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Vibram FiveFingers Bikila

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  • Sunday, June 13 2010 @ 11:49 PM UTC
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The other day I was running in my Huarache Sandals. Another runner caught up with me and started to chat since he had never seen anyone running in huaraches before. He was wearing Newton running shoes and told me that he owned some Vibram FiveFingers. It seems like FiveFingers (VFF) are everywhere these days (even my parents have heard of them).

I've fixed most of the discomfort with the huaraches, but the lacing is still tricky to get "just right" and comfortable. I'm not sure I want to deal with that on race day. As I mentioned in RunAmoc running moccasins from Soft Star Shoes, I'm still looking for the perfect minimalist running shoe.

I had a rare weekend day of freedom (thanks honey!), so I drove down to Lloyd Clarke Sports here in Gainesville to try on some Newtons. I discovered that Lloyd Clarke has Newtons AND Vibram FiveFingers in stock, so I got to try them both.

Here is what I bought:

RunAmoc running moccasins from Soft Star Shoes

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  • Sunday, June 13 2010 @ 11:27 PM UTC
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I really wanted to love the RunAmoc, and not just because of the awesome name. The Huarache Sandals that I made a few weeks ago had some discomfort around the toe knot. I didn't want to jump on the Vibram FiveFingers bandwagon just yet. Minimalist shoes such as the Vivobarefoot seemed way to expensive. The Feelmax shoes have not appealed to me very much, although I'm not sure why.

After watching Last of the Mohicans I was primed and ready to run in my new moccasins.

I ordered the "RunAmoc - LITE red" with street sole (2 mm).

Here are pics and what I think of the RunAmoc:

Huarache Sandals

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  • Thursday, June 03 2010 @ 09:29 PM UTC
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I made a pair of huarache sandals using a kit from InvisibleShoe.com. Getting the lacing right is the hardest part.

Walking around in the yard they were incredible... bring on the sticks, pine cones, and sweetgum balls! However, on hard surfaces I could definitely feel the knot under the left foot to the point of being painful. The right foot was fine. It is probably due to that shoddy construction (by me!). I will try re-doing the left knot to see if it helps.

The cord between my toes was a little uncomfortable (I've never been a flip-flop fan) but I think I will get used to it. The sandals stay on the feet without any effort. Traction is good all-around and is a definite improvement over running barefoot on wet slimy boardwalks.

My Third Barefoot Run

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  • Wednesday, June 02 2010 @ 08:30 PM UTC
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I ran 2.5 miles total yesterday, 1.25 of that barefooted. I have discovered that running barefoot on Florida sun-baked concrete sidewalks gives me blisters... almost instantly. Not fun. I'm eagerly awaiting the pair of RunAmoc running moccasins that I ordered from Soft Star Shoes.

I added "Last of the Mohicans" to our Netflix queue.

The reality of my fitness level is setting in. It really has been years since I did any substantial running. I have to "forget" my college Cross Country training capabilities and consider that I am pretty much starting from scratch. Note to self: TAKE IT EASY.

I discovered a new web site dailymile for keeping track of training miles and getting social with other active people.

My Second Barefoot Run

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  • Saturday, May 29 2010 @ 11:00 PM UTC
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I have one word to describe my second barefoot run... CALVES!

Yes, the calves are quite sore. I ran 2.25 miles today, 1.5 of that barefooted. Most of the run was on dirt trails, some of them twisty with the occasional tree root. I was quite surprised that the rougher terrain did not bother me... as long as I stayed light on my feet and continued a brisk cadence as described in the various barefoot running guides.

At this point in my training, I am glad to carry the Nike Frees along with me. When my calves need a break I can throw on the shoes and keep my cardiovascular going. The shoes allow me to continue with a mid-foot strike, but give the calf muscle a break since my heal does not travel all the way to the ground.

Wooden boards can be very slippery when wet. My Nike Frees had better traction than bare feet on a wet mildew-covered boardwalk crossing a wetland area. This makes me think I will try some minimalist shoes for the possibility of gaining traction.

I'm told that I need to watch the movie "Last of the Mohicans" because of all the running scenes. I also keep finding great stories online such as UltraRunning - In the Beginning: Native Americans. These fit well with the conceptual love I'm developing towards the moccasin. But for now, I will continue to alternate between true barefoot running and the Nike Free Run+.

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