Barefoot Running

Five Finger Running Shoes Bikila style
Five Finger Running Shoes Bikila style

In a previous hub I addressed the spiritual applications of running as understood from my own personal experience. It was almost a year ago that I began this highly productive, in more ways than one, sport. This hub will address a more practical aspect of running.

When I first started running about a year ago I started out wearing a pair of shoes that I purchased in high school. They were a pair of Nikes that I paid $40.00 for in 1982. Needless to say they were not in very good shape. I quickly realized that good shoes were a necessary element in running.

I did some online research about which shoes would be the best and stumbled across the "Five Finger Toe Shoes" they looked ridiculous yet I was curious as to why anyone would make a shoe like that. I did some research on them which I found fascinating yet I was still skeptical. I decided to purchase a regular pair of ASIC's running shoes and wait awhile and see if these shoes were simply a passing fad or if they were what they claimed to be.

I had all but forgotten about them until my husband and I were in Atlanta in March and a man stepped into the elevator of the hotel we were staying at and he was wearing a pair of the "Five Fingers" The research began all over again considering I was having some hip joint problems from running.I thought maybe this would help. It was decided on the way home that I was getting a pair after reading many great reviews on them.

wikimedia commons
wikimedia commons

Benefits of Barefoot Running

The main idea of the shoe is to simulate running barefoot. It was discovered that Kenyan runners who have run barefoot all their lives were less prone to running injuries than runners who wear shoes.

One of the reasons they believe is that barefoot runners are more likely to strike the ground with flat foot or the ball of the foot which causes less impact on the body as a whole whereas 75% of shoe runners strike with the heel first which creates a collision like impact to the body.

Another component to the health of barefoot running is the toes are alowed to spread making for better balance and and all around agility when running.

"Five Finger" shoes do not have any cushion. Foot to ground contact is the whole principle behind the shoe. You would think that the cushion of regular tennis shoes would soften the impact to joints as is experienced by many runners but quite the opposite is true. Our natural God designed foot does a more excellent job of calculating and adjusting the type and strength of impact with the ground than a cushioned shoe. I have personally experienced a much lighter and efficient run.

Foot ankle and calf muscles get strengthened with barefoot running which I believe contributes as well to the protection of and easing of shock distribution to the body.

The only issue I have had with the shoes is that I run on gravel and at times I can feel the uncomfortable prod of stones but I feel this is all natural and adjusts me to run much lighter. I guess one other issue would be the looks I get when I wear them in public.

One question that gets asked a lot is if I mind having something between my toes. I must say that it doesn't. It is like wearing a glove on your feet. I actually enjoy wearing them around the yard, hiking, and general walking. These shoes allow your foot to move naturally over varying types of surfaces. They also allow your toes to grip when needed which cannot be done in a regular shoe.

They also make toe socks that can be worn with the shoe. Some suggested buying a larger size for this as the shoe should be snug while sockless. I didn't have a problem with that while wearing a thin sock but I did buy a thicker pair of socks for winter and also a an extra pair of " "Five Finger" BikilasLS (style) that lace up to accommodate a thicker sock yet keeping my normal size.

The shoes are easy to wash and they dry quickly. It is only recommended that they not be put in the dryer.

I made one attempt at wearing my regular shoes while on a run, mainly because the road was wet and the "Five Fingers" tend to wick up the water, and concluded that I will probably never run in a regular shoe again. I realized how laborious the regular shoe made the whole experience.

Spiritually speaking I think it is a great lesson in that we are always trying to cushion everything in life believing we are preventing ourselves from the experience of pain, when actually by trying to soften everything in avoidance of difficulty we create a whole host of other problems.

Man is always trying to improve upon what God has already perfectly designed.

Scripture Motivation for Running

These are some motivational scriptures I refer to inspire both my physical and spiritual run.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified ~ I Corinthians 9:24-27

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart. ~ Psalm 119:32

For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. ~ Psalm 118:29

“Draw me after you and let us run together! ~ Song of Solomon 1:4(NASB)

Third Day Run to You

© 2011 Tamarajo

More by this Author


Comments 35 comments

Rob Winters profile image

Rob Winters 5 years ago

Interesting stuff, i'd never heard about these shoes before. They do look a bit unusal as you say kind of like what an androids feet might look like.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Rob, yes they are very different but I do think as they grow in popularity as they are they will seem more normal.

Thank you for dropping by and commenting


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I have never heard of such a shoe, but, they sound naturally comfortable. Thank you.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Tamarajo,

I learned something new today. Thanks for sharing. I have heard from athletes that regular running shoes have caused them to lose many toenails (ouch!). I'm going to check these out, not for running, but for walking, since I do not find my sneakers very comfy when I go for long walks.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 5 years ago from Lantana, Florida

This is really interesting Tamarajo. I had never heard of these types of shoes before but it sounds great. Thanks for the education dear friend.


VOICE CIW 5 years ago

God bless you Tamarajo, I love this hub beautifully done. I especially love the Scriptures. Sister Tamarajo you can create beauty out of anything. Stay blessed, I love you in the Lord. I am still praying for your granddaughter.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Dave naturally comfortable is a great description. Thank you for visiting and commenting.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Faithful daughter. That is what impressed me the most about the shoes that a regular running shoe is supposedly built to protect but actually can cause more injury. I find them great for just walking too.

I appreciate your visit and comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Rev Lady, I am glad you found the information interesting. Thank you for stopping by to read and I appreciate your comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Voice actually the spiritual component to running is my favorite. It was the spiritual things that led me to run in the first place. I appreciate you seeing this side of the article. The practical is always spiritual too.

Blessed to have you stop by.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

TJ,

Do you have to special order them? I've never seen them, but they sound neat!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello lifegate. I found them at REI a sporting good store in the twin cities. But some local sports shops are beginning to carry them. But they are also available online at Vibram's Five Finger website.

Thanks for stopping by.


Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

These shoes, which I had never heard of before, sound kind of amazing. However, it seems to me one would end up nearly crippled from stepping on pointy objects - rocks and stickers, for example. When I was a kid, I went barefoot all summer, and my feet toughened up. Maybe the same sort of process happens with these shoes. It has been a long time since I have felt brave enough to try to toughen up my feet in the summer, but you are convincing me. They look like plastic - are they awfully hot?


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Tamarjo, Wonderful educational hub! I too learned someting new today! My, my five finger shoes? I had never heard of these shoes?

Great Scriptures as well! "I'm running for Jesus And I am not tired yet...! (smile!) Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

WOW! I have learnt somethng new today! Thank you Lord! lol, lol, and love the Scripture references!!! Very useful hub! I like! Be Blessed!


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

I have seen these for the first time almost 1 year ago:) They made me laugh, so futuristic...I thought. Had no idea, the idea behind...why they made them that way? Just thought it was a new fad...appreciate you sharing more about them:)


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Betty the rock problem isn't frequent enough to bother me. The shoe has a tough rubber bottom so it is definetely more protective then a barefoot. Also the shoe isn't plastic it has a very breathable upper not nylon but some new efficient material I can't remember the name of but they are not hot and dry quickly when wet.

I'm glad you stopped by thank you for your questions and comments


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Deborrah and Drpastorcarlotta, I'm glad you learned something new. The scriptures are especially precious to me as well. They really were and are my inspiration and motivation for running.

Blessed by your visits and comments


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Heart4theWord I thought the same thing you did when I first saw them which is why I held off on getting them right away. They really aren't a fashion statement in fact when I have had to go somewhere immediately after a run I feel a little awkward about it because people really notice them. They really do look funny when you aren't used to them. They are gaining in popularity however and other top named shoe companies are looking into creating their own line of them.

Thank you for reading my article and commenting


His daughter 5 years ago

My daughter who is a runner had told me about those shoes. Very interesting as I wondered about them. Great hub, Tamarajo. Loved the way you tied it all in with spiritual running. Run and race well!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you His Daughter you will have to tell your daughter to try a pair : )

The spiritual aspect is actually tied to my running it is something I believe I was led to do. There are so many spiritual lessons in this activity.

Blessed to have you stop by thanks for commenting.


"Quill Again" 5 years ago

Definitely need to look further into these as they are very unique and make so much sense.

Blessings


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Quill, Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate your visit. Blessings to you too.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Oddly enough, I just heard about these yesterday and laughed it off. But after reading your impressive article I must reconsider. I might even try a pair of these articulated-toe shoes. Thank you for the information.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi James, I thought them to be quite ridiculous looking too when I first saw them and i thought they would be a youth fad that would come and go. I was leary of their theories and claims but after doing the research I found it difficult to find negative commentary on them which inspired my purchase and now that I have them I can say their claims are true and I believe their natural foot running theory is correct. My hip issues are resolved other than mild soreness when I increase my distance.

I do encourage you to try them. The sizing is a little strange but they should fit like a glove

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Let me know if you get a pair and tell me what you think.

Just fyi when starting out ease into your usual workout as you will be using muscles in ways they are not used to. Calves might get a bit sore. But that is the whole idea let your muscles do the work and your joints won't have to take it.

The Bikilas are my favorite style and fit. I also use them for water shoes.


Benjimester profile image

Benjimester 5 years ago from San Diego, California

That's cool. I used to run barefoot at the beach. It was a really good workout. I love 1 Corinthians 9:24. That's my favorite verse. Carpe diem! Run to win.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Benji, Love that "Carpe diem"! Blessed to have you stop by and by your encouraging comment.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila

Great hub which presents great thought to ponder about. As christians we all run the race that will lead us to a great reward. As we run this race our focus should remain on the Lord Jesus. We should never turn away our gaze from Him. We should constantly behold His glory so that we will no grow weary. Thank you for these timeless reminders. Remain blessed always. Best regards.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi cristina, Your comment sums it all up perfectly. I felt led to run about a year ago specifically mostly for its spiritual lessons.

Thank you so much for stopping by. So sorry I am late on my reply I just noticed the comment.

Blessing to you.


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

Thank you! This hub has superb information! I've been seeing these shoes for a while now, and my first thought still holds. They're the ugliest footwear I've ever come across, lol.

But, looks aside, what you've reported about the benefits of wearing them coincides with what my friends are saying who are wearing them as well.

I've not been a jogger for several years now. I moved from jogging to cycling and rollerblading. But, I still have several friends who maintain their running routine, and will be happy to recommend your article to them for reference.

Great hub!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi femmeflashpoint. I agree they aren't exactly a fashion statement and for the most part I don't wear them when I am out and about. My husband does however. I do get funny looks when I wear them in public.

I find them actually quite fitting for many out door activities. This morning I wore them on a walk through my woods. I was able to maneuver over logs and the uneven terrain with much more agility than my regular shoes. I also wear them for water shoes as Our local swimming hole is very rocky. And wear them bike riding as well.

Thank you for visiting and positive commentary and thank you for the recommendations : )


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Interesting hub on barefoot running. I spent the better part of my life as a runner. Alas, now that I am a senior with feet and back problems, my surgeon put an end to my running days. Thanks and rated up!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello vocalcoach, sorry to hear your running days are over. I just got started. thank you for stopping by to read my article. Glad you found it interesting and thank you for commenting.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Another great one to share on here.

Due to having had two opertions on my back I have found that wearing high heels is a definite NO !!

However I am not really a big fan of high heels,so out come my trainers,boots sandsls etc.

This has to have a vote up.useful/interesting and awesome.

I now look forward to reading many more by you.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Eiddwen,

I am with you no high heals for me. Never been a fan either. Comfort is a must. Sorry to hear about your back.

I am glad you found the article useful and interesting.

Thank you for your visit your vote and comment.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working