Stan Powers, from Washington, was kind enough to contribute this review to Tahoe Mountain Sports. Stan swears by his Vibram Five Fingers and hopes to persuade more runners to fall in line.
I was actually turned on to Vibram Shoes by my eye doctor who runs in them almost daily. He has run half-marathons and will be doing a marathon in them soon. They seem to come from the philosophy that the native Africans and Australians had to run miles and miles to run down their prey. Gazelles, as well as other animals, tend to overheat when they run too much because they have no means of sweating. It’s amazing, really – these natives have no arch supports or Salomon running shoes! By running on the toes of your feet and letting your them absorb the shock, versus landing with all that impact on your heels, you don’t send the shocks directly up your leg. This helps to prevent knee and hip pain both now and in the future.
Converting to Vibram Shoes is not easy, but totally worth it! I had some pretty nasty foot pain develop when I first started trail running in my Vibrams, but in time the pain went away. The only thing I must recommend, as you’ve probably heard from others, is to break your finger shoes in slowly. Our foot muscles, tendons and ligaments tend to degenerate over years of non-use. I got a bit too aggressive because the shoes felt so liberating and seemed to provide infinite energy, so I ran further than I likely should have on my third time out. The result – a small fracture in one of the top bones coming from my fourth toe. I stayed away from running for a month or so. That was difficult, but worth it, and I have been more than happy with my new shoes ever since.
I ran my first 10K in them at the ocean in July. It was fun watching all those footprints deep in the sand in front of me, but looking behind me I noticed I hardly left a trail at all. I was able to run a 10K in under one hour comfortably, which was a first for me. I suggest these Vibram shoes to anyone who runs! Why fight what we are naturally made to do?
Vibram Five Fingers KSO Barefoot Shoes – Men’s
Vibram Five Fingers Spyridon LS Barefoot Shoes – Men’s