Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shoes and Hope

I saw these on a trainer at the gym yesterday and got so excited! Vibram Five Finger Shoes.

After reading a book last Christmas I absolutely loved, called "Born to Run" I've been curious about these shoes and VERY interested in the science and thought behind them. Believe it or not these are running shoes. The idea (as far as I understand) is that instead of needing more support/cushion in a running shoe you need less, in fact, the less the better. Traditional running shoes weaken your muscles and hide bad form causing more injuries, not less. In the book, the author talked a lot about these superathletes in Mexico that could run hundreds of miles in rubber sandals with no injury, so why couldn't he run a few miles a day without injury? EXACTLY the question that has been plaguing me. Ever since I fractured my foot training for a marathon a few years back I can't even train for a 10K without getting injured. Nothing as serious as before, but enough to stop my training and make me extremely frustrated. After reading "Born to Run" I took my orthodics out and have turned my training upside down. Now I am focusing on weight training to strengthen my muscles before I start running too much, and I won't be buying any new running shoes, unless they are the ones pictured above.

So when I saw the trainer wearing them yesterday I was so excited because I knew she must know something about all that or she wouldn't be wearing them. (I can't imagine anyone wearing them unless they loved running and bought into the idea that stronger feet equals less running injuries--they are pretty ugly I think.) I had a bunch of questions for her and we talked for several minutes. And man, if I could ever pay for a personal trainer it would be her. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to find a way to train for long distances without getting injured. It would resolve a huge frustration for me.

In the meantime I will continue with weight training and wear down my old running shoes and know that there is hope.


Colleen said...

Super ugly! But I completely agree, how cool to run injury free! I've noticed as I've gotten older I am having more annoying aches and pains that feel like they could get really bad if I am not careful. I'd love to hear what you think of these shoes if you ever get a pair!

shaina said...

I could never wear shoes like these. Even the "toe socks" people have drive me absolutely nuts. Things between my toes...not happiness for me.
However, I hope they solve the problem for you! Good luck!

Adri said...

When we were flying out of the Denver airport last spring, we boarded the little 'train' to get to our terminal and stood next to a young guy wearing these shoes. An older gentleman standing across from us caught the eye of my kids, pointed to the other guys shoes, then snickered, which, of course, made them laugh, too. So, my advice, if you buy these....only wear them for running or be prepared for stranger giggles! :)

I read an article about that book you described and it is an interesting concept. My personal take on running injuries: if you don't run, you don't get injured! :) Hee hee hee. But, that's just me!

Maynards said...

I have never even heard of those shoes. Interesting! If you get a pair, I would love to hear what yout think.

kendra said...

those are crazy shoes! I don't run. Just another reason not too for me!! ha ha