VFF's for running vs. normal running shoes

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by ~Jessie~, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    But did you pick them out with the help of a person trained to do so? I tried on a zillion shoes and ran around the store. The guy explained what each shoe was doing to my gait etc (I could really feel it with some of the shoes, not so much with others) or a sales person?

    I mean only one model of asics worked for me, and I am sure the other shoes are all good shoes.. just not for my foot, my weight and my stride.

    I really want to try VFFs but money is tight, so was wondering if people were comparing them to a shoe that was good for their foot, or just a shoe they bought cause it was pretty and comfortable.
     
  2. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    I always have a gait analysis done. I also took my VFF into my favorite local running store after i got them for the guy to watch me run in them.

    He now stocks VFF :D
     
  3. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    In my experience, I originally didn't buy VFFs for running. I bought KSOs for a general walking shoe to strengthen my foot, at the suggestion of my podiatrist who had seen marked improvement in patients with similar foot conditions to mine, when using barefooting footwear. He specifically told me NOT to run with barefooting shoes until my feet, ankles and legs built up strength from walking alone. I used KSOs for everyday footwear for about a year before starting my running in them.

    I visited my podiatrist again this past summer (August, IIRC) and had x-rays taken, molds done and my walking and running gait examined... and there's marked improvement in my foot strength and structure. The arthritic buildup in my toes isn't happening anymore, muscles are firmer and stronger, and my arch has lifted slightly (I was extremely pronated/flatfooted). I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

    Mileage varies per person, of course, but for me barefooting footwear is the best thing to happen to my feet and legs in a long, long time. More than orthotics have ever done.
     
  4. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Cool... good to know! (can you run in them in the cold?)
     
  5. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Yes, but I won't until I get a pair of thin insulating socks. XD They're okay without, but having that light extra layer would be ideal.

    They do make these for guys now, though not really for running, LOL:

    http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-Bormio-Mens.htm
     
  6. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    I have both, and I have done a lot of barefoot running (though not now that it's cold and I'm way the heck north of where I grew up!).

    The Good:
    - VFFs allow you to develop your gait in a more natural way. That is, they seemed to improve my overall posture when I would switch to shoes in inclement weather or to race.
    - They provide a different kind of workout: especially at the beginning, you will meet all kinds of muscles you didn't know you had. And they will hurt.

    The Bad:
    - When I ran with VFFs on pavement for a few months, I definitely felt it. During that time, I was way more susceptible to repetitive strain injuries (tendonitis, stress fractures), presumably because I don't have all that cushioning to lessen the impact on my bones and ligaments.
    - I did a lot of barefoot running before I tried VFFs, and although my feet were pretty well-conditioned to rough terrain (callouses, etc), I still had a hard time with the rocky areas. I couldn't really run.
    -They ripped. I hadn't taken them out a dozen times before I had holes in the toe area.
    - During speed workouts, I slowed way the heck down. I could not get the workout I needed (or hit the times I needed to hit) while wearing VFFs and subsequently switched back to shoes.

    I wear Saucony, but the type of shoe you should get obviously depends on your individual conformation! You might try looking for a lightweight pair of racing flats, which will by definition be minimalist without exposing your feet to uneven terrain and subjecting them to quite a long adjustment period (which, if you're like me, will drive you crazy!)
     
  7. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    My first pair of KSOs had several seams come undone after a couple months. I took them back to the store and they sent them in, and I was sent a brand new pair. Now I ahve 2 pairs of KSOs and no problems with them.
     
  8. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    That's probably the way to go: I never bothered sending mine in. I was too busy stomping around my room complaining about it =P
     
  9. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I did my fair share of bitching and whining about it too :rofl1:
     
  10. Dreeza

    Dreeza New Member

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    Are you having any issues right now running? If you aren't...I wouldn't change.

    For those with pain/issues, switching shoes can sometimes help, but it is a bit of a costly guessing game.

    I'm a physical therapist & work with feet everyday - and everyone's feet are SO incredibly different, it is impossible to say if they will work for you or not. Now,a young, active, person with no history of pain/injuries...if using the proper precautions (already mentioned on here) for switching over...should do just fine in VFFs.
     
  11. monkeys23

    monkeys23 New Member

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    I just bought a pair of the Merrel Pace Glove's. I LOVE them!

    I've slowly been building up the length of time I wear them and I can definitely feel the muscles in my feet getting worked. My feet haven't gotten that good a workout since I was doing several hrs of hatha/Iyengar yoga everday a couple years ago (need to start that habit up again...).

    I freaking love Merrell shoes. My last shoes were the Siren Sport crosstrainers. I go a lot of miles and the soles of traditional shoes get really distorted/worn/just done for really quickly and then start hurting my feet really badly because I can't afford to buy new pairs that often. Should be interesting to see if the pace glove sole's wear as slowly as the dude at REI says they do...

    I think VFF's are about the ugliest things ever invented. JMO.
     
  12. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I am a tippy toe walker..so I kind of "strike" with the ball of my foot.
    When standing I also tend to stand on the ball of my foot.
    I've been doing that since I was little lol so it's a tough habit to break. Not sure if it's "BAD" really, but yea, its quite odd.

    I got tested at the Nike Store (Nike town I believe it's called) and they helped me pick out a shoe :) they asked what terrain I would be running on and helped with my gait/foot/how I walk/run.

    the website is also pretty simple http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,nikeid&cp=USNS_KW_0611081618
     
  13. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Did you read the rest of the thread? Like Allie's post (and all her foot troubles) in particular?
     
  14. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Thanks for all of the replies! I think I'm going to go at least try a pair on and see how they feel.

    I have no feet issues at all. I just like the idea of barefoot running/hiking.
     
  15. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Sadly going to a store that only sells one brand isn't the best idea. What if your best fit isn't a Nike? As I said for my foot/running style there wasn't a single Nike that would work. Also a website isn't going to be able to do a gait analysis.
     
  16. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Oh I wasn't really clear.. I've gone to running specialty stores and been fitted for plenty of shoes.
    I've also had quite a few other running shoes (asics, new balance etc..) but always end up favoring my nikes.
    For somebody shopping for the first pair I probably wouldn't suggest hitting Nike Town first, but I know and love the brand so I figured why not just hit the source? lol she has had nike's before and loves them and the store has a larger selection than the outlets..

    Oh and at the store, you get a free tracker pod with your shoe! (keeps track online of your running habits, times, when you slow down, how far you go, etc...) and connects through your ipod!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Which is pretty cool!!

    That said, my asics are still around and still are my second favorite. and unlike my pretty little personalized nikes, I don't care about getting them dirty lol but they are almost as comfortable!

    but ya, you are right.. if you are shopping for your first pair try going to a store with various brands/shoes to try on
     
  17. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kJJW1UoQ2E

    Here's a cute guy (hot guy) :p who seems to know what he's talking about.:)

    I have had and loved Saucony shoes.... and have a pair of North face that I love. I don't know that the Northface are specifically for running though. They're not as light weight as they could be. They're probably better for rough terrain.
     

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