2

votes

I do a lot of walking and have just started a running program. Should I wear minimalist shoes for walking and regular for running? Or some other combination of the two?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM

I have only begun to learn about minimalist shoes. I started my running program (typical couch to 5k program) with sketchers go run. I noticed that I am never sore in the places I usually am when I have been a runner before. But the logic of building up the muscles in your feet equals less injury makes me wonder if I ought to be wearing minimalist walking shoes (I dont drive I really do walk ALOT daily) and standard shoes for running. I could go alot further and get more of a workout in regular shoes I would think...Ideas?

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 25, 2012
at 07:59 PM

I have a pair of Vivo Barefoot hiking shoes, they're wonderful.

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5 Answers

2
717aa28e41417398947944c46602c4b5

(20)

on December 25, 2012
at 09:06 PM

The gait of barefoot running is completely different from that of sneaker running, so doing both at the same time can be...a tricky exercise. You can make the transition easier for yourself by moving toward a 'toe-first' gait while wearing your shoes, AND, after your run, take off your shoes and walk (don't run) for a short distance, making sure your barefoot form is correct (it will feel kind of like ballerina walking, with a pointed toe that hits the ground before your heel). Check out the numerous youtube videos about proper barefoot form.

Once you are completely comfortable with the form of barefoot walking, running will come easily. But, if you aren't comfortable with form while walking, running will be an injury minefield. It took me about a month to build up my feet and get comfy with form. I would recommend taking it slow, and erring on the side of caution. Remember, it isn't just the muscles that are being built; your bones and ligaments are strengthening as well (and that takes time).

Once you've learned proper form, it will be very useful as a tool to determine whether you have enough foot strength to be doing the barefooting you are trying to do. If you find that your form is slipping, or that you're too tired to be using correct form, then you're done for the day. Go stretch. Even now, three years later, I still use this rule.

As an addendum-- if you take time off from your barefooting, remember to ease back in. In shoes, your foot muscles behave like any other immobilized muscle, and will atrophy quickly.

I have found barefooting to be rewarding in terms of enjoyment and physical returns. If possible, I highly recommend trying true barefooting (bare skin) -- after conditioning the sole of the foot, you'll be surprised at how a run turns into a foot massage. :)

Enjoy!

2
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 25, 2012
at 06:53 PM

The idea of minimalist shoes is not only that you will build up muscles in your feet, but that they will encourage the proper running posture and therefore make you less prone to injury.

Running in minimalist shoes using the sort of gait you used w /regular shoes is not such a good idea though. It's worth watching a few videos before you start. Or there's this simple image:

http://www.merrell.com/US/en/BarefootConnection

1
B90b8915b7e3d2a8ee760bb6918d53a7

on December 25, 2012
at 10:41 PM

What I noticed after a while running with vibram five fingers is that 'normal' shoes don't fit anymore.

Not that my feet have gotten longer, they are wider in the ball. And on top of that I don't want to wear shoes with a heal any more. So I bought some Merrels for work.

I have done so much running to train my feet and lower legs that I don't want to negate that during the rest of my time. Which means doing my research especially now that it's winter.

And by the way I've tried running in the Merrels and didn't like it because I couldn't splay and grip with my toes. I never realized how my feet and toes should be functioning.

1
B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

on December 25, 2012
at 07:17 PM

I agree with the above. Start slowwwwwly with the minimalist shoes. I was so excited to try them after reading "Born to Run" and went for 3 miles immediately. Needless to say I ended up with a calf strain.

I think it'd be a good idea to start walking around with minimalist shoes and wearing them to work just to see how they feel before starting to run in them. It might take your feet and your calves a while to get used to them, especially if you've been wearing high heels or anything else with elevated heels.

Check out a brand called Vivo Barefoot. I think they look better than others and they have work shoes too! They are a little pricey though.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 25, 2012
at 07:59 PM

I have a pair of Vivo Barefoot hiking shoes, they're wonderful.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 25, 2012
at 06:51 PM

So I use the nike pegasus shoes for running. and the new balance minumus for walking and lifting.

IMO the sketchers are just about the worst shoes you can wear, but if they are working for you wear them!

I've had some back issues, the physical therapist said this is her rule of thumb. Slow and long or Fast and short and you can wear whatever. Fast and long (like trying to run a 5k for a PR) and you need shoes that work with your body. So I would recommend going to a running specialty store and getting your gait checked out.

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