Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Month (or so) In the Vibram KSO's

I got the Vibram Five Finger KSO's (VFF - or as we call them around the house, Monkey Shoe's) in early to mid-June and have been wearing them 4-5 days a week mainly for walking to and from the bus, working out, and just running errands.  The bus and walking thru Target gets the looks.  People look at them, then look again, then pretend they're not looking while the try to look even more.  You can almost hear the static in their heads as they try to mentally process what their eyes are taking in.  Some ask "What the heck are those?"  People who have seen them usually say something like "How do you like those so far?" or "How long have you been wearing them?"  Aside from that, my experience wearing them have been great.  I haven't really ran in them yet, though.  I have progressively been jogging a little.  Within the first few weeks I would jog just a block or two while walking somewhere; a few weeks ago I jogged 1/2 mile on an indoor track; last week and yesterday it was a mile on the indoor track.  Next, I think I may do some striders on grass to see how that goes.

I may be taking an ultra-conservative approach to how I attempt to adapt to the VFF's, but I don't want to develop some issue/injury from doing too much, too soon.  I know that is obvious--who wants an injury?  I was talking to a guy at the Star of the North Games who's wife and kids run in racing flats (the kids actually ran a couple of the shorter events barefoot on the track) who said that one of his good friends is an podiatrist and said that Vibram's have been great for business.  I DO NOT WANT to give business to doctors because of my own ignorance.  The doc guy said that he see's a lot of achilles problems with people that come in after they start running in VFF's.   Hmmm...  Could they be the typical 'heal strikers' that put on the Vibram's and think they can just go out and do their usual runs?  I'll bet that's the case.  They say you can't run like you usually do in the Vibram because you can't heal strike--which most people do in regular shoes.  Oh, you can heal strike in them.  It's not comfortable, but you can.  A lot of runners who have suffered injuries know how to suffer and tolerate pain.  I am guessing that some of the people that develop problems after sliding into the VFF's just go out and run. They probably struggle thru the pain thinking that this is how its supposed to be and that they'll get used to it.  I've been there in the past in other circumstances.  It's not good.

If you are thinking of getting some VFF's for any reason (hiking, walking, yoga, working out, running, watersports, etc) make sure to measure right as you will not take the same size you wear in a regular shoe.  Possibly go to a place that has the size you measured as well as a size up and down so you can try them all on.  The size I went with was exactly the size the VFF site converted my measurement to.  If you order online, go with an authorized retailer because there are a ton of counterfeits out there.  At the VFF site, see the vibram fivefingers sizing link in the lower right corner.

1 comment:

Brian said...

The guy who beat me in my AG at Cornman was wearing them at the awards ceremony. I wanted to ask him about them but didn't get the chance.

I've been running in Newtons for a over month now...taking very easy to get used to them. Just went over 100-miles on them. Slight Achilles issues that comes up now and then but now confident to wear them daily. Not sure I would recommend Newtons, I think I will go with Luna trainers next time as I love the flats so much.