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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    Martinsburg, WV USA
    Posts
    1,075

    Default Minimalist Running Shoes and Plantar Fascitis?

    I started running last May (Couch to 5K program) and discovered I really enjoyed it. I started having problems with plantar fascitis in late July but kept running (no pain no gain, right?? ). I ran my first 5K on Oct 1 but haven't run since.

    The plantar fascitis is slowly getting better (yes, doing treatment and exercise for it) and I'm thinking about trying the running thing again. I've been doing a lot of reading on the "minimalist" or "barefoot" running shoes and -- knowing what a difference the correct shoes can make for horses -- am debating about trying them.

    Any thoughts or experiences with running in minimalist shoes? Anyone else with plantar fascitis who's running in these shoes? I really miss running....

    Lorree
    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom
    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18,753

    Default

    I do wear minimalist Merrell's--these--and I like them a lot. I've been slacking in my running/gym time, so I have not worn them running yet. Maybe I'll wear them to the gym today...

    I asked a guy I know who competes in the Iron Man triathlons about barefoot shoes, and he says he knows people who wear them successfully, but you have to BE CAREFUL and build up SLOWLY. He knows others who have gone whole hog with the barefoot shoe thing and they get injured. You really have to build up gradually, and you have to stop if you get sore. Stress fractures are not uncommon for people who go too fast.

    I don't know anything about using them with plantar fascitis, though.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2006
    Posts
    394

    Default Pf

    I too suffer from PF. What works best for me is a sneaker that has alot of soft cushion AND arch support. I also get a wide width so I have absolutely no pressure anywhere. I always carry 1 or 2 pairs in my truck and I change immediately if I start to feel soreness anywhere. So far so good and I haven't had a flare up following above.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Greeley, Colorado
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    I do not have PF, but I am always an advocate for the Vibram 5-fingers. I have a myriad of other problems (bad knees, ankles, and back) and I can comfortably run in them with little to no pain!
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    7,371

    Default

    I had plantar faciitis pretty badly. I wore Birckenstocks or a Birck insoles. The only thing that actually cured it was stretching every time I get up. So when you feel stiff and hurting, just lean against a wall and stretch that out.

    I got the Vibram 5 finger with individual toes. I thought with so little to the shoe it would kill me. They're great. I've been doing yoga and exercise classes with them. Since I've only been wearing Birk's or Addidas with a good sole and a Birk insole I thought my feet would really hurt. They don't. They're great. The relief your feet feel when the toes can spread is amazing. I would look into that.



  6. #6

    Default

    My husband has a pair and looooooves them, he runs five days a week and generally between two and five miles. You do need to start out slowly and make sure you are running properly on them.

    I would recommend going into a good running store and getting fitted, we have a great running store near us and the guy is super knowledgeable and helpful.
    for more Joy then you can handle
    http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18,753

    Default

    FWIW, I was told that the Merrell's I linked earlier were a "mitten" version of the toe shoes, and a collaboration between Vibram and Merrell. They do have the Vibram sole. I always through the five finger shoes were interesting, but could never take the plunge to look quite that silly

    I did wear the shoes to the gym, and I am reminded of when I first started walking around in them. If you under or over pronate, barefoot is probably not the answer for you. I tend to over pronate, but have been very aware of the issue for several years now and generally go correctly in barefoot shoes when walking and regular sneakers when running. Running in the Merrell's brings it back a little bit and I really have to watch it. It really makes your calves and ankles WORK, too. You will also need to change your running style if you land heel first--you need to land on your midfoot or forefoot in barefoot shoes.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    7,371

    Default

    I haven't tried the mitten version. I'm wondering if it will hold in the toes more and get rid of that glorious toe spreading I love so much. They do seem a little silly looking, but I tell you, every time I wear them, everyone thinks I'm so cool. So, if that matters to you, they look cool.

    I don't run, but I've always walked barefoot and can't stand shoes on my foot. I was forced to wear them a lot more with the planar faciitis. The Vibram are SO comfortable my my barefoot loving feet. Of course they're not shoes you want to wear in cold because there are no socks, or rain or mud or snow if you have it.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18,753

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    I haven't tried the mitten version. I'm wondering if it will hold in the toes more and get rid of that glorious toe spreading I love so much.
    I was actually thinking about this very thing as I drove back from the gym, wiggling my toes I've not worn the five fingers, so I can't do a direct comparison, but the toe box on the Merrell's is huge. I think that if I didn't wear socks, I could get some impressive toe spreading! The socks tend to keep all my toes packaged together. I should try losing them and see how it feels!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    4,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Synrgystyk View Post
    I started running last May (Couch to 5K program) and discovered I really enjoyed it. I started having problems with plantar fascitis in late July but kept running (no pain no gain, right?? ). I ran my first 5K on Oct 1 but haven't run since.

    The plantar fascitis is slowly getting better (yes, doing treatment and exercise for it) and I'm thinking about trying the running thing again. I've been doing a lot of reading on the "minimalist" or "barefoot" running shoes and -- knowing what a difference the correct shoes can make for horses -- am debating about trying them.

    Any thoughts or experiences with running in minimalist shoes? Anyone else with plantar fascitis who's running in these shoes? I really miss running....

    Lorree
    I suffered with plantar fascitis for a LONG time, and I would strongly recommend waiting until it's completely healed before starting to run again. It might also be good to take a quick "lesson" in running technique from a trainer. I know, it sounds a bit ridiculous, but after my PF healed and I started working out with a trainer, he gave me some training/technique exercises to help with running in proper form to avoid future problems.

    You might want to start up with shoes with good support (I had custom orthodics) and then slowly go down to the minimalist shoes.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    7,371

    Default

    Ah, once you feel the toe spreading, you may never go back! I haven't tried Merrell's, but it's something to think about. I guess whatever's on sale. I got my $100 Vibrams for $60.

    It did take me a LONG time to get my toes in for awhile. It can be hard to work. Now it seems to be conformed to my feet, so they go on pretty quickly. I don't know if different styles are different for easier toe insertion.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    Martinsburg, WV USA
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    Luckily, we have a very good local minimalist running shoe store, so I plan to go there to get fitted (and pick their brains and ask lots of questions!). I'd like to try the Vibrams 'cause I think they look cool and I've heard good things about the Merrells. Generally I'm not one who likes to be barefoot -- my soles are so tender that going barefoot is just not a pleasant experience. But I like the idea of "less is more" so I'm open to giving "barefoot" shoes a try. (And if I can get back to running I'll be thrilled!)

    I know that you have to get used to wearing them -- not just jump in with both feet (pun intended ). I also have to work on my running technique since I tend to be a heavy heel striker. For most of August and September, my PF was a very good motivator to remember to hit midfoot!

    Keep the comments coming! I appreciate the information and opinions.

    Lorree
    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom
    "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    I've had PF and needed shots of cortisone to get it to heal. The Dr said one of the worst things for PF is walking barefoot, so be careful.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    I've got no input on the PF.

    For minimal support I love the Nike Free shoe. It's not as extreme as the Vibrams. I was a heavy heel striker until I switched to the Nike. They put me into a perfect mid foot strike without me even knowing I was doing anything different.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



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