|My Vibram Bikila LS "toe shoes"|
So, why wear them at all? Well, basically, I like the way they feel. They are light on my feet; I don't feel like I have big clunky, clodhoppers on. And, I get to wiggle my toes around. Seriously, though, they are pretty comfortable and I find I can play around with my form more easily while wearing them. I'll switch from my mid-foot plod - which is quite possible in the Vibrams, by the way - to a more buoyant feeling forefoot step when the need arises, i.e., when dancing around roots and rocks.
Will I ever switch to purely barefoot running? I don't know. While I have simply played around with the idea a bit, a good friend of mine has embraced it whole-heartedly. Not having any luck with traditional treatment methods for a nagging foot/tendon problem, she turned to barefoot running this past summer with the hopes that it would allow her to get back into running. It has been a slow road back, but now she is up to one and a half miles running barefoot.
Surprisingly, or not so much, barefoot running has proven to be the thing she needs NOT to aggravate her injury. She is the first to say, though, that going from shod to unshod is a steep learning curve and it has taken her considerable time to build up to the point she is at now. Without serious motivation to relearn everything from scratch - essentially what she has done - I don't know if I would have the patience to do it. I really give her a lot of credit for taking this on.
|Random tree shot off Red Bird Trail|