Five Fingers

edited May 2014 in General
After hearing about Vibram agreeing to pay people for false claims about their shoes, I decided to break out my old Bikilas and see how they felt. I ran 10 today and I have to say they felt great. Granted, I usually run in minimal stuff so I'm used to shoes like this, but my calves don't hurt and I don't have any problems anywhere else. It makes me want to run in them a lot more.

I'm wondering if there are any other people out there still regularly wearing their Vibrams. I think that if you run with at least somewhat reasonably good form (faster cadence, land on your whole foot and not just the forefoot or heel, balanced posture) you probably won't have problems with injuries. Frankly, I think it is easier to run with good form in these, so it makes me wonder what the people getting injured are doing when they wear them. I know everyone is different, but I don't have particularly amazing biomechanics, so I would think I might be likely to get injured if my form wasn't right.


  • I loved mine as well, wore them for a long time. They were instrumental in my transition from a standard plodding heel/whole foot strike to a forefoot strike. I don't wear them much anymore because they're more trouble to get on and off than I'd like, I don't love running without socks, and i can get almost the same feeling from my trail gloves. I used to have bad plantar fasciitis, and after working my way into the 5 fingers and changing my form, it disappeared completely. 

    My hunch is that probably 95% of the people getting injured are trying to rush the transition from heel striking to forefoot striking. I know I did. Twice. Making that switch too quickly will destroy your feet and lower legs: shin splints, stress fractures, achilles tendonitis, etc. I agree with you though, you can't run for any period of time with a heel strike barefoot or in 5 fingers. They do pretty much force you to correct at least that portion of your mechanics.
  • If you don't like going sockless, you can wear Injinji toe socks. That's what I do. I wear those socks with pretty much all of my shoes. 

    I swear those Bikilas felt great today, and I'll probably be wearing them a lot more now. Just when everyone is avoiding them, I'll be the one weirdo still wearing mine. Might as well, I'm probably the only one still wearing Altra Adams and Samsons.
  • They're practically giving away Vibrams on  Everything they have is between about $20 and $40.  Sizes are a little limited though.  I've never worn Vibrams, but at those prices, I'm tempted to pick up a pair to try.
  • edited May 2014
    Alright! Thanks!

    Just got a pair for 18 bucks!
  • If, hypothetically, I could get over the inherent silly look of the five fingers, which model would you all recommend?  I've never run in something THAT minimal, but run in minimal-ish shoes - NB1400v2, GoRun2 + 3, Bare Access 2.

    I've got no idea what the difference between the models are.  Thanks.

  • I've only run in the Bikila, which I don't think they make anymore. Just get a pair SKORAS. Everyone seems to love those.
  • The injinji socks are even harder to put on! I'm sure I'm just inept, but screw taking 10 minutes to get shoes and socks on befor a run haha.

    @Jake, none of the shoes you mentioned are very minimalist, comparatively speaking. I'd agree with Michael, the Skoras seem to be the new trend. I've run plenty in Trail Gloves, Road Gloves, etc, and i love them. Whichever you do end up choosing, please work them into your workout slowly. And be prepared for your feet, ankles, and calves to scream at you for a few days afterward :)
  • edited May 2014
    I don't find the socks or the Bikilas hard to put on. Maybe that's part of the reason I like these shoes. I just ran 14.5 miles in 2 hours in them. So it is possible to run in them quite a bit and not get hurt.
  • edited May 2014
    Two things. First, not everyone changes their foot strike when they go into Vibrams. I just published a study on barefoot and Vibram runners from the 2011 NYC Barefoot run and about 50% of those in Vibrams were heel strikers. These were mostly mild heel strikes, and form likely changes in other ways, but it's not true that Vibrams will make you stop heel striking. 20% of the barefoot runners were heel striking on asphalt as well.

    Here's my summary of that study:

    And regarding injuries, I think too rapid a transition is a big player, particularly with metatarsal stress fractures. The bones need time to adapt, and if not given that things start to break down. That being said, I don't think any shoe is going to prevent injuries, they just alter how stress is applied and the types of injuries we see will be different.

    I have to admit I have been tempted to pull my Vibrams back out, but if I do I intend to be careful since it's been so long since I've run in them!
  • Just like running barefoot, I don't think people automatically change their foot strike running in Vibrams. But I do think it's easier to run with better form--if your cadence is faster as I believe it should be. Even then, I also believe it makes the most sense to incorporate all types of foot strikes into your running, rather than trying to force a forefoot or mid foot strike.
  • I used them last saturday for a workout. It was a while ago since I used them. I had forgotten that the lack of cushioning totally isn't an issue for me anymore. A part of the road with some gravel on still was uncomfortable, though.
  • Some will change foot strike almost instantly, so may after some acclimation, some may never change. My guess is most will increase cadence a bit even if there is no foot strike change and this is one of the reasons I try no to focus too much on exactly where the foot contacts. 
  • Hy my name is Reinesch Ralph, i just got here because i am looking for new people to meet and discuss some running topics.
    I currently run in Five Fingers model Treksport and i did my first 42k in Luxembourg where i live and work. I did the marathon in 3h08m, and i can confirm that even in my Vibrams i still heel strike. Not completely but still a little. Problem is that you can run on the front but not an entire race, a 10k is doable but still it would require a lot of practice.
    Transition took me 2 years to be able to run the marathon. Last year i could only do the half because i had the "over the foot" syndrome which is a tendinitis of the short extensor who controls 4 of the 5 toes.

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