Damn plantar fasciitis

Posted: July 21, 2010 in Barefoot

I’ve been running with Vibram Five Finger shoes, essentially a barefoot shoe, for over a year now. I had a few bouts of plantar fasciitis (heel spurs) before so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try out something new that could help prevent the pain. After some research I heard heel striking my be my problem. After all I’m not old or close to being over weight, so the only culprit was the way I run. I tried going completely barefoot to help with the problem, but I kept getting splinters and I could never go over sharp rocks well. It wasn’t until I first heard about barefoot shoes that I decided to give them a try. I transitioned slowly but very beautifully with the vibrams sprints and made it into longer distances with them no problem. I now wear them almost exclusively. The only time I’ve used my running shoes now (I use a light Brookes model) is for long walks or to go on a rocky trail.

Today I decided that I wanted to take a easy jog on the trail so I put my running shoes on. It’s been a long time since I’ve used them but I wanted to get used to wearing them so I can go on some long runs that have rocky terrain. Well during the run I noticed my foot somewhat straining in certain areas as if my foot muscles were getting a workout. I assume the same way my feet got used to the Vibrams my foot was doing the same with the shoes. So hours after the run I noticed a very mild pain that I hadn’t had for a long time, a year ago to be exact. Plantar fasciitis. The coincidence is too convincing for me to not believe that the shoes caused the pain.

For now I think I’m going to try a pair of minimalist mountain shoes for trail running because the Vibrams aren’t good in mud and you can forget about walking on sharp rocks with them too. I would go with the Vibram hiking shoe model but I doubt it’ll have enough protection in the front of the shoe. I also have a fear of forefoot injuries to the foot from wearing them too much on hard surfaces like pavement. When running on unnatural surfaces like roads and concrete I believe the foot still needs some protection. Until then I’ll have to keep to my Vibrams.

P.S. For any of you barefoot runners out there. I still hadn’t read Born To Run, but I heard all about it.

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