Monday, December 7, 2009

Free at Last, Free at Last!

OK, so I'm no Martin Luther King, but I do feel that I'm free at last...from the tyranny of structured running in formal running shoes. Yesterday I had a great run in my Vibram FiveFinger KSOs. It felt great to go easy with no heart-rate monitor, no watch, no pace goal, no planned distance or time...just running in my minimalist finger shoes wherever I wanted to go! Didn't hurt to have a fairly warm day (temperature in the 30s instead of teens or low 20s). My feet felt great and my body and mind were in sync with "just running" as mankind was meant to do. The five finger shoes are about as close to barefoot and primal running as you can get (especially in cold climates). I ran on a local park bike path for about 5-6 miles...taking a slight detour through a 715 meter trail loop in the middle of the bike path out-and-back route. I usually run on pure trails, but I just wanted a smooth (and slightly warmer?) surface to run on and the flat asphalt hit the spot. I'll be back to trails soon enough...hopefully still in the KSOs.

Give yourself a break from the imprisonment of "normal" shoes and try a little barefoot or Five Finger shoe running. While you're at it, leave the watch and heart-rate monitor at home too...and just run. You may find that hitting the road or trail with little technology brings you back to the heart & soul of running...just you and your legs cruising along a path less traveled. No worries, no pressure, no goals. Enjoy.


Ragfield said...

It's interesting that you mention the Vibrams in this weather. I've found it harder and harder to wear them lately, despite desperately wanting to wear them. Below 40˚F I have to run pretty fast to keep my toes warm in the KSO Flows, and it's just too uncomfortably cold to wear them at all below 36˚F or so (at any speed). And that's completely dry.

I tried one time to wear Injinji socks with them but I couldn't get them to fit right and I scrapped the idea. Do you have any other suggestions? Otherwise it will be several months of bulky shoes :(

You might appreciate that I ran Tecumseh in racing flats (New Balance 790s). It was my first marathon in flats and it went well (shoe-wise, not so well otherwise).


Unknown said...

yea it's hard to fit correctly in the shoe while wearing socks.. maybe if you had another shoe designated as one you would wear with the injinjis.. 1 size larger.. I tried wearing smaller sized injinjis but then my toes were too constricted...

I still would recommend the nike frees on certain occasions.

or maybe either of these 2 shoes

Chris Ⓥ said...

If the weather is dry, I seem to be OK in the Vibram KSOs to about 25-30 degrees...with the toe socks! I wear socks almost all the time with my KSOs. They still fit fine and even in the summer they help absorb the sweat. I hate that sticky feeling in the shoes. I have a new racing flat (Mizuno Wave Universe 3) that I'm using for cold weather. It is SERIOUSLY minimalist (weighs 3.5 ounces). Allows me to run like I was barefoot, but still keeps the toes warm. For the trails it is still the NB 790s.

Joshua said...

Amen Chris,
I've been 100% sole-free for 2 months and over 200 miles and I couldn't be happier. I can't stomach the thought of putting on shoes.
I run primarily barefooted and begrudgingly put on my KSOs only for runs over 8ish miles. Don't get me wrong, I love my VFFs but would prefer to be barefoot 100% of the time.
As for temperature? Haven't found my feet to get cold yet in my Vibrams even in the teens/low 20's but that'll change now that we got our first blizzard. I'll choose the treadmill in Vibrams over outside snow running in shoes. But who knows, have yet to try my KSOs in snow so maybe I'll be good to go. Need to get my miles in for my grand slam training after all.

Joshua said...

haven't tried any injinji socks yet. not sure if i'll like them but i definitely want to see how they feel on those colder runs.

Chris Ⓥ said...

I'm going to try and use my KSOs throughout the winter. With the toe socks they seem fairly warm--and I don't mind the socks. If there is snow/ice/slush, they won't hold up well. Winter isn't even officially here yet, but I can't wait for spring!

Kevin said...

Just ran last night in my new KSO Treks with Injinji socks. Fantastic! The Treks have great traction in the snow. Felt like I was running on a pillow.