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Perhaps I'm too impatient with my Vibrams. I know that you're supposed to build up to running what you normally run, but I've had mine for 3+ months and can still run nowhere near what I'm used to without getting shin pain and sporadic foot pain.  This is probably because I push myself too hard every time I run. I'm not running everyday (because of the pain), but would like to be able to run to my full capability and I feel like these shoes hinder my performance. I think they are perfect for HIIT training and weight training, but not for endurance running. I'm sure that if I were to take the time to build up endurance with them than it would be different, but who knows how long that will take. I need to be active everyday, and the injuries I'm receiving from attempting to do so with the Vibrams just aren't worth it.  

I'm looking to find another pair of minimalist running shoes with a bit more cushioning than the Virbams. If anyone would care to share their experiences with minimal footwear or recommend a pair I would greatly appreciate it! 

Also I've been running on concrete/stadium tracks. Maybe switching to trails will make a difference. 

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Thank you so much ali8un! How can I avoid over pronating at 'toe-off'? I will try to be more aware of it. I'll definitely give that a try! Perhaps my form isn't as good as I thought it was... I'll have to wait until my shin pain dies down though. My shins are quite sore at the moment. 

i wonder if the vibrams has to do with the shins- shins mostly acure do to really lots of running. Ive seen people run through it also. Multiday running for excample.

Imo vibrams are only for some people- this whole hype is ridicilous. so many think Vibrams are the best- wich is nonsense. I have them but only use them for other activities-never for running.

What shoes do you use for running? I still want to stay minimal with my footwear but I think a bit more cushioning might help alleviate the shin pain. I really like using my Vibrams for training and other things as well. But so far I've just experienced pain from running in them. I have yet to try them on the trails though. I mainly stick to concrete and sport tracks... 

Well i use Brooks Green Silence since they came out and never using  another shoe anymore really (as stated  on other topics). but there are off course more options.Brooks also has a pure flow line, natural running like.

I would NEVER use Vibrams on concrete- o no. On trails i would prefer a light shoe also but no vibrams- no protection against sharp rocks etc.I am still looking for a real light trailshoe for the mountains, maybe New Balance or Brooks Pure/ Grit model.

I want to echo what Ali8un said: 

What you're experiencing is a form issue, not a footwear issue.

I'm not going to tell you that you have to fix your form... if going back to a padded shoe helps you run pain-free, and you don't want to spend the time to alter your gait, then put on a padded shoe. 

But, "more padded minimalist shoe" is an oxymoron, like asking "what's your favorite raw cooked food." The extra padding makes the shoe not minimalist, despite what the shoe company (that's using the correct buzz words to get your money) says.

In addition to "try not pushing with your feet", I'd also suggest taking off the VFFs entirely. A study by the American Council on Exercise and some observation of VFF runners done by Pete Larson of www.runblogger.com showed that most VFF runners run with the form they use in running shoes, even though they're in VFFs... and most would deny it under oath, until you show them the video. 

Much harder to run with "shod form" when your totally barefoot (though, amazingly, I've seen people do it).

And, of course, I'd recommend Invisible Shoes if you want the closest thing to a barefoot feeling (WAY more like barefoot than VFFs) but still want some protection.

I would like to alter my gait, I just wish I knew what it was that I'm doing wrong. I'll definitely try the barefoot thing you mentioned. I think my problem has more to do with the time I've put into building up to long distance running than anything though. How long were you running in your Vibrams at first? And how long did it take you to be able to run long distances comfortably?

Indeed it does sound like an oxymoron. However, there is still a difference between a shoe with a hightened heel (regular running shoe) than one with only a bit more cushioning than the Vibrams. But you're right, cushioning takes away from the minimalism. 

Do you wear the invisible shoes?

I think that's my problem. I haven't been taking it as slow and recommended. I definitely need to mix it up. I'm purchasing a bike soon, so that will be an alternative to running. 

I can only imagine. Without the shin pain, running with the Vibrams is an amazing experience.

Not the most stylish? Pssh, who cares? The invisible shoes mentioned above may be more of your style though. I have a pair myself, though I prefer vibrams most of the time because they feel more secure on my feet. I've tried running in invisible shoes, but can't get rid of the loud slapping noise, no matter how I alter my form. I like my runs quiet, so barefoot or vibrams do the trick. 

In my case, my shin pains went away when I quit the running shoes; it had been a persistent problem for a while. 

And about the comment on vibrams providing no protection from rocks, I ran a half-marathon on a trail and did just fine in mine. Sure my feet were sore after I was done, but that's probably to be expected, especially going into it with such minimal shoes and such minimal training (by minimal training I mean pretty much did not prepare for the race). The only damage done to my feet was a blister or two, caused by some rubbing in the toe slots. 

Hope you find something that works for you!

a) I agree with Laura... no rush to figure out the minimal/barefoot thing

b) Eric... "slapping" is almost always from overstriding. Do with that what you will.

I'd be curious to see a video of you running, especially in the VFFs, but in IS, too.

The slapping I was referring to was the rubber of the IS's hitting the pavement. I can't seem to get it to go away no matter what, plus, they're just not comfortable to run in to me. My feet never slap the ground running barefoot, if that's what you took it as. I barely heel-strike when I walk, let alone running. My whole foot lands pretty much lands at the same time (some days the heel comes a bit after, but usually they're right about in sync), on the outside first and then flattens out. 

In addition, my stride rate is noticeably higher than most other runners I see elsewhere, so I'd have to be running pretty darn fast to be overstriding. I am not running very fast most of the time.

I knew what you were referring to ;-) ... all I can tell you is you can run almost silently in huaraches, and that finding a way to do that has always been synonymous with an improvement in barefoot form.

I haven't yet seen someone who made a slapping noise who wasn't either:

  • overstriding
  • heel striking
  • simply "slamming" their feet into the ground

Again, I don't know what you're doing or not doing, since I can't see you.  I have video tapes of runners who assured me that they didn't do some or any of the above, and the video showed a completely different story. 

You may be different. I don't know. That's why I said I'd be curious to see a video.

Do with that what you will (or not). Mostly, I just wanted to let you know we were here to help if you choose to avail yourself of it.

I know you're trying to help, and I know you're a much better runner than I am, so I fully admit I could be wrong, no matter how much it doesn't feel like it. I don't know if I'll be able to get a video to you or not, but if I can and you'd like to help me out, that would be awesome! I probably sounded rather stubborn before, and maybe I am a bit, but I'd rather know how to run than think I know how to run. 

I'll have to strap on the ol' huaraches again and see if I'm any better than when I'm running any better than when I had first tried them. 



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