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Five thoughts before my second half marathon in Vibram Five Fingers

by Tyler Hurst » on Oct 26, 2010 4

Running is never really easy. Yes, it’s fun and yes, it’s a great workout and yes, it’s great way to get lost in your thoughts, but it’s never really easy. Most people that I know run to escape. They run to get away from work, from life and from stress. I used to do the same thing, every single time I tied on a pair of shoes and hit the road.

Since I became a Vibram Five Finger runner, that changed. Instead of running to escape, I ran to connect. Instead of running for speed, I ran for the experience. Instead of running for the end, I ran for the middle. And now, the night before I embark on my second half marathon in my soon-to-be retired Vibram Sprints, I can’t help but think back as to how my thinking toward running has changed over the past 13 months.

1. I know what the ground really feels like now.
Shoes protect you from the ground, Vibram Five Fingers protect you from rocks. Shoes prevent you from feeling the oily streets, the gravel-strewn sidewalks and the small pebbles in parks. Vibram Five Fingers allow me to feel the ground like I would with my hands, except quite a bit faster.

2. I no longer strain against my body.

When I ran in shoes, I was always trying to push off, trying to go faster and land harder. My goal was to make my legs strong so I could drive through anything in my way. With Vibram Five Fingers, I glide. I float. Similar to unweighting snow skis during a parallel turn, running in these minimalist shoes gives me sense of temporary weightlessness.

3. I get to tell others about what makes me happy.
You bet I get a lot of looks and questions whenever I’m out of the house. As a full-time Vibram Five Fingers wearer, I’m constantly pointed at and stopped and asked about my shoes. While the attention certainly is flattering, what I enjoy the most is the chance to answer people’s nagging questions and tell them how much better I feel every single day.

4. I’m no longer concerned with speed or time.

Like Caballo Blanco said in Born To Run, seek first to be quick, then to be light and by then you’ll be fast. Quick steps take a far lesser toll on your body, and the quicker my steps are, the lighter they get. Speed comes with practice, instead of being a never-ending grind.

5. I’m part of an exclusive tribe.
Vibram Five Fingers aren’t for everyone. It takes a special character to run in them, let alone walk around in them daily. They go against most of what we’ve accepted as truth about shoes and I like knowing the stories of each and every person who has taken the time to learn something new.

Do you feel a kinship with your Vibram Five Fingers? Do you race? Run on trails?


  1. YogaBaby

    November 24th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I love my vibrams and finally after running all my life (since 12 or so), I’m actually running in a race tomorrow. Not to race but to enjoy the company of others and to offset the anti-climatic Thanksgiving ya-ya. I’ve been running with only the vibrams since May of 2010. Since I’ve never run a race and not a massive distance with the vibrams (they do take time to get used to-but recovery time is much quicker), I’m going to attempt to run in only the vibrams. It’s only a 5 MI race. Today on my pre-run I put my regular running shoes on after 2 1/2 miles. WOW…what a shock to my body. I felt like I had clod-hoppers on. Couldn’t wait to get the shoes off and put my vibrams back on.

    Worse case, I’ll have sore calves or a blister? Or nothing at all; just the enjoyment of running. I love the connection to the Earth like you mentioned and the quiet of running. I teach yoga and am always telling my clients to run intentionally. They can with these shoes!! You have nothing to depend on except the strength of your core!!

    Thanks for sharing your story!!



  2. Mike Bowersox

    February 23rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    LOVE my Vibram Treks. I’ve been running in them for almost a year and could not be happier. No more knee or back problems since the switch. I’m looking forward to doing my first half marathon with them in June!!


  3. Barefoot Dawsy

    November 27th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    If you like Vibrams for all those reasons, you’re going to love barefoot running! I feel exactly the same way as you btw.


  4. Niko

    November 27th, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Ahh I totally agree. I am going for my first half marathon in my life, and I am running them in vibrams. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s like, I don’t feel in pain after running in vibrams. I don’t fear the long term consequences of running while using the VFFs. And yes, I am so proud to wear them around. I know of a few people who have them for the S&Gs but only a select few are proud enough to wear them around. Great article!


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