A year ago I purchased a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes/slipper/glove things, http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ . Over the year I have tried to slowly train my feet and calves to run without cushioning and support. Last week I ran a total 22 miles in the five finger shoes.
Today I was invited to run trails with a friend. However, the trails were covered in loose gravel. Ouch. My feet are tender. However, I’m hoping my feet will toughen to the point where gravel won’t bother me.
Overall, I really enjoy the Vibram Five Finger shoes. They cause me to run the way my body was designed to run. Shoes allow me to lengthen my stride to land on my heals. However, this causes my knees and quad leg muscles to absorb the impact. Each landing causes my legs to absorb more impact that should be partially absorbed by the structure of my feet. Regular running shoes restrict the feet from doing their job. Therefore, we run with an un-natural gate. Running barefoot of with minimalistic shoes force us to run with a gate for which we were designed. This natural gate prevents injury and causes me to run more efficiently.
My goal this Summer is to only run with the Vibram Five Finger shoes. So far, I’m off to a good start.