I have found that water shoes can also be used as barefoot shoes. Here are some on amazon that look decent for $20, they are called Cuda Voyage Water Shoes. I will be picking some up soon and will give a full review.
No they don’t, it just sucks that I can’t afford to buy a bunch of them so I don’t have to wear normal shoes. My Bikilas have arrived and they are AWESOME. The fit is a bit odd because my left foot is a bit bigger than my right so the left foot fits perfect and the right foot is about 2mm too big in some parts. The other part is my toes are so curled up from wearing shoes that have a small toe box that getting my feet into them it tough and my toes feel awkward for the first few minutes.
I went for a 20 minute walk and a 15 minute run in the them and WOW. Its not exactly the same a when I ran barefoot in a nearby field, the feeling is different, but it is the same type of mechanics. I also really notice that my left leg is about 3-4mm longer than my right which is probably what is causing my hip pain.
I will try to get to a treadmill soon so I can record my gait and stride in my Bikilas VS my addidas runners with my orthodics in them.
Being 6 days total since I got them, still only went for 1 run, been wearing them to work and getting lots of questions. Going to be giving a presentation to my work Toastmasters club about barefoot running.
As a newbie to this barefoot and VFF thing I have found that:
- Getting them on is hard at first but after 5-6 days your toes straighten out and it gets easier
- My small toes looks funny because it goes in then back out. Damn you small toe boxes
- When walking it still hit my heel and hear my foot flap, until it started to push my hips forward and hold my head up more. Correct posture helped a lot.
- Its fun to explain to people what they are.
Watch for more updates.
Today I took off my shoes, and it was amazing. I went for my longest run in a long time, and on the way back I stopped at a school that is close to my place and ran barefoot around the field 4 times. It was cold probably about 10*C or 50*F, but still felt really nice. It felt faster and I was a bit of an adrenaline rush. I have recently changed from heel striking to forefoot striking, so I am trying to ease into it so my calves and hamstrings can adjust, they are sore.
I know barefoot is not really in the 4HB at all but I do credit Tim with how I learned about the subject. I saw a video of him a couple years ago wearing the VFF (Vibram FiveFingers) and did some research to figure out what the heck they were. Since that point I always wanted to try running barefoot but never really was into running.
Since reading the 4HB I did some research on running (before I read the chapters on running) and found out about Chi Running and Pose Running (which is is the 4HB). I also tried to find out the difference between running form for distance running VS sprinting. I found and awesome video of Usain Bolt in slow mo here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC_t8MfGHMQ and another video of Haille Gebrselassie here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW87NsiGuI
This video of Hallie led to a discussion with my ART Chiro about orthodics and overpronation, he is still a believer in orthodics and runs with a padded heel and an orthodic, but agrees that you should fore foot strike? Seems contradictory to me but I could never get him to agree, I am not good at debating.
I have ordered my VFF Bikilas and they will be ready for me to pickup next week. One I have them I am hoping to video myself running on a treadmill with my old shoes and orthodics vs the Bikilas (or barefoot). I will post that here.
My recommendations, find a grass field to run on that is safe (my wife is very concerned about running barefoot until I convinced her it was the a safe as running at a beach), and easy into it. I found a site that is anti barefoot running here http://www.runningbarefootisbad.com/ which is a good prespective to see. They claim there are more stress fracture injuries because of barefoot running, so it is good to be aware of that issue. But I doubt the guy on that site has ever tried it.
So I was out shopping for a bit today and stopped by the Adidas outlet, and the shoe warehouse to see if I could find a more minimal shoe to help me with my new running form. I did not, there were a some decent running shoes at Adidas but they all had stability support, which I don’t want. Guess I will have to keep shopping or order something online.
So I started poking around online more and had heard some people mention running flats. Looks like there are spikeless shoes for cross country runners that are minimal shoes that could work. Right now my pick is for the Saucony Shay Xc 2 they are $60-$70 which is decent and can be found cheaper online. Other options are New Balance MT101 adidas Xcs Brooks Mach 12 Inov-8 F-Lite 195 Terra Plana Evo Vibram Five Fingers KSO.
Quora question here http://www.quora.com/What-shoe-would-be-best-for-a-new-POSE-runner
Found a barefoot shoe store that is somewhat close to me here http://www.borntorun.com/collections/mens-shoes. Wish there was something closer but will try to get down there to actually try shoes on.
Found some reviews of the new Vibram Five Fingers coming out this year here http://birthdayshoes.com/the-2011-vibram-five-fingers-komodo-sport-bikila-ls-laces-and-jaya
They look really nice, and more athletic than the original ones, leaning towards the Bilka LS with the easy laces.
My pick for shoes that are available now is the Bikila seen here
So I had a discussion with my Chiro that I got ART treatment from about orthotics vs barefoot running. They sell orthotics so he opinion is that 31 years of me wearing shoes by body can not be reverted back to millions of years of evolution. So I did some more research, looked up the Terra Plana shoes that Tim talks about, I have wanted to get some Vibram five fingers for a while too just never have. I found out another brand called Inov-8 makes a 0 drop minimal shoe as well. Most importantly it looks like New Balance and Merrel are jumping on the barefoot band wagon as well. I posted this question on quora (which is pretty sweet by the way) http://www.quora.com/Is-there-a-cheap-alternative-to-Terra-Plana-shoes and then answered it myself after doing my research.
The New Balance shoes have a 4mm drop which seems to be a bad thing. Here is the link to the New Balance site, the shoes are coming out in March http://www.newbalance.com/performance/tony-krupicka-and-chris-wawrousek-talk-about-the-evolution-of-nb-minimus/. And a great review of them here http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2010/11/17/new-balance-minimus-trail-review/.
The Merrel shoes are coming out in February. Here is a link to the Merrell site http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Static/BarefootPreview.mvc.aspx. And a great review here http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2011/01/04/merrell-trail-glove-review/.
But, the shoes are not magic, they may help you not heel strike but my gait is terrible. There are lots of videos on gait analysis but I had a hard time finding instructions on how to fix my form/technique. Then I stumbled across chi running invented by Danny Dreyer. His youtube channel is here http://www.youtube.com/user/chilivinginc.
There is also POSE running. Which seems to be a bit more developed and technical.
I will going doing my walk/run tomorrow morning, I don’t have barefoot shoes yet but I do have some minimal pumas that I can use. I will be working on my stride for sure. I also did some research on sprinting form as I want to get my 40 time down and help the kids I coach with that as well. I found a video of Usain Bolt in slow motion here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC_t8MfGHMQ which is an amazing thing to watch. The form for sprinting does not seem different at all to the form for long distance running.
I am surprised and disappointed that Tim did not touch on running form more as he did with swimming.