My first run in my Vibram Five Fingers.

2010 06 23 08.12.31 Bee Cave Texas US 300x225 My first run in my Vibram Five Fingers.

OK, People, I must add a small DIZclaimer here.

Something we all know, but which bears repeating.

Im not a runnerunner.

All the info below.  All the rambles which shall sporadically take place up in herre leading up to Vegas are the results, experiences and misfit-musings of a 40 something woman trying to find her cardio love.

I did it.

I finally took a break from walking/playing/eating/weight training hopscotching/movie-watching in my VFFs & utilized them for their main purpose.

RUNNING.

For sake of brevity (seriously. the first version of this post was a novella. you can thank me in the comments for NOT hitting publish) please to enjoy my bullet’ed thoughts.

  • I learned when exposed to my killer footsweat the merest of moisture the chili color turns my entire foot pink. After repeated soakings/washings Ive managed to keep the chili to the toes. Still, Im not happy with chili toes because, as I mentioned here, I love me some french pedicures.  As a result, I purchased a pair of the below.  I HEART THE BELOW.  And they arrived already pink so there were no concerns there. (according to company sources Im the only misfit to whom this has happened)

2010 07 01 18.26.52 225x300 My first run in my Vibram Five Fingers.

  • I took it slowly.  I already knew that just wearing the Vibram Five Fingers was practically like relearning to walk.  When I first wore them everything felt oddly out of whack and vaguely unsupported—and I wasnt running.   As a result, I knew I needed to commence the running slowly (literally slowly). My inaugural run? unplanned. My inaugural run? from the dentists office to the car in pouring rain sans umbrella. Im such a highly trained running machine that I was calf-sore after just that.  Which leads me to…
  • My first planned run was only a quarter mile. I swear Vibram Five Fingers are made for peeps like me.  Not only am I a hardcore rule follower Im also not a (finger quote) runner (unFQ).  I could totally see what a challenge it could be to resist running longer if running were your passion (Ive heard there are people like this. for me there was no challenge at all.  the feet squealed to a stop precisely a one quarter of a mile. happily.).  Because of this I really wasnt any more sore after my first official run than I was after hauling ass to the car in the rain.  Sad? Perhaps.  True? Fo’ shizzle.
  • I didn’t get any blisters or debilitating calf soreness. Id read horror stories about blisters the size of quarters & fantastic runners who could barely walk for days after initial runs in Five Fingers.  I experienced neither of these problems.  I think the sock might have prevented blistering (other thoughts? please to chime in!) and firmly believe the fact Im a huge goober/Rule FollowerMcGee & barely ran my first trip out helped to minimize any calf strain.
  • I focused more on listening than running. Id been repeatedly told I must ‘hear my run’ each time I wear my Five Fingers.  Those wiser than I instructed me, should I hear slappage (technical term), it meant my feet were hitting the ground improperly.  While that felt a little overwhelming to this non-runner—too much to remember—what made total sense was when I was told to listen for silence & to visualize  ‘kissing the earth’ with my feet I love me some silence.  I love me some kissing. Those two tips helped immensely my first (& 2nd & 3rd…) time out.
  • I engaged my core.  Again, I’m one to do as I am told and I was told this a lot.  Im not sure if focusing on keeping my core engaged or “tight” helped, but as a woman who tends to lead with her belly it definitely didnt hurt.  And neither did my core-area in the days after my run (VFF runners? please to chime in below about this as well).
  • I had lots and lot and lots of fun. The above pink-footed-cautious-moving-core-tightened-kissing-of-ground-zen-quiet running-rambles aside the whole experience made me smile.  I looked forward to shoving my toes in their own little houses & hitting the pavement.  I couldnt wait to get back outside and take my shoes a little further than I had the last time.  For me, a woman who loves the weights much more than the cardio, this alone was is enough to keep me VFFing any other benefits are just icing on the proverbial protein cake.

So that’s me.

At long last and (thankfully) not as long as it might have been.

And you?

Do you now long for chili-colored toes of your own?

Are you thisclose to pressing ADD TO CART or zipping to a local store to procure a pair?

Are you already VFFing and have tips of your own to add (yes, please!)?

please to hit us all up in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Bonnie says

    Miz I am laughing at the pink feet thing (I had seen your tweets about it as well).
    That would soooo happen to me too and I would be the only one.

    What is the verdict?
    Will you bringing the shoes to Vegas?

  2. says

    Love that you are loving your VFFs and running in them! Way to go!

    I’ve been wearing my VFFs for more than a year now and find them comfy and useful for so many purposes.

    I really enjoyed reading this post and didn’t find it at all long. :)

    Write On Run On.

  3. says

    I don’t think I could ever wear them. I hardly have any pinkie toe so where would it go? Certainly not into it’s own little house on the shoe. I’ll stick to my New Balance and Asics.

    • Jess says

      My pinky toes are the same way and they REALLY like to be next to my ring(??) toes. I wanted so badly to buy and LOVE a pair of VFF but putting them on was excruciatingly weird and uncomfortable. And not the kind of weird that VFF lovers talk about. I mean, my little toe felt like I was ripping it out of the socket.

      Guess I’ll be joining you in my Asics =/

  4. Bea says

    Thanks for sharing all this with us as Ive seen a few guys in my neighborhood running in the five fingers but have been too hesitant (intimidated) to ask about the shoes.

    They are weird looking for sure.

  5. says

    My daughter would think me THE COOLEST if I had pink feet.

    I wonder how they’d fit me as my pinky toe is so teeny that my husband makes constant fun of it.

    But I’d love to own a pair.

  6. Nan says

    The green against the pink in that photo is so pretty.

    I don’t think I could handle toe socks let alone SHOES.

    I will leave this all to you, MizFit

  7. says

    I’m going to share this post with my husband. We just saw someone running with similar footwear this weekend and he commented on wondering about it. Perfect timing to satisfy his curiosity.

    • Emily says

      Eve: traditional running shoes give you knee pain. It is a total lie that barefoot running gives you no support. This is how we are designed to run! The thinner the soles the better. And if you experience calf pain, you’re running to high on your foot. You should be hitting on the lower part of the balls of your feet, near your arches and it’s okay that your heel touches the ground – that’s natural. I will preach the good news of barefoot/VFF running forever and ever! And buy the gray/green ones – no pink feet ;-)

  8. says

    Pink toes? Not so much a good thing in the summer! Glad you enjoyed the experience. Even more glad to hear they didn’t cause blisters!!!! Oh and you are a runner ;) You must admit it…now! Hope you had a wonderful weekend MF

  9. says

    I’m not a runner or a runnerrunner either so it looks like there will be an extra size 6.5 VFF’s left on the shelf for someone that deserves em. HA!

  10. says

    Do you feel like your gait changed while wearing those vs. sneakers? I probably won’t get them since I have horrible knee pain, but I wonder if a gait change would be good for people who overpronate or have other mechanical problems with their feet/legs.

  11. says

    I have absolutely no desire to wear those things, not even a little bit. I love me some Asics cushioning. However, I will be interested to see how many pairs of them I see when I race in a couple of weeks. The last time I did this race two years ago, I’m not even sure Vibrams were out on the market.

  12. Miz says

    more when the day is wrangled and flowing but definitely no knee pain and I do think my gait (even though I’m a VFF newbie) is slowly and slightly changing.

    I’m highly suggestible tho and have been reading and rereading Born To Run ;)

  13. says

    Great review. I am intrigued by them for sure. I may work up the courage to try them because of all of my feet and leg injuries.

  14. says

    Although I love your story & it was fun to read, these flat as a pancake getting flatter every minute feet can’t handle any exercsie without some support plus the bunions too…. and with age, now the front pads of my feet are tender… Miz, I can’t wait to see if you age better than me! I am sure you will since you are starting with better feet! :-)

  15. Nita says

    I want to know about protection from rocks and other ouchies!

    I’m also scared to try them because of a Morton’s neuroma. I’m scared it will get worse with these.

  16. Liz says

    I never comment ;) but had to thank you for this post!
    I’ve always been curious about the VFFs and hadn’t seen a beginners thoughts.

  17. says

    I have purple VFF’s and my toes have never turned colors =) But I do long for pink VFF’s…

    Taking it slow and listening for silence are really the best tips for running in VFF’s. It’s taken me about 8 months, but I’m now running half marathons in them with no issues and running some of my fastest times =)

    I’ve definately changed my stride since I’ve been running in them. I use to be a heavy heal striker (and had shin splints and achey knees) but now I strike mid- to fore- foot and have been injury free for 6 months. My DH is running injury free again even though a doctor told him with his flat feet, plantar facitis and pronation running would be impossible.

  18. says

    Sounds like a successful first experience! I’ve done my fair share of in-the-rain sprints in Vibrams — they’re great in that regard if you’re out and about casually and it starts pouring and you’ve got no umbrella. Sure, your feet will get completely soaked, but the rest of you will stay more dry b/c you can move with more certainty through the rain!

    Glad you didn’t have any of the “problems” some have in the transition — it really is all about listening to your body.

  19. says

    I love this post! I’m a new runner..very new, so new that I haven’t even run my first 5k, but I’m always looking for hints and tips. I’ve had those exact VFF on my radar. Figure I may as well start from nothing with the VFF then I don’t know any difference from running in shoes.

    Can’t wait to try them out, pink toes and all.

  20. says

    THISCLOSE, yes, to getting these things. Never mind that I don’t really run. They just seem awesome. And maybe it would motivate me to run! :)

    Engaging the core is the best thing to do in any workout, methinks… protects all the muscles from injury and simultaneously increases the intensity of the exercise. It doesn’t get much better than that!

  21. says

    I see a lot of injuries b/c of the new “barefoot” running movement as many people are not Rule FollowerMcGees like you….so I’m really, really happy you had a good experience in them! I have to admit that I’d love to try it out one day, but considering my own overknowledge of things, I’m sure it wouldn’t end up well for me. :) Regardless, LOVE reading about your experience with them!

  22. says

    Love this post – Nope. Never going to wear me some VFFs. I can’t even wear flip flops.

    That said, I believe the firm core is one of the secrets to the silent run. It lets the force of the foot strike move up the body and spread throughout the entire body. (one of the rectus abdominals main functions is this force-spreading hoop).

    Still so, so proud of you for embracing an activity that in your head is outside of your comfort range. You do with such apparent eagerness (half marathons?) that somewhere you know you at least like it.

  23. Ren Man says

    I don’t run in mine, but I do cardio and wear them pretty much all weekend. I feel like they’ve helped my feet. Not sure about my core.

  24. says

    Thank you for the update. I’m not likely to buy these, but now I can blame it on the pink feet risk, and not on the fact that I’m too wussy to run. :) On a more serious note, I’ve noticed on my walks lately that keeping my core engaged helps me with my posture and with my pace. Neat how that works out!

  25. jean says

    i just started in my VFFs earlier this year. was also a non-runner because every time i ran i was fighting shin splints, knee pain, and lower back pain. the VFFs were a total revelation; all three ailments disappeared without even a whimper. all of a sudden i finally GOT IT! (why people run for fun.) it felt great (after the calves calmed down – i had the legendary calf soreness.) so great that i went faster, and faster, and unfortunately picked up my speed and subsequently tore my calf. (NOT the fault of the VFFs.)

    saying you won’t try VFF running because you have knee/shin/leg pain is like saying you can’t do yoga because you’re not flexible. :) VFFs allowed me to experience running the way my three year old does.

  26. messymimi says

    If they will help me love cardio (I tolerate it now because I have to), someday I will save up and try this.

  27. Ed says

    Great VFFs basics MizFit.
    I’ve run in them for a few years now and finally have no pain.

    I’d forgotten my first run until I read today’s blog ;)

  28. says

    As a woman (who also leads with her belly) with toes that can’t stand their own little sock houses, I can’t see that a house for each toe would go over really well. But my girls would love my chili feet…

  29. says

    I’ve been wanting to try the vibrams, and have heard such good things about them. And you just gave me some very helpful info.

    I am not running much just yet, again. Was for a bit now dealing with some knee issues. But I would love to get out there and run…soon.

    Great job on the first run and good luck with the future runs.

    Oh, and thank you for you kind comment on my blog :)
    Amber

  30. says

    I am already VFFing but I’ve told NOONE and I AM NOT running in them and have no plans to do so. They had me at the thistle (Crayola color), next thing I knew they came home with me. So far they’re a garden shoe, nothing more…

  31. says

    I had blisters the size of quarters and lots of purple toenails marathon training…but no pink feet.
    Not sure I’m remotely brave enough for these. But I do enjoy reading about all of you that love them.

  32. says

    Why the heck did they call them “Five Fingers?” You put your TOES in them, for God’s sake. “Fingers??” Just a bit creepy to me for some reason. Not that I don’t want to go out immediately and buy some…

  33. says

    I’ve seen a few people wearing these and was wondering if they were just for around the house and town. Now I know they can be used for running too. Don’t know that I would brave them for running though I’ve enjoyed hearing you are.

  34. says

    I’m not a runner, but I’m a walker and I want some VFF’s! They will have to be my Christmas present to myself…

    Great review, Miz!

  35. says

    What do you mean you aren’t a runner. Wasn’t it this blog where I read about someone doing a 1/2 marathon??

    My feet have such a funny shape that I cannot imagine trying to stuff them into the Vibrams, although I watched a woman run in front of me with them at the race the other day and got a kick out of it.

  36. says

    what i am most impressed by is your ablity to associate with your run… when i run or powerwalk i try to disassociate with the activity as much as possible! maybe your ablity for this comes from your weight training where you have to concentrate on the muscles being use.

    anywho i’m a powerwalker, so is there any powerwalkers out there that have used them?

  37. Priscilla says

    Is it weird that the pink feet would be a plus for me? I do love me some pink.

    I am going to try these. I have wonky little toes (have broken them both – good times!) so I’m going to have them fitted in a real store, as opposed to ordering.

    Was waiting for the review before I purchased!

  38. says

    I don’t think I could wear those….

    There is a guy that wears them at my gym and we call him Spiderman. He swears by those shoes…

    I am not a runner either…ick…I hate it…I will weight lift, walk as fast as my legs can move, elliptical, and even jump rope…but I despise running. Someday I should really give it more than a 1 minute chance. Yep…1 minute bursts on the treadmill when I feel like it’s necessary :)

  39. says

    I’ve been waiting for this post! First, I am massively amused that they turned your feet pink. That might be the best thing I’ve heard all day. Consider the marketing opportunities there! Second, I’m glad you liked them. They are def. something I’ve thought a lot about buying over the years.

  40. Nan says

    I bought a pair last night, Miz and plan to do what you did and just wear them for a while.

    Then maybe walk fast :)

  41. says

    Great post. I’m curious about VFF, but have never gone down that path. My interest is peaked…though I’m one of those runners who would have a hard time stopping at .25 mile to put other shoes on.

  42. Colleen says

    Hubby and I both bought a pair recently. I am a very slow “runner” and have been prone to injury in the past (shin splints, knees) when I do too much, too soon. So, I did the RuleFollowingMcGee plan. Glad I did. Had calf soreness, but am a believer in the concept that we really were designed to run, walk, whatever without all of this major support. Waiting for Born to Run at my library, but read excerpts in articles from it. I am up to running (if you can call it that – maybe slowish jogging) in my Vibrams for 4 miles without a problem. Hubby has some major ankle issues due to severe sprains in both years ago but he is now up to running 30 minutes at a time (first time in years) because of these shoes – he did the RuleFollowing also. For those who aren’t sure about it and like their cushioning, at least look into it! Thank you for this post, Miz.

    Oh, by the way, they tried to get me to buy the hot pink ones, but my feet looked like cartoons to me and I couldn’t do it. They said that those were the only ones currently in my size. I asked for the men’s ones (same size anyway – European sizing) in grey/pea green and bought those.

  43. says

    I want those socks, but I’m still not sure about the shoes; though I would say I probably feel about more positive after reading about your experience. Thanks for doing the review, I really enjoyed reading it.

  44. says

    I love the Injinji socks! I haven’t had a horrible blister or purple toenail since I started wearing them about 6 months ago (and my long runs can take hours). They come in stripes too, so they’ll go with any running outfit, always a plus.

    I won’t be running in Vibrams or barefoot any time soon. I like that my custom orthotics have kept my bones intact since I got them. My body definitely isn’t one that was meant to run unsupported.

  45. says

    Don’t the things in between the toes drive you mad?
    I can’t even wear sandals that slip between my toes, so I have the feeling I’d be ripping them off my feet after 5 minutes :)

  46. says

    Blargh. I thought I had responded to this post already. I read it, but forgot to comment.

    SUPER GLAD you are engaging core and kissing the ground. Silent, stealthy predator!

    I really ought to invest in some Injinji socks myself. It’s not that I blister from the fit, it’s I blister because my VFFs are slightly bigger so I get hot spots from friction when the runs are long.

    Anyway, keep it up with the #VFFs and you know what? No pressure or anything, of course, but chances are if you spend enough time running in them, you’ll run MizBooRun in them too!

    Hooray for your first VFF run! And hm, I don’t get black toes from my Vibrams (knock on wood).

  47. says

    Wow, I’m impressed you tried those. They look scary to me…. I have plantar faciitis and I swear they make my heels hurt just looking at them.

    • Jen says

      Rumor has it that they’ve helped others with the same condition, because when you run you’re not actually leading with the heel (unlike in traditional running shoes.)

  48. says

    My wife is in love with the idea, but has never made the jump. I on the other hand will wait and see what everyone thinks in a couple years.

    Most things work themselves out in the fitness industry after a few years.

  49. says

    Zliten wants these badly. Me? Well, I just had to ditch the shoes I LOVED and felt supah fast in for bigger clompy paddy shoes that cost a fortune but don’t make me limp after each run due to heel pain.

    Seriously? Wassup with that? I run two halfs in these shoes no problem (two different pairs), but AFTER my heels wore out and I could barely do 5ks. Boo.

    Looking forward to the saga of running with VFF!

  50. Suze says

    I never ever plan to run a step yet wanted to add that I adore you and your blog.

    You are always willing to take risks and put yourself out there and I need to learn from you there.

  51. Tricia says

    Yay, Carla! Good on you, as Shauna would say! I love my VFFs! I’ve had the same pair for a year and there’s no sign of wear yet! I use them for everything – running, weightlifting, step, kickboxing, etc. They are fantastic!

    I’m glad that you took the really slow route! That’s what puts most people off – the adjustment and the calf soreness initially. Since switching, I have had no more plantar fascitis, no post-run hip or knee pain and my feet feel stronger!

    I hope you have continued success with your VFFs!

    BTW, I love the pink laced ones! Gotta have a pair!

  52. Lisa says

    Thanks for breaking this all down.
    You shou title it Vibram Five Fingers for Nonrunners.

    Really helpful post Miz!

  53. says

    great post you definatly know how to keep an audience interested and good luck with the running, I’m sticking with walking

  54. Lynne says

    GIRL you ROCK the motivation.
    I went out and got a pair yesterday.
    Today? I run!!!!!

  55. says

    What an interesting concept! Hmmmm…I wonder if it would help with plantar faciitis? Well, at least they look neat!

  56. says

    Miz… I often wondered how one could run with those finger shoes. I was at a 5k last Thanksgiving and snapped a picture of a runner wearing a green pair. I had no idea what they were and thought the guy a tad wacky…

    I’m not a “hardcore” runner so maybe some day I will try the finger shoes. It sure would be fun to try them on.

    BTW–don’t like chili toes either…

  57. says

    I have been thinking of buy vibrams for a long time. As much as they are meant for running, I’m sure they would have great success in mnay other apllications. As a powerlifter, I do a lot of dead lifting. Some people dead lift in socks or think slippers. I wonder if Vibrams would be good for dead lifting? I’m going to have to check it out!!!!

  58. Liza says

    I’m so curious about these now that I’ve read your post.
    If only I could rent a pair first to see if I like them ;)

  59. says

    Great post….I can totally match those feelings. Not much of a runner either, but trying to learn how to build up some cardio. I find excuses to get out just so I can use my VFFs! I have had my Vibrams almost a month, and my ONLY complaint so far is that I don’t have endurance in them yet. I am trying to use them for trail running, and I am up to about 1.5 miles running, or about 3.5 miles walking. My feet have been slow to transition, and I have been trying to take it carefully so I am not sidelined for an extended period. My calves and shins are now in much better shape and over the transition, now working on different components of my feet. I run on fairly rocky technical trails, so I am asking a lot of my feet at the moment.

    For those going ‘why would you put yourself through that??’, all I can say is that the feeling on the trail with VFF’s TOTALLY makes up for work in transitioning. Its an incredible connection.

  60. Claire says

    I got huge blood blisters on one foot the first time I ran barefoot but not with vff’s. My thoughts? I ran more than .25 miles and it was on concrete. Did you run on a track or a grassy knoll? These are softer surfaces with more give and it makes a huge difference.

  61. ocjohn says

    “True” barefoot runners say that VFF, or any minimalist shoe is nothing even remotely the same as running barefoot. I tend to agree.

  62. frey says

    hey man… based on the color, I think those may be counterfeit vibrams. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  63. says

    I love a good foot massage, am somewhat of a whore about them. However, I’m not a big fan of anything IN BETWEEN my toes. I have a pair of Injini socks and, unlike my husband, do not like the feel. Maybe it’s something I have to get used too, because I’m getting bad between-the-toe calluses (love to lube up with vasoline or body glide though!). Does the (grown up) word “ICKY” come to mind for any VFF lovers in the non-running arena? Can you get past it to love the shoe? If so, might give it a try!

  64. says

    I just saw these being sold @ target so it’s funny to see you wearing them. Thanks for the love and support Miz…love when u stop by my blog. I think I might just be breaking through now…long road ahead but I am willing to take the first steps. Hope u’ll be there to cheer me on. xo
    K.

  65. Mike says

    Comment for the non-believers:
    I had terrible dbilitating knee pains when I ran. I am a former Marine and it ticked me off I could no longer run. I did my research, I bit the bullet and spent the money. Calf pain, you bet!!! But ~ the knee pain is non-existant. SCHAZAM!!!!! I ran til I almost popped the other day just to try to make my knees hurt (crazy but true) no knee pain what so ever. Calves are screaming sissies this weekend but worth it to check out the knees. Thank God for the Vibram discovery.

  66. says

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