Somewhere around 2008, Mrs. B and I were looking into working out together. Our wedding was coming up and we both wanted to look good for it. I picked up running and lifting weights. Top that with eating more of the healthier foods and less of the ‘crappy’ foods, I saw the pounds coming off. But Mrs. B and I both ran into an issue with doing running for cardio. Shin Splints!!! For those that don’t know what those are and want the definition.
shin splints :noun:
a painful condition of the front lower leg, associated with tendinitis, stress fractures, or muscle strain, often occurring as a result of running or other strenuous athletic activity, especially on a nonresilient surface.
Seeing as we weren’t in really good shape to begin with I figured it had something to do with us pushing ourselves too hard. We were given the advice to try new shoes. So the research began, and continued, and continued, and continued… … … you get the point. We’d both tried new running shoes, I personally bought a really nice pair of Nikes that did help a little bit, but didn’t last too long, and nothing seemed to fix the issue until 2010. There had been a new craze sweeping around about barefoot running, and so we started to look into it. By August 2010, we had purchased our first pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes
As you can see they are ‘different’ from normal shoes. The fact that they have toe slits instead of the general foot pocket is obvious. What you can’t tell is the rubber soles that make it easy and comfortable for running anywhere, and the breathe-ability of the fabric. It really does feel like running barefoot. The next question I get is WHY should you run barefoot, and the usual answer is to help strengthen your feet to make yourself more stable. When running, you need to use ALL the muscles in the legs, including your feet.
Since running/exercising in our VFF’s neither Mrs. B nor I get shin splints anymore. I don’t think the shoes got rid of them, I think they helped us run properly so we weren’t hurting ourselves. I just got my second pair of VFF’s this week (Komodo Sport) for Crossfit workouts.
Just because Sandra and I both wear and support Vibram Five Fingers doesn’t mean it’s automatically the right shoe for you though. From their website they even mention “while we do love our Vibram FiveFingers®, we don’t believe it is the only footwear you will ever need. There are many times when you need the protection and security of a shoe or boot. Like all things in life, there is a balance, and Vibram FiveFingers® provides a healthy alternative to traditional footwear.”
To educate yourself on barefoot running, here is the link to the education portion of Vibrram Five Finger website http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/education/