Sunday, February 6, 2011

Product Review- Vibrams FiveFingers

My guest blogger is my beloved cousin, Connie.  She has been running for 2 years now.  Fairly new to running, she has embraced the sport with enthusiasm and insight.  Here is her review of the Vibram FiveFingers:  

As runners out there know, the type of  shoes used is very important.  Chi runners advocate for shoes that allow for better balance and give you the most flexibility for a mid-foot strike.  Since majority of running shoes focus on shock absorption for heel strikers, it became challenging to find shoes that did not have a lot of that shock technology.

I wanted something light, malleable, and without a thick padding around it.  I considered Newtons, but they were outrageously expensive.  Then I discovered the five-finger shoe after reading "Born To Run" .  When I read the chi runners blog a few days ago, Vibram FiveFingers was listed among the shoes recommended, as well.

New Vibram FiveFingers KSO Black/Black 46 Mens ShoesIntrigued, I tried it on the next time I was at a running shop.  It was a challenge putting it on- slipping every single toe into the proper slot.  But as soon as I looped the strap around my foot and took a few steps, I was hooked! I bought the Vibram KSO model in black (yes, they do look like gorilla's feet).
"As soon as I looped the strap around my foot and took a few steps, I was hooked!" 
 
TEST RUN
I woke up earlier than usual, excited to run on the treadmill with the Vibram.  I gingerly put the shoe on, taking the time to fit each toe into the shoe (after a few times it becomes easier, as I was told at the running store).  I walked around the house for a few minutes, then performed my warm-up exercise.  I got on the treamill and began walking to further warm-up.  Man, this is easy, I thought.  I was walking faster and lighter.  There was a slight tightness at first (I thought the shoe was a size smaller for me), then it eventually disappeared as the shoe began to stretch during my warm-up walk.

I increased the speed on my treadmill and begun running.  I controlled my speed as I observed the different sensations I was feeling.  My feet landed on the treadmill with more balance.  My ankles were not wobbling and I was lifting my heel higher because my feet felt lighter.  Midway through my usual run, I noticed that I was not breathing as heavy.  My breathing was actually closer to my normal breath.   I was not feeling tired like I normally would during this point of my run!  When I entered the last phase of my running, I felt I could go another round, but I did not want to push it (it was still a new shoe, after all, and I did not want to risk an injury, as I am preparing for my first 5k).

By the end of my run, the shoe actually felt like second skin.  I did not have the usual post-run discomfort on my ankles or on my waist.  When I reviewed my stats, I actually ran a half-mile longer with less effort.

Overall, the Vibram was not disappointing.  But it is my first experience, and I hope that running with it would only get better.

I will run on the track or on the streets with it next weekend and see if the experience is any different.

~Connie Montoya
(guest blogger of Running-Girl)

3 comments:

  1. I dunno - I've listened to all the hype, but given I have custom orthotics to correct a leg length discrepency, which also serve to help a pronation issue which my supportive running shoes theoretically assist with - I just can't seem to discount all that and say minimalist five finger is the way to go. Again, one size can't possibly fit all.

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  2. I agree with you, Anonymous. The Vibram is not for everyone. And one size definitely does not fit all. I have a big big-toe so it was very constricting and uncomfortable. It did not stretch overtime to fit me. And running on the pavement felt too hard for me for long distances. I prefer cushion. To each their own....

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  3. i like five finger vibrams better ,i think that five finger vibrams makes the toe boxes on their feet nice and wide,and you will see your calves and bare feet in the process of your running which is the best way to train your muscles of feet and legs.
    Let's go to fivefingervibrams.biz to have a pair to have a try. i trust that you will agree with me.

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