Tag Archives: Vibram FiveFingers

FiveFingers, Five Stars: Running, Pt. 1

after 3 weeks of wearing the Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s, it’s time to write a review and recap some highlights – but first, some history:

i started running back in august of this year (’09). i was nervous about running for several reasons:

  • i’ve not done any kind of running in the past 25 years (and i’m 41 now)
  • the few times this past summer that i’d tried to run, my knees / back would stop me
  • i’ve lost 40lbs since may but am still overweight – i didn’t want this to end up being a failure and get discouraged with the other things i’m doing to improve my health (at 245 right now, i’m shooting for another 25-30lbs to go)
  • i have a form of arthritis that can flare up unexpectedly, and has put me out of commission for days or weeks in years past when it hits my knees or ankles (in a physical mobility sense)
  • for most practical purposes, without my hearing aids, i hear nothing but extremely loud noises, and cannot wear them when i’m sweating (how to sense cars coming behind, etc)
  • it was something new and i wasn’t sure i really wanted to do it

but i realized that most of these were excuses. like with all the other changes i’ve made this past year, i did some extensive research on running, spoke to several people who are runners, plotted out my strategy, and went with it. i went and bought a pair of New Balance running shoes, took it slow (walking, then running, then more running and less walking, finally running 3 miles a night without walking), and really came to enjoy it.

well, kinda.

i was doing well with the act of running itself, but my ankles, knees, hips, and back were just exhausted after each run. i mean, i was wiped! and the next day these joints were hollering more than just soreness. i figured this came with the territory and decided to just run my way through it.

and finally i had to stop running for a couple weeks because it just hurt too much. my knees were killing me and i was losing sleep from the pain at night.

i did what i normally do: i brooded a couple days, then started researching what went wrong.

and the only answer i could come up with is that i was slamming down on my heels with each stride – it’s what i remember doing when i was playing sports, right? heel-to-toe? and all that weight slamming down, jolting the rest of me on the way back up.

now let me say this: i’m not here to argue proper form (and thank God for that – others more qualified can do that and actually give a damn). for me, it’s the only thing i could figure.

so i started looking into barefoot running – it seemed natural for me, both in form and comfort (i’ve worn only Birkenstocks for 12+ years now and when i’m not wearing my birks, i’m wearing nothing).

and this led me to Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s.

part two is coming right up!