Around this time last year I first attempted to run in what is commonly referred to as the “barefoot style.” I had had a minor case of Plantar Fasciitis over the summer and had been told by a physio that I needed expensive orthotics and to stop running. I had flat arches and inflamed Fascia in the sole of my feet. I did a bit of reading online and thought I knew better. After a month of wearing no shoes or socks at home and vivo barefoot shoes when I had to leave the house, my arches were back and I was down half a shoe size. Added to this my toes started looking like they were the right length in relation to each other.
I tried a couch to 5K programme that I found online and proceeded to throw myself into it wholeheartedly.
3 weeks in I could barely walk. I had an overuse injury to the ankle and I was out of action with a Darth Vader boot for a while. I had neglected technique. After running in the correct style I went out in my old Saucony shoes and ran with a heel strike. Then did the same in my minimal shoes. Insufficient rest periods as I acclimatised and twisting my ankle all played their part.
My confidence was in tatters as I only regained my freedom from crutches just before we went to India (immediately prior to my 40th birthday.) I was worried I’d done myself that nagging injury that would dog me for life.
Once I had stopped being a drama queen and had completed three months of physio I could walk on it as normal, but I didn’t trust my ankle for sport or even hiking.
Watching the Olympics, and to a greater degree the Paralympics, made me realise that what separated me from the Olympic athletes was dedication, confidence and determination.
I am now running twice a week (let my body adjust) in Saucony Hattori minimal shoes. With a simple short stride, forefoot strike. Light and easy. I’d love to review them but I’ve not worn another pair of “barefoot” road running shoes so I’ll save that for when my next pair arrive.
First impressions from a month of use…
Very lightweight (There is nothing to them);
Difficult to get on in hurry (Separate and loosen as wide as possible then put them on);
Minimal cushioning, very soft sole (I have picked up big splinters and thorns in the sole of these);
Comfier on tarmac than grass (they feel less direct on grass or trail because the damping is added to the damping of the grass making them vague underfoot);
Alright for now.