New Running Shoes

Hi Folks,

I’ve been doing a lot of research and considering that I am and have always been a toe-runner, I am thinking of investing in a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers “Bikila” running shoes.  These are similar to but a little more substantial than the other ones being put out by the new barefoot running craze.  I’ve always believed that barefoot running could be a really good way to strengthen my apparently very weak ankles/achilles/heels and so I am using this experience as my impetus to stop talking about barefoot and actually do it!

No idea when this might happen because I’m only 12 weeks post-op but things seem to be going really well … I have only a mild limp and can already balance barefoot on the “bad” foot for 20-30 secs. so I am having this “pipe dream” of perhaps being able to start running again around July 4 (which is my 40th birthday!).

I was wondering what all the ATR blog experts think about the new barefoot running craze and if it might be a good tool for strengthening ATR’s?

Happy healing!


4 Responses to “New Running Shoes”

  1. MaryMargaret: I can’t believe I just finally figured out how to post again. Sorry it took me so long but I wanted to comment on the Fivefingers. I have a pair of the KSO Fivefingers and I spend every waking moment in them. They are the only shoes I can wear all day and not hurt at night. I have nice expensive Nike and Asics running shoes and my best results have come from my Fivefingers. I have not been able to get a hold of the Bikilas yet but I do have my name on a few wait lists. Yesterday I did 8 miles in my KSOs.
    I am 15 months post-op from my last of three surgeries. I had a complete rupture surgery on my right and then had to have Achilles reconstructions done on both. For the most part, I am pain free in both legs. Occasionally I get zapped if my legs are cold and I am walking down stairs but I am very happy with my results.
    I love wearing my Fivefingers (getting stopped by everyone to answer questions sometimes gets annoying) and I strongly recommend them. I do suggest that you ease in to wearing them VERY slowly. They do work your calves. I absolutely detest regular shoes now. I hope they work for you as well.

  2. Hi, Great tips! I’ve been reading your other posts on the ATR site regarding the Fivefingers. I am definitely interested because I have always preferred minimalist shoes. I am so glad this is now finally “cool” :-) Will definitely keep you posted on my progress…it will probably be close to the end of summer before I get up the nerve to start running but I’ll probably get a pair toward mid-summer and start walk-jogging to work into it. Thanks again! MM

  3. I’ve just looked into these, in response to the raves here and on some other forums I frequent, too. My toes have always been squished together by shoes, to the point where my little toes are totally “buried” into the next toe, and I’ve developed a bump (”bunionette”) on the outside of my foot (at the base joint of the little toe). It’s a challenge for my ski-boot fitter, and if it gets banged too hard by the ski boot, it gets inflamed = BIGGER, so it gets banged harder, and into a nasty spiral.

    So the idea of wearing “shoes” that keep my toes spread apart sounds helpful, whether or not it helps my involved calf muscle regain strength. (I just got a flash of a weird image — five-finger ski boots!!)

    I haven’t made the plunge to order or try a pair of Vibram 5-fingers yet, but I’ve been playing with a funny little quick-and-cheap work-around. Several companies are marketing different designs of toe separators. Some are marketed to help women polish their toes, and others are marketed for comfort or relaxation as well. A big bulky gel one that’s “closed” (like a ladder with rungs across the top and bottom) is now making the rounds of some flea markets and “as seen on TV” stores.

    I bought a pair of the big closed gel ones, but I found them too big and clunky. Also suitable for sitting or lying down but definitely NOT walking (much less running or rock climbing!). Then in a local (Toronto) dollar store, in the cosmetics gizmos section (near the nail clippers and emory boards), I found a pair of open-top gel toe separators marketed for the nail-polishing crowd. They’re about the same shape as the more traditional foam kind — see e.g.,×150.gif — but nicely molded of cool squishy gel. And still 2 for a Canadian dollar!

    I tried a pair, and I’ve really been enjoying padding around the house, and sleeping, barefoot with these things softly holding my toes apart, and straighter. I’m spending much less time at home in the Crocs as a result, and I imagine that my feet are enjoying it. Whether it’s doing anything for my calves is hard to tell, but I am (coincidentally?) slowly crossing some elusive calf-strength thresholds, too, after a month or two of impatiently waiting. (E.g., I can just barely get my involved heel off the floor 1-legged now, I think, even with a straight knee. But just barely, and I’m not going to push it hard.)

    My sister has fallen in love with the Sketchers Shape-Ups shoes, no ATR there. Some of the reviews and ads use similar language to the 5-fingers language — based on research on barefoot cultures, etc. They’re still pretty hard to find for men — and I don’t think I’m going to find a little work-around for $1, either!!

  4. Nice publish. I just needed to stage out that this is among the ideal deals to the net. Very good.

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