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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To VFF Or Not To VFF?

My foot neuroma is back and I'm trying to strangle it permanently with alcohol injections, which, turns out, are covered by my health insurance (yay!!). In the light of trying to run more as painlessly as possible I've gotten new running shoes, also by Brooks. Not Green Silence, since I think they were a culprit in neuroma appearance, but Pure Flow. I like the shoe so far: it's more cushy and has a little more substance to it...The drawback is that it's heavier and transitioning took a little bit. But the shoes are broken in already (double yay!!!) and are very comfortable for my daily runs. They do tend to run a little more snug so if you have wide feet beware!

My witch foot doctor thinks that I need more cushioning in the front of the shoe, since I strike first with the forefoot. That got me thinking: what about Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) shoes? I've been lusting after Bikilas for a lo-o-ong time, but wasn't sure if those would work for me in light of the annoying neuroma that just won't go away... So this is the question: to Vibram or not to Vibram?

Reviews generally praise five-finger-minimalist shoes to high heavens. They look really funky, which I like, but are they really practical? Since I run around a town, pesky issues like dog poop and broken glass are real...Hmmm...

Basically, there are two camps (just like with everything, I guess):

First, we have people who love and rave about VFFs - "most comfortable shoe ever"; "best for running"; and my favorite "these shoes feel fast". I'm guessing these are people who are mechanically very efficient and slightly obsessed with running. Been there, done that, miss it, but due to the presence of Raging Toddlers can't indulge in. Having two kids puts a cramper on doing long runs regularly and interferes with your life revolving around your weekly miles.

But then there is an underbelly of concerns: stress fractures, aggravating old injuries, which I have plenty of! Also, I'm afraid of blisters. I don't like blisters. Some runners wrote about bloody blisters on the inside of their feet after running in Bikilas. Does it sound like comfort to you? No, me either. And "oh just slap some duck tape on those and you'll be fine" approach never did it for me. Yes, I'm a wimp. I like my feet intact and not bleeding.

I did try Bikilas at a running store last year. You know how long it took me to put them on? 5 minutes. You can't really wear socks with VFFs, and getting every piggy into its own little house, especially if the house is made of rubber, is a time-consuming task. Either way, any purchasing decisions will be postponed until the warmer weather.
Meanwhile, we are baking rock-star cookies for nice people, candy-coal for naughty. Hohoho!

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