2nd Run With Vibram FiveFingers Classic

A few days ago I went on my very first run in my Vibram FiveFingers Classic shoe.  To sum up the initial feeling of running in Vibrams…ninja-like.  Anyway, I wanted to recap how I felt the days after my run and update you on my second day running in these ninja shoes.

My calves were killing the next few days after my first 2 mile run.  Even that night directly after my run I was feeling a little pain.  A lot of it can be attributed to the fact that I was running with the midfoot strike which makes you use muscles you normally don’t use as much when running.  The next day the midfoot where I was landing when running was a little sore and sensitive as well (once again due to the fact my feet are used to running heel first and not the other way around).  I’ll admit it I was walking funny for these few days.

About 3 days later I decided to go on my second run in the Classic shoes.  I wasn’t feeling 100 percent, more like 50%.  But I felt good enough to run, though calves were still sore.  For some reason this time when I put on FiveFingers my pinky toe felt more crowded and squished than my first run in these shoes.  I thought it might be my nails so I trimmed them.  It felt a little better after this, but still not perfect.  Maybe I just have abnormally long pinky toes?

Like I’ve mentioned before I’ve been trying to change over my running style from heel striking first to midfoot striking first.  Since I was still a little sore from the previous run running in this manner was slightly painful.  I’m running on concrete too so you feel the impact more since you don’t have the cushioning you ordinarily would have.  Anyway, about 3/4 of a mile in I couldn’t take the pain anymore so I started walking.  Overall it was a pretty weak run, but I guess all the stuff that says how you should “ease” into barefoot running kind of make sense.

Right now my calves are still sore and I have this pain on the outside of my ankle/shin area.  Could just be soreness from not being accustomed to running barefoot…hopefully it’s not something else.  My pinky toe also is kind of sore, mostly due to being squished.  I’m not sure how Vibram accommodates for different toe sizes as it seems they take a one toe box size fits all strategy.  So the best advice I would give is if you are considering getting a pair to try a pair out at a store to see how they fit.  If you like them order a pair online. Most likely you’ll get a better deal and you’ll save on sales tax.

I still like the Vibram FiveFingers Classic (despite the soreness), but I still have to get adjusted to the whole running barefoot thing.

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Francis February 1, 2010, 9:02 pm

    Interesting read. I tried Vibram Five Fingers, but unfortunately they didn’t fit right on me (I have the Morton’s toe). The next best thing was the Nike Free 5.0v4, which I am enjoying quite a bit. I’m even thinking of getting the Nike Free 3.0 sometime…

    Reply
    • barefootie February 2, 2010, 12:19 am

      I had to look up what morton’s toe was, haha, wasn’t sure if I had it or not! But after looking it up I don’t think I have it. I think maybe my pinky toe is just a little longer than the average person’s they used to base the length of the Vibram FiveFinger’s toe boxes. I was thinking a lot of people probably would return VFF’s since finding the right size is so difficult…you just confirmed it.

      I have a pair of Nike Free’s too….they are nice as well! Definitely better than traditional running shoes…

      Reply
  • Chris February 3, 2010, 3:10 pm

    I don’t currently run barefoot, but I keep contemplating it. I have wide feet. New Balance has me covered in what I wear now (710’s) But their barefoot shoe doesn’t appear to come in widths, neither does the Nike Free. I know Fivefingers are decent for widefooted people. Any other shoes that fit the bill? er. foot?

    Reply
  • Sean Blanton February 7, 2010, 7:05 pm

    Most likely your foot is widening from your new running style, causing your pinky to feel increased pressure. The size that felt comfortable when you first started may not be your “stable” shoe size going forward. See the photos from the orthopedic study elsewhere on this site.

    Reply
  • Scott Houseman February 8, 2010, 4:41 am

    I appreciated your comments until I got to the “if you are considering getting a pair to try a pair out at a store to see how they fit. If you like them order a pair online. Most likely you’ll get a better deal and you’ll save on sales tax” part. What you’re encouraging is going to a local store who has tied up his money in inventory, spending that merchants time while he helps you, and then buying the shoes online from someone else. If we continue to do this, there will be no more local merchants left for us to “try a pair out at a store to see how they fit”. Not good.

    Reply
  • Chris February 10, 2010, 11:13 am

    Why foot isn’t getting wider. It’s always been wide (usually go barefoot, just don’t run barefoot. I would normally buy a 2E or 3E shoe. My VFF are fine for my wide foot (and went for my first (short) run in them yesterday. (yay!)). I was wondering how the Nike free is for a wide foot, or the New Balance MR800, both of which don’t seem to offer a wide shoe.

    Reply
  • B-rad February 11, 2010, 2:23 pm

    Your arches, tendons and calves are now absorbing the shock that used to be absorbed by your ankles, knees and lower-back. The difference is that your arches, tendons and muscles were meant for this and actually get stronger with use.

    Imagine what kind of damage you were doing to your joints if you are experiencing this much pain in your calves!

    Anyone switching to barefoot style absolutely needs to take it slow. It’s like curling for the first time – of couse your muscles will be sore if you, one day, decide to pick up a dumbell and start curling after never curling before. But your muscles will heal stronger and you will begin to notice ripples in your calves that you never knew existed. enjoy!

    Reply
  • John Savage March 14, 2010, 11:42 pm

    I agree with Scott Houseman. Look, for your first pair, just shell out the extra 5-10 dollars. Plus, you don’t have to wait for shipping. I mean, here is a merchant who is doing you a favor. Is $10 really going to break the bank? I mean, come on, now.

    Reply
  • DanielHT April 28, 2010, 6:52 am

    Hey! I just recently started running bareboot and in minimalist shoes, and I was wondering is someone else had experienced the same pain in the calves as me… I guess someone else has!
    BTW, if you don’t want to spend the $80+ it cost to get the VFF you may want to get water socks. These run very inexpensive; I got my body glove water socks at academy for $10, and they do a remarkable job of keeping my feet protected from road debris.

    Reply

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