Health & Exercise

Anyone into barefoot/minimalist running shoes?

I'm looking into Vibram 5 fingers shoes and wondering if anyone had a positive experience. I think I am most interested in the Bikila because those felt the best when I tried them on in the store. 

Re: Anyone into barefoot/minimalist running shoes?

  • I have a new balance with the vibram sole.  I love them, but just be careful that you need to work up to distances with them or you will likely injure yourself since it teaches your body to run in a different way and your muscle groups aren't used to it.  When you first start, run no more than 1km in them (you can walk as much as you want) and then go up from there.   

     Also, they suck on a stone path like gravel.  I've gotten some good bruises that way.   

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  • JoeLiesJoeLies
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    I recently switched over to Altras - they're most commonly compared to the New Balance minimalist line but are shaped more like a foot (not with toe sleeves like vibrams, just not a pointy forefoot).  I love them!  I started running in them while already pregnant so my mileage was already down and I immediately switched over to wearing them 100% of the time.  I've also avoided motion control shoes for years, so it may have made it a slightly easier transition.

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  • KateVAKateVA
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    I love my minimalist Inov8's. But like pp, start slow.
  • rondosarondosa
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    image Habs2Hart:

    I have a new balance with the vibram sole.  I love them, but just be careful that you need to work up to distances with them or you will likely injure yourself since it teaches your body to run in a different way and your muscle groups aren't used to it.  When you first start, run no more than 1km in them (you can walk as much as you want) and then go up from there.   

     Also, they suck on a stone path like gravel.  I've gotten some good bruises that way.   

    THIS! I have the New Balance minimus zero street running shoes, plus I got a pair of the Minimus 10 trail shoes. Both with vibram soles.

    I was way too gung-ho about them and jumped in way too fast and developed plantar fascitis and achilles tendonitis but was able to heal eventually. I will get back into them once I deliver and can get back to running...I miss them so much, they are so comfortable and light, I love wearing them.

  • I run in the Bikilas and love them.  I only have great things to say about Vibrams - prior to running in them I was having serious IT Band issues (and had a history of back and hip problems - major SI Joint issues requiring PT).  I haven't had a single running pain since I switched over.  No IT Band, no hip pain, no back pain.  I convinced my mom to switch over since she was getting some ankle pain while running and she hasn't had any issues since switching also.

    I did work up in mileage.  I think I started with a 1/2 mile and gradually added on?  But that was about 3 years ago, so I don't remember exactly.

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  • I've only used the NB minimalist and I LOVE them.  I used to run in Nike Shox which were too heavy.  However, others on this board probably run 5 miles on up.  I only run 3 a day and walk 2. 
  • The NB Minimus Roads shredded my achilles, they just didn't fit me right. I ended up with Merrell Pace Gloves and I'm really happy with them. I don't use them for runs longer than 5 miles, though I know plenty of people who have marathoned in them.
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  • I'm not a fan of my vibrams and enjoy my asics with cushion much much better!
  • Laumb11Laumb11
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    Lurking.. 

    I love my Bikilas! I am on my 2nd pair. They are my favorite. I also have the New Balance Minimus and those are good too but the Bikilas fit my foot better. Definitely work up to them, my calves hurt like crazy when I first used them.  



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  • I have had a pair of Vibram 5 fingers for about 3 years and LOVE them.  They're amazing.  However, they are definitely for running on grass or tracks.  Concrete floors aren't going to feel good after a while.  They don't have the cushion and support (obviously) that most running shoes do.  But then again, I grew up in the country.  I never really worse shoes at all unless there was a sign on the door that said they were mandatory.  So I've never actually had an issue with them if I feel like running on a paved trail, but I know some people that have. 


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