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Aspen Glow
03-15-2012, 17:38
Hi friends

Thereís a plethora of information out there about getting started in five fingers, but I am curious if anyone has gone the other way. I currently run in vibrams, including plenty of rocky, rooty trail runs and a road marathon.

Iím planning on making my trip from GA to ME kind of a half trail run, half hike, and I am thinking about going back to some more conventional shoes for the trail because of the distance and added pack weight (about 9 lbs base).

However, after walking around in some different minimalist and trail running shoes at REI, I found they just didnít seem to feel right, and I theorize I may actually be at greater risk of injury if I try to switch back than if I just stick with the toe shoes.

Has anyone made the transition back from five fingers who may have some insight?

ScottP
03-15-2012, 20:54
have you tried the new (0 drop, 4.5 ounce) new balance minimus mt00s?

dillard
03-15-2012, 21:21
If five fingers work for you I would stick with them. The start of a long distance hike isn't the time to change things up. Have you looked at the new Spyridon LS model of VFFs? They are made specifically for trail running. More rugged materials, all directional cleated sole, and a nylon mesh in the sole that helps spread the force of impact from rocks and other sharp objects when you misstep. That is the route I am going on my thru starting in 3 weeks.

JAK
03-15-2012, 21:27
The trouble with most footwear is by the time you wear out one pair they've changed.

Winds
03-15-2012, 23:09
This never ceases to amaze me. While it is well known that minimizing shoes or even going barefoot makes you more efficient moving forward - there is an absolute hardship endured by the body overall for the cost of that efficiency. So if you decide to remove any protection / padding, you will pay the price somewhere down the road.

Then again, I am still trying to find hiking boots that cover my knees, ha!

ScottP
03-15-2012, 23:32
there is an absolute hardship endured by the body overall for the cost of that efficiency. So if you decide to remove any protection / padding, you will pay the price somewhere down the road.

that appears to be far from the truth: http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/

Winds
03-15-2012, 23:55
Nonsense. "Endurance runners ... less heal ..." whatever.

The general concept of what I said is not debated.

dillard
03-16-2012, 00:03
Nonsense. "Endurance runners ... less heal ..." whatever.

The general concept of what I said is not debated.

Says you...

ScottP
03-16-2012, 00:48
Nonsense. "Endurance runners ... less heal ..." whatever.

The general concept of what I said is not debated.

That's nominally true. No one with a clue holds your viewpoint.

Winds
03-16-2012, 02:44
[On running barefoot – some opinions below.]

--------------------------------------
This is a reasonable article on the topic for runners.
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/03/barefoot-running-and-shoes-q-part-2.html
[If you read this, note the overall statements made.]
--------------------------------------
“Our ancestors invented shoes for a reason: to protect their feet from hostile environments as they migrated from regions of soft loam to more foreboding terrain.

Whether or not barefoot running is better for humans has yet to be determined scientifically.

What advice can we share with our patients?
While running barefoot is most certainly what our ancestors did and our aboriginal cousins still do, we currently lack the knowledge to say irrefutably that it is more healthful than running with shoes. Since science has yet to decide this topic, I do not feel comfortable offering advice for or against running barefoot.”
- William Morgan, DC – AMA [American Chiropractic Association]
--------------------------------------
[This is their current position:]

APMA Position Statement on Barefoot Running
[American Pediatric Medical Association]

Barefoot running is a possible alternative or training adjunct to running with shoes. While anecdotal evidence and testimonials proliferate on the Internet and in the media about the possible health benefits of barefoot running, research has not yet adequately shed light on the immediate and long term effects of this practice.
--------------------------------------
Orthopedic Surgeon, Andrew Gerken, MD, comments and answers questions regarding the new craze of barefoot running.

ARE BAREFOOT RUNNING SHOES BETTER FOR YOUR FEET?
Dr. Gerken: That probably depends on what type of runner you are: old and slow vs. young and fast; running long or short; overweight or slender. If one has run for years in a consistent pattern and has been injury free, then I would not recommend changing shoes. I do not think there is evidence the barefoot running shoes are better for the feet as far as reported injuries go. They may be better further up, i.e. knees, hips and back.

SOME OF THE WEBSITES SELLING BAREFOOT RUNNING SHOES CLAIM THAT THESE SHOES RELIEVE AND/OR PREVENT ORTHOPEDIC INJURIES. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW WITH REGARD TO THIS CLAIM?
Dr. Gerken: In some individuals, barefoot running shoes may be a better alternative. Remember, many people have had injury free running careers, and so for these people, “regular” running shoes should be continued and they will do just fine. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I have seen more injuries recently in runners who have changed to barefoot shoes. I do not think there is enough data to suggest that all people are better off with barefoot running shoes, or how to decide what shoe a particular runner should wear.
--------------------------------------

[My words below.]

According to you ScottP, no one above has a clue.

There are NO studies over long distant formidable terrains such at the A.T. to justify barefoot hiking / running. What you want to do and believe is your decision.

I have not found any scientific body (or institution / organization) that supports any unusual lengthy activity on the magnitude of an A.T. thru-hike without shoes or even minimalistic shoes as being a preferred method for any reason.

Aspen Glow – A number of articles I read (many not listed here) suggested if you are injury free, you may be better off not changing now?? No matter your choice, I hope your hike is successful for you.

ScottP
03-16-2012, 09:16
[On running barefoot – some opinions below.]

--------------------------------------
This is a reasonable article on the topic for runners.
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/03/barefoot-running-and-shoes-q-part-2.html
[If you read this, note the overall statements made.]
--------------------------------------
“Our ancestors invented shoes for a reason: to protect their feet from hostile environments as they migrated from regions of soft loam to more foreboding terrain.

Whether or not barefoot running is better for humans has yet to be determined scientifically.

What advice can we share with our patients?
While running barefoot is most certainly what our ancestors did and our aboriginal cousins still do, we currently lack the knowledge to say irrefutably that it is more healthful than running with shoes. Since science has yet to decide this topic, I do not feel comfortable offering advice for or against running barefoot.”
- William Morgan, DC – AMA [American Chiropractic Association]
--------------------------------------
[This is their current position:]

APMA Position Statement on Barefoot Running
[American Pediatric Medical Association]

Barefoot running is a possible alternative or training adjunct to running with shoes. While anecdotal evidence and testimonials proliferate on the Internet and in the media about the possible health benefits of barefoot running, research has not yet adequately shed light on the immediate and long term effects of this practice.
--------------------------------------
Orthopedic Surgeon, Andrew Gerken, MD, comments and answers questions regarding the new craze of barefoot running.

ARE BAREFOOT RUNNING SHOES BETTER FOR YOUR FEET?
Dr. Gerken: That probably depends on what type of runner you are: old and slow vs. young and fast; running long or short; overweight or slender. If one has run for years in a consistent pattern and has been injury free, then I would not recommend changing shoes. I do not think there is evidence the barefoot running shoes are better for the feet as far as reported injuries go. They may be better further up, i.e. knees, hips and back.

SOME OF THE WEBSITES SELLING BAREFOOT RUNNING SHOES CLAIM THAT THESE SHOES RELIEVE AND/OR PREVENT ORTHOPEDIC INJURIES. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW WITH REGARD TO THIS CLAIM?
Dr. Gerken: In some individuals, barefoot running shoes may be a better alternative. Remember, many people have had injury free running careers, and so for these people, “regular” running shoes should be continued and they will do just fine. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I have seen more injuries recently in runners who have changed to barefoot shoes. I do not think there is enough data to suggest that all people are better off with barefoot running shoes, or how to decide what shoe a particular runner should wear.
--------------------------------------

[My words below.]

According to you ScottP, no one above has a clue.

There are NO studies over long distant formidable terrains such at the A.T. to justify barefoot hiking / running. What you want to do and believe is your decision.

I have not found any scientific body (or institution / organization) that supports any unusual lengthy activity on the magnitude of an A.T. thru-hike without shoes or even minimalistic shoes as being a preferred method for any reason.

Aspen Glow – A number of articles I read (many not listed here) suggested if you are injury free, you may be better off not changing now?? No matter your choice, I hope your hike is successful for you.


You've missed the point.

Sandy of PA
03-16-2012, 12:23
I hike in Merrell Pace Gloves, zero drop but a bit more protection for the toes than Five Fingers.

Hawkwind61
03-16-2012, 12:40
I cannot wear Vibrams due to my curved toes...but I do wear Zems or 'Invisible Shoe' soles through-out a good portion of the year. I have a pair of light-weight high-top winter hiking sneakers and a pair of very minimal Vibram soled trail/water shoes from Timberland for the times I need more coverage...anything with too much of a sole and my feet start to ache. I am 50 and stopped having foot/hip/knee trouble when I got out of the fancy technical runners.

Transient Being
03-16-2012, 12:53
my question is I have two pairs of VFF's. One with cleats, and one with a smoother, thinner sole. I like the smoother thinner ones much better, but think I may need added thickness and traction on the trail. Anyone have anything to say about that? I like the thinner ones much better, but keep thinking I may need the thicker grip sole on the trail. I'm probably just gonna go with the thinner first, and may get trail sole ones mailed to me if they don't work.

on_the_GOEZ
03-16-2012, 14:00
I switched from VFFs to NewBalance's MT 101 for my MEGA hike. I loved them - they dried quick, had little heal drop, and are light weight. A human walks using the heel, not just the forefoot, as can be done when running and leaning forward slightly more. I would suggest using a slightly more heavy duty minimalist shoe for a thru hike, simply because you will be walking considerable more than you will be running; its just the nature of the terrain.. Hiking out of town with 5-10 lbs of food plus another ~10 lbs of gear and running through the hills seems improbable day in and day out.

I train in VFFs and have no knee/joint problems whatsoever. But remember, other problems can arise when trying to fix other problems. Just be ready to switch if need be, especially on the rocky ridges of PA :eek:

Shutterbug
03-16-2012, 15:33
Hi friends

There’s a plethora of information out there about getting started in five fingers, but I am curious if anyone has gone the other way. I currently run in vibrams, including plenty of rocky, rooty trail runs and a road marathon.

I’m planning on making my trip from GA to ME kind of a half trail run, half hike, and I am thinking about going back to some more conventional shoes for the trail because of the distance and added pack weight (about 9 lbs base).

However, after walking around in some different minimalist and trail running shoes at REI, I found they just didn’t seem to feel right, and I theorize I may actually be at greater risk of injury if I try to switch back than if I just stick with the toe shoes.

Has anyone made the transition back from five fingers who may have some insight?

There are a few exceptions, but most of those on WhiteBlaze who post criticism of VFFs have not personally tried them. I don't personally know of anyone who has started wearing them that has switched back, but there must be some. The REI Garage Sale had a table full of returned VFFs that didn't have any apparant defects. I assume that they were retuned by people who tried them and didn't like them.

I switch back to traditional shoes once a week -- on Sunday morning when I go to church. I can't wait until church is over so I can switch back.

dillard
03-16-2012, 16:29
my question is I have two pairs of VFF's. One with cleats, and one with a smoother, thinner sole. I like the smoother thinner ones much better, but think I may need added thickness and traction on the trail. Anyone have anything to say about that? I like the thinner ones much better, but keep thinking I may need the thicker grip sole on the trail. I'm probably just gonna go with the thinner first, and may get trail sole ones mailed to me if they don't work.

I started my VA section last year with a well worn pair of the TrekSport model. They had good cleating and tread when I started but it was becoming smooth when I finished. I did not really miss the traction or anything as the cleating wore away, so if your more comfortable in your thinner soled pair wear them. Aside from the traction, the only plus to the added thickness of the cleated models is a bit less chance of pain/bruising if you misstep and land on a sharp rock or root, so just watch your step. If they aren't working out have the ones with more cleating sent to you.

Aspen Glow
03-16-2012, 16:48
This never ceases to amaze me. While it is well known that minimizing shoes or even going barefoot makes you more efficient moving forward - there is an absolute hardship endured by the body overall for the cost of that efficiency. So if you decide to remove any protection / padding, you will pay the price somewhere down the road.

Then again, I am still trying to find hiking boots that cover my knees, ha!

Different strokes for different folks I suppose. I had a knee injury that always crept up when I was getting into the 40-60 mile a week range. After 5 months of rest, followed by jumping on the five finger bandwagon, I haven't had any problems.

Aspen Glow
03-16-2012, 16:49
I'm definitely looking at all the different models you guys have suggested. Thanks for the input!

pdcolelli42
03-16-2012, 20:45
I've had a pair of the KSO treks for a few years and used them on a few hikes. I'd say 100-150 miles trail time only on them. I liked them alot but I'd be sure to go with the thicker models. You're sure to bruise the hell out of your feet with the thin ones. I ended up having knee problems after a while and I self attributed the problem the the VFF's but I've recently seen a PT on the matter and he said he does not think the VFFs caused it. I think he's correct too. Now that being said I bought trail runners before I saw the PT and I've grown to like them so much that I will be using them instead of my VFFs. I want all the protection I can get on my thru hike. I've had a couple really bad stubs in the VFFs and actually some arch pain. Maybe once I get my trail legs I'll switch back to VFFs for the summer, but I don't know.

Also something to consider, in cold weather VFFs suck. This is because of the toes being separated and they can't stay warm like that. My feet went numb so fast I built a little hobo fire within less than a mile to keep from freezing. The temp that day started in the mid 20's though... bad choice on my part to bring the VFFs. Once the temp did rise my feet were still somewhat numb but not enough to cause problems so I just walked through it.

Dawg
03-18-2012, 07:38
I wear Five Fingers as much as possible, and I really like my Altra Instincts for a more substantial shoe. Altra is a fairly new company, their shoes have zero drop and a unique foot shaped design. Nice and wide in the forefoot. Altra makes a trail runner called the Lone Peak, but I can't speak about it from experience.

Shiraz-mataz
03-19-2012, 06:21
My hiking buddy and I were both using VFF's but a losing battle of toe vs. rock caused my friend to swear off Vibrams forever. He didn't dislike the shoes in general but felt they forced a certain level of attention to the terrain that distracted from his enjoyment of the hike. I, on the other hand, am used to traipsing around without shoes a lot of the time and being mindful of obstacles is very innate so I stuck with the Vibrams. Differents strokes, you know?

Aspen Glow
03-19-2012, 07:04
My hiking buddy and I were both using VFF's but a losing battle of toe vs. rock caused my friend to swear off Vibrams forever. He didn't dislike the shoes in general but felt they forced a certain level of attention to the terrain that distracted from his enjoyment of the hike. I, on the other hand, am used to traipsing around without shoes a lot of the time and being mindful of obstacles is very innate so I stuck with the Vibrams. Differents strokes, you know?

your opinion carries extra weight (bad choice of words?) because I am in Hughesville, about 20 miles from leonardtown ha

Shiraz-mataz
03-19-2012, 07:29
your opinion carries extra weight (bad choice of words?) because I am in Hughesville, about 20 miles from leonardtown ha


Ha! I didn't notice your location in the original post... Yeah, I guess we are neighbors!

Lint
03-20-2012, 17:07
+1 on Altra footwear.

I've been wearing the Instinct around town and the Lone Peak on trail for a few months and am blown away by these shoes. They aren't "barefoot" shoes, but have zero-drop construction and a very wide toe-box. They're almost comically wide, but this allows the toes to splay in a very comfortable way. I've been experimenting with VFF, Merrell Trail Gloves and New Balance Minimus for awhile, but the Lone Peak will be my shoe of choice on my next thru hike.

Zipper
03-20-2012, 23:56
I trained in VFFs when they didn't have the ones with all the extra stuff on the soles - I had a basic pair of Sprints and wore them everywhere for months before my hike. I didn't end up having foot problems and maybe that's because I had strengthened my foot muscles ahead of time - who knows? Just before I left for the trip, I switched to low cut Montrails, and ended up wearing about four different pairs of trail shoes through my hike. I'm glad I made the switch - while the VFFs are fabulous in so many ways, they slowed me down, especially with extra weight. I did use my five fingers as my camp shoes for the first two thirds of my hike and hiked in them for maybe about 40 miles of the AT total, especially after stream crossings.
Best wishes with whatever you decide to do!