as I have very poor flexibility in my toe joints and none at all in some should I actually be looking around for something different? I do not want to invest lots in Shoes because I am never going to be a 'runner' but I want to do this 5km injury free!

I am not convinced just throwing myself on the mercies of a running shoe shop is the answer..
Mar 2016
2:41pm, 30 Mar 2016
1885 posts
  • 0
Am going to add more question, heel strike or mid foot strike? The woman on the podcast (C25k) says heel strike but this does not seem natural to me.. Why is running complicated??!
Mar 2016
2:45pm, 30 Mar 2016
9400 posts
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I can't add much, just that I had a fairly frank off-the-record conversation with a running shop manager once and his view was that some people are 'natural athletes' and can run in barefoot-style shoes but that for most people they are a bad idea.
Mar 2016
2:48pm, 30 Mar 2016
6893 posts
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I don't know about the shoes as such, but poor flexibility in big toe joints can cause issues elsewhere - so make sure you look after your calfs and hamstrings.

I'd ignore the lady on the podcast, run naturally for you - don't try to change anything
Mar 2016
2:57pm, 30 Mar 2016
11757 posts
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good luck with it, as Rosehip says do what's natural for you in terms of running style. In terms of shoes, do you feel that you need more cushioning than your vivos are giving you or do you think it's purely a flexibilty thing? I'd look at maybe some of the golf ball/tennis ball type exercises along with some general gentle stretching . ..
Mar 2016
3:29pm, 30 Mar 2016
8214 posts
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I wouldn't consciously focus on your foot strike at this stage - the majority of runners heel strike naturally, increasingly received wisdom is that 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' holds true - so unless you are picking up injuries then stick with what comes naturally. On my coaching course we were firmly steered away from encouraging people to change their foot strike, apart from when running up or down hills. That said, if you are already getting some pain, then I would go to a specialist running shop and get your gait checked. You don't have to go for cushioned or corrective shoes, you can stick to more minimalist ones if that feels more natural to you. I don't know where you are based but I've always found Up & Running very good in terms of advice re shoes, if you're lucky enough to have an independent shop then they would be worth a try too.
Mar 2016
5:33pm, 30 Mar 2016
87 posts
  • 0
olde english
Keep away from the extremes and ignore strong opinionated advice, some of the half marathon friendly racing 'flats' are a nice compromise eg adidas adios or puma faas. As AL suggests there's not a strict wrong right way to run though there is an ideal way for u. (caveat overstriding, wobbling round at the top, slouching down on each foot strike is not brilliant and will most likely injure you). Unfortunately learning said right way 4u to run takes time and changes the faster/fitter u get. In summary..find a comfy pair..comfy whilst running means they suit u then go buy them online in the sales :) when they stop being comfy, change them, simple really.
Mar 2016
5:53pm, 30 Mar 2016
1491 posts
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Are your shoes, regardless of style/drop/cushioning too short? Catching toes might import they are not big enough.

You are right to question all advice. I have run in sandals for some time now and would not go back to shoes. BUT, I was chatting to a guy in Hokas ( the other extreme end of the spectrum ) at the start of the Daffodil Dawdle the other weekend and neither of us sought to convert the other :-)

What works for one person will likely not work for another. Look at the start of an ultra and compare the vast array of different types of clothing, kit and footwear. There is no way people are going to repeatedly spend time in things that make them hurt for many hours. Yet each of us has our own very definite preferences. :-)

If you want to run in minimilast shoes, I can tell you that I have managed several thousand miles in Five Fingers and sandals with no injury, including runs of up to 60+ miles in them. Only you can tell what will work for you though.

Try out different things and then listen to your body.
Mar 2016
6:19pm, 30 Mar 2016
5816 posts
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Beware of anyone who sees no contradiction in the phrase "barefoot shoes"
Mar 2016
6:21pm, 30 Mar 2016
32002 posts
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Hills of Death (HOD)
I'm in Olde English Camp I couldn't possibly adjust to vibrants or barefoot. But I've gone from clunky to Nike Lunar racers/tempo and learning to run better I think going to extremes which I tried doesn't work for most.

About This Thread

Maintained by Tomsmum
Bear with me as I am total newbie to actual running.

I have horrible feet, truely horrible, genet...

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