August 28, 2010

VFF Women's Trek - First Impressions

I've gone for three trails runs in my new Women's Treks. My biggest first impression is that they are much roomier than my previous VFFs. These are size W39 but the W38 would not fit the length of my left foot, I think (specifically my pinky toe). I have only worn them with Injinjis for this reason.

When I first put them on, I felt so high off the ground. They have an 8 mm sole and all the shoes I have right now are no higher than 4 mm (forefoot and heel). Once I walked in them outside, I didn't feel like they were so high.

On rocky terrain, they are awesome! No problems at all with grip on flat, up, down, or loose rocks. Absolutely no worries about stone bruising (and I have experienced bruising on the bottom of my feet from stones, it does NOT feel good).

On paths with vegetation, prepare to deal with plants getting stuck (and staying) between your toes and/or stopping to pull them out.

My one problem, which is probably just me, is the blisters on the bottoms of both big toes. I haven't worn VFFs much the last few months because I didn't have any that fit properly (my feet got too big for them) so my VFF callouses healed. Now I'm reforming them on my big toes, but the initial blisters don't feel that great. :)

Here are some pictures of my new Women's Treks:

The long review of the these shoes will be online on Living Barefoot in a few weeks.

August 21, 2010

My First 10K (Again)

Today I ran my first full 10 km since I hurt my back. It was a really long time coming.

Last September I started running again after being completely inactive due to a herniated disc in my back, which had happened in January 2009. When I started running, I couldn't even sit yet (sitting didn't happen until this passed December). So I started running very slowly, for very short intervals, and always in minimalist shoes (at the time is was VFF KSOs). I started at 30 seconds running, 30 seconds walking, and I did three intervals. Every time I ran, I would add one or two intervals to that. Eventually I could run for a minute, then two, with 30-second walk break intervals between.

Today I ran my first 10 km (I wrote 'again' because before I hurt my back, I could run 10 km without a problem). The only walk breaks I took were to go up a few hills (I'm still working on hill strength). It took me almost a year to start from scratch to run 10 km. My only program was listening to my body and I'm very grateful for it.

Today's run was done in Vivo Barefoot Evos. I had no problems with them at all and absolutely no blisters. My feet weren't fatigued when I was running nor are they now. I did feel that my Achilles were a little sore after about 6.5 km but that was probably because my calves were tired and my form deteriorated. My knees were a little sore after the run because of the bad form but now they feel fine.

My back isn't completely better and I don't know if it will ever be 100% but I'm so proud of today's accomplishment. :)

August 19, 2010

VFF Performa Jane First Impressions

I have tried out my new Vibram FiveFinger (VFF) Performa Jane shoes a couple of times at the gym now. My first impressions include that they are really cool looking. I love the suede and smooth leather look, the attractive button, and especially the driving-glove-looking holes in the upper.

I was originally concerned with how well the back of the heel would stay on because there is no elastic strap to tighten it around my heel but I haven't had any problems with slippage at all. The strap along the top does an excellent job of keeping the shoe on my foot. They are equally as comfortable as the Performas and definitely feel more secure.

I got the Performa Janes in size W39 because I've noticed that all my W38 pairs of VFFs are too small now for my left pinky toe and really cramp it. The W39 is the perfect size for the Performa Jane and I definitely don't feel like my foot is swimming in the shoe or any of the toe pockets.

I'll be starting Martial Arts in a couple of weeks and I'll be trying out the Performa Janes there too (if barefoot is not an option because of the gym rules or the floor is slippery). I'll update my impressions after I try them out doing some more rigorous testing activities.

Here's a sneak peak of a couple of pictures that will be included in the Living Barefoot long review, which should be online in about a month from now.