Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Five Fingers for Ten Toes

This might get a little long-winded. You see, the few remaining brain cells I have left are bouncing off each other to the beat of some old Replacements which, for some reason, seemingly never gets played often enough. I just arrived back at the house after my first outside run with a pair of Vibram Five Fingers on my feet.

If you haven’t heard of the Five Fingers they’re mentioned frequently in the wildly popular book Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. The book’s about a variety of running subjects, most notably the running habits of the Tarahumara Indian’s of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Curiously, even though they could be considered among the greatest distance runners in the world, you’ll never find a pair of Nikes, Asics, or anything of the sort on their feet. What they run in might be akin to a flat piece of rubber cut from an old tire with straps to keep them from flying off. How is it possible they can run through rugged terrain for 40, 50, and 60+ miles at a time without injury? It sounds too implausible to believe.

Throughout the book the reader is meant to ponder how humans are built to run, perhaps more than any other animal. The evidence is really inspiring. Throughout the course of time, in fact 99.99% of our running history, we’ve been running without the super-cushioned, high tech shoes that are commonplace today. Unfortunately, the arrival of modern footwear coincides nicely with the rise of running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ITB band problems, etc. Where do the Five Fingers enter into the equation? They are about as close as you’ll get to running barefoot without actually running barefoot. And wracked with my own developing plantar fasciitis I’ve decided to give them a shot.

Over the course of the next several of my blog posts will be about my attempt to somehow roll these Fingers into my running schedule at least once per week. While their benefits are known to many, I certainly can’t endorse them unless they work for me, the average runner who possesses incredibly impulsive buying habits. Ughhh, there’s so much to say about them already and in the immortal words of Paul Westerberg, I Can’t Hardly Wait. But I must. Stay tuned.


Nathan said...

How do they work when jumping into 34 degree lake water?

Drew said...

They were exceptionally good at protecting my feet but completely inadequate at keeping them warm!

justin said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying your VFFs! Since you're going to be blogging about Five Fingers regularly, let me know if you have any interest in getting on the Five Fingers Fan Community links page to connect with other runners (and other wearers) and so they can connect with you.

Best -- Justin