Saturday, March 20, 2010

Five Fingers - The Initial Voyage

Now that my NCAA bracket has imploded (thanks Kansas), I’d like to provide an update on my Five Fingers wear test. Previous to the last post, I had only run in these on a treadmill for three miles and they were perfectly comfortable. There was nothing of interest to report other than the attention I garnered from wearing something other than running shoes; several of my buddies took notice and asked questions during and after the run. The true test would be running outside. So last Sunday I gave it a shot and here are my immediate impressions:

1. You feel everything. I guess I expected this but it was still surprising. Every crack, every bump, every rock could be felt. Nothing hurt per se, but I was certainly cognizant of where my feet were landing.

2. Since the ground was still soggy from the Spring thaw, I had to stay on pavement, which became surprisingly uncomfortable after just two miles. I expected to go three miles easily but my calves were screaming after two. I owe this to the fact that my heels weren’t touching the ground which, I guess, is supposed to happen.

3. The few times I was able to run on soft ground was really quite nice. I could drop my heels a bit more, which relaxed the calves. It seemed more like a regular foot strike.

4. My feet were wet immediately after running through a few shallow puddles.

5. If you want to wear socks you have but one choice: Injinji. This is because the Five Fingers wrap around each toe individually. For my next run I’ll skip the socks as my toes felt a little too snug.

So anyway, back to post run recovery. My calves were aching. In fact, they ached all week, through each and every one of my runs. My takeaway is…I probably shouldn’t have pushed it so much on this first outdoor run. I’ll be more careful next time.

Oh, here’s a coincidence I find simply amazing. Occasionally I frequent this great website called Put This On. This site has nothing to do with running. At all. The guys that run this website were arriving at SXSW in Austin, TX and snapped this picture of one of the “dudes” arriving at the event. Five Fingers and Injinji socks and…a skirt.

Judging from the comments, the combination makes a horrible first impression.


justin said...

Welcome to the VFF club :) Hopefully you'll get to experience non-soggy Five Fingers running/walking/whatever soon as it's much better (in my opinion) than use on wet ground.

And the calf soreness definitely comes with the territory -- forefoot landing definitely using your calves to dampen impact.

If you get a chance, say "hello" over at thefive fingers fan commmunity (!


Drew said...

Thanks for the comments, Justin. I'll keep plugging away! The calf soreness continues most likely because I'm a perfect example of a runner that has let the shoes do all the work, at least for the last couple years. And because of that I had developed nagging injuries which, at this point, have all but been eliminated so far. I'm very pleased with that development.

Anonymous said...

No one said you had to wear a dress...I'm out.

Drew said...

The skirt obviously helps to reduce the calf soreness...

price per head services said...

It sounds painful. I know that it didn't hurt but every crack and everything else. I would like to enjoy in the race.