Weird Running “Shoes”

Way back in 2008 when I had some knee trouble I visited an orthopaedic surgeon to make sure I wasn’t causing any damage in my training for the Comrades,  one of the things  he told me while he was examining me was that I should incorporate some barefoot training into my running schedule.

His reasons were quite valid I thought – when you run with shoes on you strike the ground with your heel first, when you run barefoot you strike with the ball of your foot first which causes less tension on your knees.

Of course the barefoot training never materialised, actually coming to think of it neither did the schedule, but last week a runner passed me on the road while I was driving home and he had these on.

Vibram 5-fingers

I have seen these (called Vibram 5-Fingers) before and mentioned them on a few of the running forums I go on from time to time, but I’d never actually seen someone using them.  The theory behind these shoes follows what my knee guy had to say about training barefoot – which due to obvious reasons isn’t really the way forward when you are looking at boiling hot, tarred roads with glass, stones and various other foot piercing materials littering your way.

I’m curious to see how these rather peculiar ‘shoes’ perform…  Have any of you out there used them??

Photo Credit


  1. Deric says:

    Sorry for only commenting now, but these shoes are the future.

    If you don’t believe me, read one of the best books on running (and in general) ever written, called ‘Born to run’ By Christopher Mc’something.

    Try barefoot running Candice. It’s the way it was meant to be. I would do it more if I didn’t run in a stupidly cold country (UK).

  2. Luke says:

    Yes, I got the KSO version in early 2008. After a few minutes of practising landing properly (ie, no heel strike) I had no trouble running in them. (Gravel is still an issue, though.)

    The problem was the next morning. My achilles and calves were v sore.

    I’d suggest walking in them, but not running, for a few days, then after more stretching than usual, do some short, light runs until your achilles and calves are ready for a full run.

    There’s a new version out soon with a heavier-duty tread, more suited to trail running.

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