My FiveFingers – Vibram, FiveFingers, Toe Shoes, Minimalist Shoes

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Q&A Category: Minimalist Shoes

I started running in 5 fingers in February 2010. Having many lower back issues do to a slightly shorter right leg, I was surprised to find that running with the 5 fingers had resulted in less visits with my chiropractor. In July 2011, I slowed down on my running and did more weight training and cardio on eliptical and treadmill etc. Starting in January of 2012 I decided to get back into running, but take it to the next level with a heavy half marathon on aggressive trails. Unfortunately, I only trained for 5 weeks before my run. I did fairly well and was pleased, but 2 weeks after, I started experiencing foot problems. I believe I had a slight case of Planters Fasciitis and also an annoying discomfort in the ball of my foot. I believe these problems were because I did not adequately stretch after my marathon and as the muscles healed from the abuse I had done during the marathon, it pulled everything tighter. I iced and stretched and stopped running for 8 weeks now. My feet are a lot better, but I still have that feeling in the ball of my feet which I thought might be Morton’s Neuroma. Yesterday I went to a podiatrist to get a professional opinion. The good news is that my feet look great. He was surprised to find that I did not have all of the ailing issues that so many of his running clients have. He determined that I may have slightly bruised the nerves or tendons in the ball of my feet, but that I really needed to think differently about running and my choice of footwear. He did feel strongly against minimalist shoes, barefoot running etc, and strongly advised wearing and running in shoes that had more support with sturdier soles and cushioning. My question is, do most podiatrists agree with his opinion? He is a foot doctor, and I have seen a lot of other information showing the benefits of minimalist running from other types of researchers and doctors, but I would like to hear other opinions form “foot doctors” who directly deal with barefoot/ minimalist running athletes. Thanks!

Asked by: Jason Lynch on Apr 30, 2012 2 answers provided.

Hi Jason, great question.  In our experience, most Podiatrists do indeed downplay the ... Read More