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Two new things: Treksports & CrossFit

by Emily Gindle » on Oct 06, 2010 0

Fivefingers are definitely gaining popularity with fitness obsessives, at least here in Tucson, Arizona. This week I ran into a guy while out trail running who was chugging along with a full Camelbak, ankle weights and Fivefingers on super rocky trail; I talked to a woman who’s running a half marathon up a mountain (we’re talking drive-your-car-in-third-gear steep) who was considering buying running shoes for the race but worried she would get injured because she’s been running for two years in Fivefingers; I went on two separate trail runs with two separate friends who were wearing them; and this morning in class at a local CrossFit gym, everyone except this one guy was wearing Fivefingers.

It’s odd to think that the first time I sold a pair of these shoes, it was to a guy who was looking to wear them as a joke for his fishing buddies. Now they’re everywhere.

For the CrossFit class I was trying out my new Treksports, which I got as a backup cold-weather pair for a backpacking trip I’m taking in the Gila Wilderness. If you’re not familiar with this style already, it has the same upper as the KSO but they inserted a midsole, for more protection against rock bruises, and treaded the outsole so it’s a little more rugged than the smooth, skin-like outsole on the basic models.

The added cushion was actually a little weird; after a while I noticed that a lot of little stabilizer muscles around my shin were getting a workout from balancing on the extra cushion (granted, it’s been a really long time since I’ve worn “real” shoes). I didn’t notice a big performance difference from my KSOs. The Treksports are stiffer and I thought I would feel it in a big way, but it didn’t make as much of a difference as the added cushion did.

Fivefingers are awesome for workouts because after all, it makes sense to work out your feet just like you work out everything else, right? In CrossFit particularly they help you be a lot more agile for some of the more athletic movements.

(If you’re not familiar with CrossFit, you should be. It’s one of the most effective fitness methods out there, focusing on high intensity and functional movements. It turns out that training with a very high intensity for a short period of time is as effective for endurance as training low intensity for a long period of time; most CrossFit workouts are twenty minutes of hell followed by several hours of post-adrenaline bliss. The super-cut actors that played the Spartan Army in the movie 300? They got that look from CrossFit.)

I like the Treksports and I’ll be thankful to have them in the winter when my feet start freezing in my KSOs. All in all I’ll keep wearing my KSOs for most things–they’re lighter, more flexible, and I get more sensory input which makes me more responsive–but I would highly recommend Treksports to anyone who’s feeling like the KSOs don’t offer enough protection, and with the added cushion they’re a little more shoe-like (but still flexible!) and a bit easier transition to the spread-toed lifestyle.

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