Bare Essentials: Bare Foot Training

Ever heard of Vibram FiveFingers?  It sounds more like a knock off of Edward Scissor Hands, but these are the new kid on the block for running shoes.  Vibram really gets back to basics with this minimalistic foot wear; so minimal that I am almost afraid to call them shoes.  While most other modern running shoes adding cushioning and stability, Vibrams are meant to be worn directly against the sole of your foot.  This approach gives your foot movement as if it were bare.

This style of bare foot training can help with most pain associated with running or jogging.  Typically, when most people run, they land of their heels.  The impact from the heel stresses everything from the heel to the lower back.  This stress can result in injuries like plantar fasciitis and knee pain.  However, by landing on the ball of your foot, you add a “shock absorber” to your leg.

Vibram prides itself on the fact that bare foot training can really help with all athletes.  By wearing these minimalistic shoes, you strengthen your feet and lower legs, which reduce foot injuries.  In addition to this, your neurological receptors in your feet begin to fire more often and send more information to your central nervous system.  In turn, this improves balance and agility.

However, there is a break in period for this foot wear.  It is recommended that you start slow with your running.  You may even want to start with just wearing them around the house and school.  Then you can start with a half mile and work up from there.  Both of my roommates bought a pair and notice a huge difference in their weight lifting.  Some research has reported that the Vibrams and bare foot training can realign your spine and improve posture.

It all sounds a little farfetched at first, but find a Vibram dealer and check them out.

Posted on Feb 10 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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