Sunday, October 03, 2010

Vibram Report #1

I am not a runner. I am not a doctor, nor am I qualified in any way to make recommendations.  That being said, I got new shoes!!
toe shoes and toe socks!


I've was diagnosed with what I'll call chronic tendonitis in my quads, due to being slightly knock-kneed.  My doctor said, "don't run, but swim and bike". The problem was that my knees started to hurt long before I built up the surrounding muscles.

Recently, after getting my black belt and staring down my 2nd Dan test in about 7 months, I decided that enough was enough. I will not let this silly physical anomaly stop me! So shoe hunting I went, and I ended up with this daft looking creations! The Vibram FiveFingers KSOs!  And of course, fun toe socks for cooler days!

I started by simply walking.  Loki gets a daily walk, so what better way to break them in?  All the sources say to ease into them as they work differently than normal shoes...




So, break them in I did.  Nice easy walks, about a mile and a half, with socks, and without socks.  Then I walked them into town...about 3 miles round trip or so. Not far, no. But far enough to test.

The result: Totally comfortable!  Sure, they force your toes out, and that takes a bit of getting used to, but no longer is my little toe crushed under the others!  Ok, so there is stuff between your toes, but you get used to that!  I felt no actual pain or strain, and chalked up the initial soreness in my calves on the first day to the water aerobics class I took at lunchtime!  No blisters. No aches. No rubbing.

The final initial test was today. I wore some other shoes.  Ones with a fairly good arch support.  The difference was astounding! All the aches in my knees and legs were noticeable again.

So what's going on?  The vibrams are designed to let your foot...and arch...work as it should!  Your arches should take on some of the impact and act as little springs, but in regular shoes that doesn't happen.  There's all sorts going on physiologically that I won't get into..you can read it on the site.

But my initial impression is that these suckers will let me basically walk in my preferred state: barefoot!  And this, my friends, is a very good thing!