silly shoe exp. day 2: giant gecko

September 27th, 2009

These shoes look silly. Really silly. I’ll spare us all the embarrassment of photos.

The Vibram Five Finger shoes consist of a shock resistant rubber sole contoured in the shape of a standard footbed with 5 distinct toes. There are a number of different shoe models varying mainly in the amount of lycra in the top and direction of the fasteners. Both of us bought the KSOs because at least on my feet, the buckles or elastic of the other shoe models chaffed.

These shoes look like monster feet. I don’t recommend trying them if you live outside the Bay Area or perhaps other style black-holes like Portland or Austin. Definitely restrict your use to open-minded cities.

They make me feel like a giant gecko.

We took the goofy shoes for a really short jog this morning. Short because the Vibram makers suggest you slowly ease into running in them and short because it only took 2 miles before Doug’s calves cramped. Miss Injury, me, was just fine. The balls of my feet are making themselves known, and my back feels a bit more massaged than normal, but nothing muscular to report.

These aren’t like running barefoot. Although I think these shoes allow me to approximate the sensation of running barefoot and alter my running style slightly to approximate unassisted running, these shoes are definitely not like running barefoot. (I’ve sprinted after enough littles in the neighborhood to be an expert on the topic of barefoot running.) I credit the shock resistant rubber for dulling the impact enough that our jog didn’t cause spinal damage. The most notable change to my running was the lack of assisted rolling that my standard shoes afford me. In the monster shoes, I engage the ball of my foot more in the roll and push off of each stride.

Anyway, for me, so far so good. I’ve just got to get fast enough that no one will notice my monster feet.