The Barefoot Movement and how I plan to convert!

After being hounded by Eric for the last 10 months to give Vibrams a try, I am now willing to take on the minimalist shoe movement.  I kept believing that the more my shins and knees hurt, the more cushioning I would need.  That idea started to fall apart when I bought a pair of stabilizing shoes and then had numb feet (I am mean completely numb…like, asleep) after 10 minutes of running.  I went back to my worn out Nike Frees and they actually seemed better.

DSC02550 (640x480)

Yes, that is juicy fruit between those laces!

I then bought a new pair of Nike Frees in March before leaving Okinawa.  They were feeling great: light, roomy and my feet did not feel claustrophobic!  While running in Wisconsin I was shin splint free for the entire month.  It may be the fact that I am adding mileage too quickly right now (0 miles to 3 miles in 11 days) so I can run this 5K tomorrow that my shins are starting to act up.  I am almost certain that is the culprit.  I was going to run yesterday for just 1.5 miles, but I listened to my legs (for once) and knew that I needed to skip that run and stretch instead.

I have been reading a lot about how I can alleviate the shin issues (which I usually get even when I am taking it slow) and have come across a few things…as well as advice from my doctor.  For now I am going to tape my leg with kinesio tape, try to get compression socks, and hope that will help a bit as I opt not to increase mileage for another week and a half.  The other idea is to perhaps ditch the shoes…..

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I am not going to go barefoot completely, I am just going to go a step further than my Nike Frees.  They are great, but I think that cushioning in the arch and heel still might actually be a bit too much for me.  I still get my best run with my old worn out frees….that tells me something!  I am now in the process of debating which shoe I actually want to get.  The options have been narrowed down to three shoes:

1.  Soft Star’s Original RunAmoc Trail Shoe

ORIGINAL RunAmoc<br/>Black LITE

2.  Soft Star’s Moc3 Black Lite

3.  Vibrams FiveFinger Bikila

There are a lot of similarities, but also some differences that set these shoes apart.    Here are the descriptions for each shoe as seen on the website. 

First is the Soft Star RunAmoc:

Minimal Running Shoe – Key Features:
* Ventilated leather uppers keep feet cool with quick-dry properties.
* Wide toe box – so your toes can grip, spread & splay away!
* Choose your outsole: Personalize with Trail (5mm) or street (2mm) soling options featuring genuine Vibram® products.
* Lightweight – between 5.6 oz to 8.7 oz depending on the type of sole you choose and how big your paws are.
* Integrated Lace/Elastic ankle closure – for adjustable tension.
* Designed and made in Oregon using 100% made-in USA raw materials.
*Premium, formaldehyde-free leathers.

Next is the Moc 3 Black Lite:
* Exceptional flexibility and ground feel provided by innovative patterned foot bed
* Lightweight, weighing less than 5oz!
* Wide Toe Box so your foot can spread naturally
* Breathe-O-Prene® liners wick moisture away, with 4-way stretch to hug your foot. Also keeps dust and dirt away!
* Genuine Vibram® 2mm soling
* Odor Resistant
* Reflective strips for nighttime safety
* Designed for your feet – not a last! Handcrafted in Oregon, USA.
*Genuine leather uppers – perforated for breathability

I like both of these shoes!  The reason I was thinking of going with the Moc3 over the RunAmoc is the Breath-o-prene feature.  The reason I was thinking of going with the RunAmoc over the Moc3 is the option to go with a 5mm trail sole and the option for adjustable tension with the lace/elastic ankle closure.  To be honest, I really just want to be able to have both of these!  Plus I want to get some for the boys.  I think Gavin would love wandering around in the little Mocs and boots they have!  He is a barefoot fan.  If he can get shoes and socks off, they are coming off…cold floor or not!

Onto the Vibram Five Fingers

I have been looking into the Vibrams and I decided that if I go this route, I would get the Bikilas:

*A more athletic padded collar and topline, a single hook and loop closure, 3M reflective surfaces, and tear resistant TPU toe protection finish off this breakthrough design.                                                                        *Footbed: 3mm Polyurethane Anti-microbial Drilex Sockliner
*Upper: Stretch Polyamide TPU toe protection
*Weight: 6.0oz(size 42)

I like these because they keep the toes separated which help keep your foot in it’s most natural position which would give me a more natural foot strike while running.  I have only heard amazing things about these shoes (from my husband as well), and I am quite curious to see if they would work for me as well.  I think all of these shoes have some serious ‘wow’ factors that I think would appeal to anyone looking to run more naturally and get away from the injuries!  Natural leathers, made in the USA, handmade, spectacular reviews, pain free….oh, the dilemma…what to choose, what to choose?

 

What do you think about minimalist shoes?  Barefoot running, yay or nay?  Which shoe would YOU choose?

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