I wanted to make a quick post today about my experiences Tuesday evening. On Tuesday, I was really itching to go for a run, even if it was just for a couple of miles. My tendonitis issue has gotten better, though still not 100 percent. I read that one way to alleviate the pain is to have more padding and less pressure on the top of your foot. So, with that knowledge, I decided to fish out my old Asics from the depths of my closet. I figured that I would give them a shot and see how it went.
My first steps in these things felt extremely awkward. The amount of support and confinement was unbelievable. That being said, there was little pressure on the top of my feet. I headed out into the night air, which, lucky for me, was 40 mph wind gusts . . . but who is keeping track? I started a quick trot trying to focus on the form I've learned wearing my VFFs. It was not easy.
The Asics forced my feet to land a certain way, rolling my feet differently than I'm used to. It was incredibly difficult to maintain the form I've gotten accustomed to. After about a mile I had pretty bad knee pain, and the arch of my left foot was not feeling so hot. That being said, my tendonitis issues was non existent. I managed to do another mile before calling it quits, for fear of doing real damage to my knees, which I've had issues with in the past when I used to run.
Throwing caution to the wind, I am going to make a correlation that is not proven by any scientific data and only by my own personal experience. Running with my Asics forces a change in my stride and how my body lands and aligns itself. I had a whole host of soreness that I hadn't felt since I made the switch to my VFFs. Then again, the ONE issue I have had with my VFFs did not propagate itself when I was using the Asics. Friggen fascinating.
Shoes really do make a huge difference on your form, stride pattern, and foot strike. Tuesday evening really confirmed this for me and really actually helped reinforce my decision to switch to VFFs. Now, don't get me wrong, if you are used to shoes and train with them and have a great pair that you are used to, I think there is a lot to be said about sticking with what works for you. But for me and how I run, I think I'm just more naturally built for minimalist/barefoot running.
Also worth noting, the weight difference was unbelievably noticeable. I felt like I had wooden blocks on my feet. I felt it very difficult to pick my feet up off the ground to get moving. I also felt a huge disconnect with the terrain under my feet. I made several missteps when I didn't notice a change in the sidewalk, which has been extremely easy to detect with VFFs.