I have been wearing my vibram five finger shoes to walk around the city for a few weeks now, and today I decided to test them for an actual run. My concern was that vibrams would not be well suited for running paved surfaces, as they seem designed more for trail running.
My workout: Run 1k 3 rounds of: 20 squats, 20 lunges, 20 pushups, sprint 100m Run 1k
The vibrams were great, totally fine for running on the paved trail along the westside highway. I kept on the balls of my feet, but the shoes were so snug fitting that I don’t think I will have any new blisters.
The most dramatic difference I experienced (because I am already used to doing distance runs on the balls of my feet instead of heels) was a longer period of de-acceleration after sprints. I was unable to dump energy and momentum with hard heel strikes, so it took about 15m instead of 7m to stop my sprints.
NB: I was probably more prepared for my first run in vibrams than most, because for the last six months I have been practicing pose running instead of heel-toe running. I have been wearing in Onitsuka’s, a very flat shoe, for these runs, to prevent myself from landing on a cushioned heel, and I have found this method much kinder on the knees and hamstrings. If you have not been training the pose method, you may have more difficulty to adapting to vibrams for running than I did.
I will definitely be wearing vibrams for all future runs. I think they will cause fewer blisters than other flat soled shoes because of their snug fit. I actually think the running vibram experience is better than the walking one, and I foresee wearing these shoes more for exercise than wearing them for work / casual.
See also: http://runningbarefoot.org/ http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/ Pose Running: http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_MikePoseIntroPreview1.mov http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_MikePoseIntroPreview2.mov http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitEndurance_WhyPose.mov