Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Running (almost) barefoot

Wow, I took a hiatus. Between Oli keeping us on our toes and my family visiting last weekend AND my time at work split between two departments, it's been busy around here. But, I started something new in my workout regimen a few weeks ago and wanted to share my experience.

I found a pair of Fila Skeletoes on clearance at DSW and with another $10, they were only $25. So, I figured let's try them out. Also, after using them a few days, I realized they were the men's version but they fit and they work, so I kept them.

I started a C25K program 3 weeks ago and I used the new shoes. Everywhere I read about this, it said there's a learning curve and some adjustment time. I was surprised at how easily I was able to run from the very first day. Let me compare them to my old running shoes that I got measured for, at a running store.

If you look at the inside of the left orange & white shoe, you'll notice that the sole comes out a bit. That's to correct my tendency to over-pronate. Which means when I ran, I tended to roll my foot from the outside of my heel to the inside of my toes, ending the run on my big toe. That would hurt my toes and my knee when I ran. With the New Balance shoes I had, that little bit of protruding sole helped correct that. The Skeletoes, as you can see, has no such thing. So, I was worried I would hurt my knee again. But, no, instead I just automatically correct myself since I feel like I am running on bare feet. Today, I advanced to running in 5 minute intervals, and my knee felt no strain at all.

These photos compare the soles between the two shoes. The Filas have almost no sole, but they have a slightly hard bottom under the sole and heel. I thought that might cause pain to my foot but so far, all I have felt is my toes getting a bit uncomfortable by the end of the run. But, no pain.

Overall, I think the theory that running barefoot is better for the body/feet might be true. I have only done a 1.5 mile walk in Baltimore, not a run yet. But, I am looking forward to trying a run outside next weekend. I think I run better, as in, my running gait is more correct. For example, you are supposed to run using the front of your feet, but most of us run pounding with our heels. With a shoe that has barely any sole, it's tough to hit the ground with my sole first. I move to the balls of my feet quickly and it's more of a rolling gait. I think that's what helps keep the knee pain away.

It's only been a few weeks so all of this is just my initial thoughts on it. I'll try my first run with them outside and report back later.

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