I promised to keep you updated on how I'm getting along with my minimalistic Vibram 5 finger shoes. In my last post I reported that my left heel felt bruised. Someone, CurlyGurly, I think (can't seem to tag any more), suggested it may actually be the dreaded plantar fasciitis. That got me searching the web and I came to the conclusion she may be right. It's always my left heel and always the same place and it did seem odd. But if it is, it's not really bad and it hasn't stopped me running in normal shoes. Anyway I gave myself a break from running in the Vibrams of about 3 weeks and then tentatively started back with a slow 4k, increasing to a speedier 5k and culminating in a 10k this Sunday. I alternate with my normal shoes and will keep my Vibrams for the shorter runs, building up slowly (apart from the odd 10k!).
I do like them. They are light and I automatically increase my cadence when wearing them. I go barefoot as often as I can anyway and I like the idea of strengthening my arches, feet, calves etc. It also makes sense to me that we are made to run barefoot and not with a huge wedge under our heels. Apart from the "bruised heel" problem I have had no aches and pains. My left heel is still sensitive, but doesn't hurt - let's say I'm very aware of it and notice every "massage" from every stone, root or rock. I try to run on soft ground, or smooth tarmac. I still think I'm a heel striker, but the faster cadence helps avoid problems and I'm working on my form. On the other hand I don't want to change my style too much and set something else off!
And when I have calves of steel, beautiful feet like MrNiceGuy, strong arches and supple knees I will report.
Oh, and so far only one older woman on a bike has stared at my strange looking feet. And I can now get them on without finding 2 toes in one pouch (at first I felt like a 2-year-old putting gloves on!).