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Topic: Minimalist Footwear< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
cctroupe11 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 7:44 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey all, has anyone else been interested and/or tried minimalist footwear?

I haven't gone so far as to get the individual toed barefoot shoes (think they're hideous), but my interest started when I went to Colorado for a vacation a few months back and got a pair of hand made moccasins (without hard soles). I've been wearing them A LOT since. Like, whenever I don't have to wear boots or hard soled shoes, and it isn't wet, I have on my moccasins.

I will admit there was some soreness when I first started but after researching this, found that it is normal, and it's better to ease yourself into them gradually.

Since becoming interested in it, I've bought some of Nike's 3.0 minimalist running shoes and, being in the military, will be buying some of Belleville's minimalist combat boots (which are actually true minimalist boots, with only a 5mm drop between heel and forefoot).

I have noticed a slightly faster run time, especially after wearing my moccasins daily and running in the 3.0 Nike shoes and then putting back on normal shoes for my army physical fitness test. I have yet to attempt a timed, scored run IN the minimalist shoes, but I plan on it in a few weeks or so.

I also notice less knee pain which troubles me (after soccer and track in high school, and running daily and carry heavy loads on my back in boots and utes, my knees have started troubling me sometimes, especially in cold climates). I am guessing it is because minimalist shoes move your style of foot striking from an unnatural heel strike, which supposedly is bad for your joints and hip, to a more natural mid to forefoot strike. Natural barefoot and minimalist shoes supposedly also stretch your hamstrings and engage muscles not normally active during normal shoe wear. I don't know all the medical info in this but it has been researched. Google it if interested.

I do warn, if you do try them, do not just put some on and go walk around on hard surfaces all day, because if you haven't accustomed yourself to NOT heel striking, you will hurt yourself.

Opinions, questions, additional info anyone would like to add?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 9:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tangent... but when I read "minimalist footwear" I picture this.   I can't imagine anything more minimal that still qualifies as footwear.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 9:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hadn't thought if it as minimalist shoes, but I also had a pair of mocs I wore a lot when I was in college.  Never bothered me then.  I've been intrigued, but have foot issues (thus the surgery this month) that seem to contraindicate them.  I chose to work on running as though barefoot instead--work on a forefoot strike while still wearing shoes with enough padding to protect my joints.  I think it helped several problems.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 10:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I trail run in the Merrell Trail Glove and love them. I'm on my second pair.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 6:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm a fan of Reef sandals - they come with a bottle opener in the bottom.   :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 10:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the temps are warm enough I'm a fan of barefoot, at least around home/camp.

Packing I like a ankle support and I hate getting rocks in my shoes. Haven't tried the shoe you speak of yet, but been thinking of it for running anyway.

Let us know how your timed run went.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 10:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

day hiking, i've been using new balance minimus 1010.  i really like them.  they have a pretty aggressive tread pattern with vibram rubber.  A rock plate on the forefoot, and have a 4mm drop.  Not the most barefoot of the barefoot shoes, but I like them.  Not sure i'm gonna use them for a 7 day trip this summer, but fore day hikes they are really nice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 12:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been testing some relatively minimalistic trail-runners.  Ok, just seems when I go up sharply into the vertical, the accompanying thin merino socks fall.  Great on relatively flat ground though (the Sespe river above Ojai, Ventura beaches, etc..)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 1:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've worn the VFF shoes regularly for about the past 7-8 months when it's warm enough outside.  My calves got occasionally sore at first, but now that I'm used to them I prefer them over "regular" shoes.  Feels more natural to let my foot flex when I walk and let my toes move.

I got the brown kangaroo-leather ones that aren't as conspicuous on my feet as other bright-colored ones.  That said, I still do get strange comments from time to time when folks notice... they're obviously not for everyone in terms of looks.  C'est la vie, I don't care.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 1:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of Merrel or New Balance shoes... can't remember which... but I love them. I wore them a majority of my 10-day trip in CO. They handled talus much better than I thought they would. They also performed much better than normal trail shoes on Class 3-4 terrain. I noticed that the odd medium-small rock would hurt though. Due to that issue, I don't think I'd ever run on rocky ground with them.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 5:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Meh. Is a newly-marketed fad. xc racing flats have almost always fit the "minimalist" definition if you go by heel-toe drop, weight, or amount of padding. And they're usually ~$50 cheaper than the "minimalist" shoes by similar manufacturers.

That said, I love my Brooks Mach 14 for everything except sharp rocks of a certain size. They've never made my feet or calves hurt. (Quads are a different story altogether...)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 6:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I run in the Vibram Five Finger shoes. I wear flip flops most other times (live in Florida). I love my Five Fingers :)

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trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 10:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are the minimalist shoes also lighter than normal running shoes?  This could account for the faster times as well.

I once ran a race wearing a pair of Rockport Dressport wingtips.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On my second pair of vibram five fingers. Love them. Only thing I'll run in when it's warm. Really hate winter running now, besides cold I'm wearing typical shoes. Amazing how much my knees no longer like shoes. Much fewer problems when running 'barefoot'

Daughter still calls them my funny shoes. (she's 4)

That said, I might try a pair of the Merrell or other more shoe looking style for my next pair. Walking through tall grass, I get a lot of vegetation stuck between my toes. Annoying.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 4:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haven't tried it.  I've thought about having a pair just for knocking around in, but there's too much overpronation in my running stride to go "barefoot."  And I'm not completely sold on the "science" that says a mid/fore-foot strike is "natural."  Maybe if you're sprinting, but most people don't sprint when they run...at least not the ones I've seen.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I got a pair of New Balance Minimus MT20's last year.  They have just a bit more to the soles than NB's Minimus street running shoe.

I love them.  I wore them a bunch on shorter mileage hikes, and really loved the ability to feel what's underfoot.  They take a little more concentration (to avoid painful stubbed toes in the rocky Northeast), but it becomes intuitive after a while.  

I also forgot boots on an overnight trip in the White Mountains, and ended up doing about 18mi in them.  My feet and legs held up well until the last couple miles of the walk out, which was a paved bike path...ouch!!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 7:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mark me down as another minimalist - well mostly barefoot at least for running. Unfortunately since transitioning a year and half ago I really haven't been on the trail other than one day hike to which I was minimalist inVFFs. Hope to get to try hiking in my super thin huaraches this year and maybe trying bare.

I do feel much more stable bare, your feet can conform and grip awkward surfaces much better than stiff boots can. I've put boots on often since but they do tend to be clumsy now. I do appreciate a boots protection for the ankle from scuffing and muck and bugs and such, and debating on a pair of minimalist hikers too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 8:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I did one trip in Tevas...rubbed my feet raw from the dirt that went betwn the straps and my feet.  I usually wear Brooks Ariels.  Wide platform for stability but fairly light shoe and an awesome insole so my knees are never ever sore.  I first started wearing expensive runners when I got knee pain....

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 9:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hiking_tiger @ Jan. 23 2013, 1:42 pm)
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Haven't tried it.  I've thought about having a pair just for knocking around in, but there's too much overpronation in my running stride to go "barefoot."  And I'm not completely sold on the "science" that says a mid/fore-foot strike is "natural."  Maybe if you're sprinting, but most people don't sprint when they run...at least not the ones I've seen.

The DH and I have been following the studies on this, and it's looking more like whether you are a heel striker or forefoot runner is genetic or something.  I know that Eldest Son, who went barefoot for most of his first 5 years, and still is barefoot when not at school, is an incredibly heavy heel striker.  When he goes down the hall in the night or on a Sunday morning when I'm trying to sleep in, I swear the whole house shakes and they can hear him three miles off.  And he barely weighs 100 pounds!

I'd thought of suggesting he try minimalist shoes when he started running last fall, but it seems a dubious idea, and the things are every bit as expensive as the regular kind, which makes it a pricey experiment.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 11:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hiking_tiger @ Jan. 23 2013, 1:42 pm)
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And I'm not completely sold on the "science" that says a mid/fore-foot strike is "natural."  

+1  What is normal in almost any thing we do, including running and walking?  People write differently, throw differently, eat differently, hold tools differently, sit differently, sleep differently, ... Why should we not also walk and run differently?

There are all sorts of shapes for feet, all of which are natural.  There is no one sort of shoe, minimalist or whatever which is best for everyone.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 11:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Jan. 28 2013, 8:57 pm)
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I'd thought of suggesting he try minimalist shoes when he started running last fall, but it seems a dubious idea, and the things are every bit as expensive as the regular kind, which makes it a pricey experiment.

I'm looking at Altra right now.  They make zero drop shoes in a stability model...the only maker I've found that does.  I might...might...try a pair when my Asics wear down.

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