bare foot running

Just read Chris McDougall's book "Born to Run" a great read that explores barefoot or running with pretty minamalist footwear to reduce injury I have been going down this path for around a year now moving away from cushioned shoes to very lightly cushioned neutral shoes and fell shoes for trail off road in an effort to improve my leg strength and creaky knees with quite a degree of sucssess and have now started running barefoot in the local park  for 20 minute sessions three times a week  with an aim to building that up gradually so far no tweaks and it really does seem to be improving my running form plus its funimage

anybody else having a crack at this?

PS the book realy is a very entertaining read and an alternative take on the line the big running shoes companies are feeding us  



  • Yeah. I've read the book, and got myself a pair if Vibram's, and downgraded the cushioning on my shoes. My target over the winter is to improve my running form and efficiency. As to Vibrams, only just got them and just getting used to them, and have been out for a couple of short jogs/walks, but yet to actually 'run' in them.

    Been altering my landing to be more midfoot, and it feels better, quieter, but kills the calf muscles, so it could be a long and painful winter.

    As to going fully barefoot, no plans at the mo', but who knows.
  • it does look as if barefoot is the vogue of the 2010 decade - the Guardian Travel section at the weekend had an article on barefoot walking trips in the UK and further. that I can see catching on quite well as there's no hard impact per se in walking although the terrain will dictate where you walk until the soles harden up.

    personally I'm not going down the barefoot running route - I'm too heavy to risk not using cushioning as a confirmed heelstriker - although I do go barefoot whilst just strolling around at home (and office) as I think it's a great way to keep the feet and lower legs in condition - plus it helps reduce stuff like athletes foot which breeds in the warm moist crevices of the toes when enclosed in shoes.

  • I was looking at the Vibrams and following the discussion on tripetalk on them as I wanr to do some proper off road and need a bit of underfoot protction but £100 sheetsimage so I am going to stick to the ethos of the book and make my own running sandles (plenty of stuff on the internet on this) I will be doing this all out of the public eye, when its dark, etc as everybody thinks I am a loon without adding fuel to the fireimage 
  • take a look at the Inov8 Evoskin which are coming sometime soon - £40 or so. they're even more minimal and like marigolds for the feet!

    there are other alternatives to VFFs but they are also coming in at around £100

    I have a pair of the original VFFs which I use to knock around in in summer - the 1st time you put them on (and that's a pain as well as the toes don't want to go where you want them to go!) they do look a bit freaky.
  • PSC wrote (see)

    who needs vibrams...

    Remember these guys at FLM - LINK

    Grrrr - why aren't my links working!

    My point exactly I like the minimalist idea and dont want to shell out stacks of bunce there is a website here

    That tells you how to knock up a pair, I like to do off the wall stuff in the off season so I will be knocking up a pair of these and giving it some stick over the next couple of months as soon as I find an old tyre and some stringimage

  • Failing that wouldnt a £5 pair of Plimmies do the trick for trail runs? minimal sole no support or cushioning just enough protection to stock a thorn, flint  getting in your foot

  • looks fun!  I'm not sure about the knot underneath, but i am sure that could be improved on.......
  • rbm - try one of the surf or general seaside kit shops down your way as they might sell slip on shoes with a rubber sole which are meant for just messing around in water and to protect the feet. I have a pair from a local seaside shop - cost about £5 a pair - which I use for sea swimming in when I might want to walk back on the shingle beaches down our way if the shoreline current is too strong to swim against at any pace. they might do the trick
  • PSC wrote (see)
    looks fun!  I'm not sure about the knot underneath, but i am sure that could be improved on.......

    being an engineering type I had thought of that with a tyre you could cut it so that the knot falls within a tread groove sortedimage

    FB I know what you mean could do the trick and 10 a penny down here

  • Okespor Frogs would probably be good

    Okespor Frogs

    Just a 1mm thick moulded rubber shoe... I used to wear them all the time for Windsurfing in, and they are just enough to stop stones hurting, but not thick enough to offer any support at all...

    lets be honest.... its all prep for an Ironman on my 100th birthday
  • what worries me about all of this is thorns and other sharp stuff stabbing my feet. Maybe I'm just being a wuss!

  • I've read the book Max and I also run barefoot for about 20 mins in my local park at least once a week, as do a couple of my clubmates, although I think they've recently purchased Vibrams, which I can't afford at the moment.

    Good luck with building the huaraches. image

  • PSC wrote (see)

    what worries me about all of this is thorns and other sharp stuff stabbing my feet. Maybe I'm just being a wuss!

    Running on the touchlines of the local rugby pitch was loverly this dinnertime but I would deffo want something on the bottom of my feet on "proper off road"

    I cant beleive I am doing thisimage as last year I passed some guy in the Snowden Mara in barefeet and thought...NUTTER

  • Cheers Parklife I just cannot see the value of these Vibrams at £100 + plus I will look like a total dork in Hurarches but vibrams take dorkness to a new levelimage IMHO of course!
  • They go well with a wet Trisuit
  • you would be surpirsed at the number of ultra runners you see wearing vibrams.  My missus does a number of the XNG events and there are always 3 or 4 runners in vibrams - irrespective of the conditions underfoot and weather!  Nutters!
  • Not read the book but seen plenty of articles in news papers & mags etc...Cant decide if it's a fad or if there is something in it. I'm a front foot runner by accident/natural (take your pick). Running up hill and on the flat is very natural but I'm always on my heels when running down hill, not sure I'd like to be on the balls of my feet when legging it down a steepish hill!! A over T comes to mind.

    New to tri and the forum, got my second sprint tri in Brinscall near Chorley this Sunday. Swim can't be any worse than last time!! Looking for around 1hr 20m overall. Want to progress up to standard distance next year. (wetsuit for Chrimbo).
    Any tips from you learned types would not fall on deaf ears.
  • My mate imports the VFF into the UK - I will see if we can get yellow and black ones - Calls Barlos


  • I saw someone runnng barefoot at the vit.... wasn't sure if he'd forgotten to put his shoes in transition of if he intended to run it thatway! 

    more interesting thoughts here

  • Shoe sales assistants have no idea what they are talking about in regards to shoes. Big deal they can read a label and repeat marketing slogans from shoe companies.
    Shoe sales assistants can pronounce the word, "over pronation" and it makes them an expert in biomechanics. 

    I have feet, you have feet, we are so lucky to have feet. Barefoot walking and running may be the best way to prevent injuries. People should read "Born to Run" and learn how to run with correct form preferably bare foot. Shoes should only protect feet from the ground. There is no need for support or cushioning in running shoes.

    Minimalist shoes worth checking out are: Vibram Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot, Mizuno Ekiden, Asics Piranha and Nike Free. 

  • Only took you 7 years to come up with that reply..... How quick can you do park run really ! 
  • 16 years 8 months - hence sub 17...

  • sounds like plantir facilitis, i got that after switching to barefoot shoes too fast - if you want to change something your body has done for the majority of your life then always do it slowly.

    check some youtube videos and see if it sounds the same. it was fairly easy for me to fix myself with a bit of patience, some rollers for my Achilles tendon and foot, and lots of stretching every day (even when not running)
  • sorry to dig up an old thread, but newbie on forum and can't post a new one.

    anyway, to cut a long story short, started running again last year after a long pause. was in a pair of asics kayanos for about 6 months (used to be in asics GT2000 more than 10 yrs ago), but they were starting to feel a bit clunky. so i decided to give minimalist shoes a try. went with a pair of vivo stealth 2. have been taking it relatively slowly and took about 1.5 months to get used to them. now super happy with my runs. doing roughly 8km, 2 days in a row, rest 1 day. repeat. so nothing too crazy.

    except that my knees feel stiff afterwards. calves and everything else is fine. just knees feel stiff. they feel better when i bend them. also since yesterday, left knee felt really tight on the outside towards the end of my run yesterday. today it's the inside of the left knee that feels tight. (so taking a day off. i went out with chronic injuries last time so i know i should take things easy.)

    just wondering - is this just normal knee pain? or is it lack of cushioning? i can't imagine going back to my kayanos anymore. i tried an 8k in saucony's ride (after switching to minimalist) and hated it. so does anyone have another shoe to recommend. something like the vivo stealth but maybe just a little more cushioning?

    advice, thoughts etc. much appreciated.
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