Yes I went shopping today. I had done enough research on-line to know that if I was going to try barefoot running, I wanted something on my feet. I am not into cut and callused feet! Vibram five fingers are sold here in the Twin Cities and I was able to locate a store close to my chiropractor!
So after getting adjusted at the chiropractor, I was off to the shoe store! I asked a salesman that looked like a runner some questions and his response was “I think you will love them. Let’s take a look at your feet.” I was thankful that I had worn flip-flops this morning. The hardest thing to do is to get your toes into the “fingers”. It is kind of like trying to put a glove on a toddler who insists on keeping his fingers together. But once you get them in, it fits like a glove – literally a foot glove. Sizing for these is not always easy. One doesn’t walk in and say “I want a size 7”. They measure your foot from the heel to the ball and then the width. Once that is determined it is a matter of trying a couple of different sizes to make sure that the “finger” part is not to long. If it is, your foot will slid a lot and cause issues. A tight fight is what you want! The salesman commented several times at how strong my feet were. I guess going barefoot 80% of the time has helped!
I wasn’t really going to purchase them today, but I was able to run a couple short laps in the store – this was not a running shoe store, but a regular shoe store! So I got a few strange looks. But once I ran in them, it felt so good! I was hooked!
There is a method and a schedule to transitioning over to these new “shoes”. The method is to run a mile on day one. Day 2 is a rest and evaluation day. If there is no pain, then on Day 3, you run 1.5 miles. Day 4 is rest and evaluation and so on until you can run several miles with no pain. If there is any soreness or pain, then you stay at the mileage where the pain began until the soreness goes away.
So I started today with a 1 mile run. I can tell that even though I was using the technique of running barefoot with my running shoes, my feet were also using the cushion and support more than I thought. Tomorrow is a 3 mile run that I will do in my running shoes. I probably won’t get back into my five fingers again until Friday. At this point, I am not planning on the Minneapolis Marathon barefoot – but who knows!