Today, I received the shipment of my new Vibram Five Finger shoes. This model is the Spyridon MR Trail Running Shoe, which I purchased from Amazon. Although I am not yet a runner, let alone a trail runner, I expect to eventually be one.
I wrote about my motives for barefoot running, or the closest thing to it a few days ago when I placed my order. I must confess that what I imagined the experience of Vibram Five Fingers and what has actually happened have parted ways.
The problem is not with the shoes, entirely. At home, I tend to go without shoes and will occasionally venture out to the curb to dump the trash in that condition. In other words, I am no stranger to being shoe-less. However, it turns out that I might as well be.
Wearing the shoes since getting home from work, my feet are certainly feeling the effects. Between getting home and writing this post, I did go for a thirty minute walk with Mrs. Mata around the park.
The discomfort I am feeling is the result of a couple of things. First, my toes are going to be a bit sore. They are not accustomed to being spread apart. Naturally, the tendons and ligaments affected by this spreading out will need to adjust.
Second, it has been a while since I have walked barefoot around the park for thirty minutes. Walking barefoot or with the Vibrams are roughly the same. Articulation of your toes does not happen with normal shoes.
Thirdly, I suspect that there is some wearing-in necessary to soften the shoes. I am going to get blisters on my Achilles heel. The shoes are a bit stiff in the back, which will likely soften up after some wear and washings.
Beyond that, the Vibrams make me acutely aware of the lack of flexibility my toes and feet have. The destructions that come with the shoes advise you to break them in slowly over a few weeks. This is likely directed to people who are new to Vibram Five Finger shoes who need to simultaneously strengthen their feet and gain flexibility. I never imagined that I would be in the same boat.
There is even a video compilation by Vibram users that pretty much tells you to take it easy when you start out with the product.
So, I’m going to take my time breaking in the shoes and getting my feet accustomed to wearing them before I go off on my first run. I will then inform you of my progress in gaining freedom of movement through running.