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Archive for June, 2011

Vibrams V

So this is the fifth installment of my Vibram’s experiment and I so love my recent purchase of the Vibram Komodo Sports! Here they are –

Thanks to Carmen and Jamie for bringing them back from the US saving me 60 bucks in the process! They also brought me back a new pair of Bikila’s (lace ups) that Nate has up there in HK. Also very cool 🙂 I’ll be running in the Bikila’s and using the Komodo’s for the gym.

So how is the “experiment” going?

I have just about eradicated all achilles problems. After a lot of running I still wake up sore but after a bit of mobilisation and rubbing it’s all good. I have also read “Born to Run” and that has been awesome and I am now reading “Barefoot Running” by Michael Sandler. I am beginning to completely change my running technique going to a fully fore-foot strike which I have now realised is the ONLY way for us to run. Seriously. Heel striking is only possible with the massive heal cushioning that most running shoes provide and the evidence is mounting that heel striking is ultra-damaging to the proper functioning of our posterior chain.

The simple fact of the matter is as humans we were never designed to heel strike.

Just watch a baby walk and then a child start to run (in barefeet). They are in a controlled forwards fall before reaching out with the ball of their foot and steadying themselves and continuing.

The massive problem for most of us is this. For most of our lives we have been in shoes that envelope our feet in a mass of rubber, plastic and (sometimes) leather. Our feet and subsequently our lower limbs have all compensated in various ways to allow us to move in these horrible monstrosities. So when we take them out of the equation and ask our feet and lower limbs to work like our maker designed them to, they struggle!

I am reliably informed our feet have a quarter of all bones in our bodies. We also have as many sensory receptors in our feet as we do in our hands and these 2 parts of our bodies, along with our genitals, are the 3 most sensitive parts of our bodies.

As I have mentioned in previous Vibram posts, wearing shoes cuts down the ability of our sensory system in our feet to function correctly and in turn, dramatically decreases performance. How? Well if all the muscles, connective tissue and bones need to function optimally they need correct stimulous and this stimulous is created by the feedback loop between the sensory receptors and the brain via the nervous system. No stimulous (the feet can’t “feel” anything), no feedback, no proper function.

What then happens is as we use our feet, we twist, we jump (we land!), we stop, change direction, change pace etc etc, nothing in our lower limbs is working optimally. Nothing actually can!! It’s probably a bit like trying to play the piano in heavy snow gloves!

But worse, as the feedback loop is compromised, stability particularly becomes difficult. Ligaments aren’t receiving proper feedback and aren’t activating correctly and ankles get strained, so do knee ligaments.

There will be a lot of research come to the fore in the near future proving wearing heavy “protective” and “restrictive” shoes are actually doing a heap of harm to us. Just wait!

In the meantime get into some Vibrams! Get into the Vibe! And if you want to get an awesome “intermediate” shoe so to transition into the Vibrams, I highly recommend New Balance Minimus! I am wearing a pair now and they are great fitting, light and make you run properly!

If you want a pair let me know, we can approach NB and make a bulk purchase and get a discount. I want a second pair! The first pair cost me just $125 with a 20% Citibank Credit Card discount, a bulk order should see us all get that kind of deal or better!

Lastly I want to get right into barefoot running. I will be teaching myself how to do this great activity and then I want to help any of you get into it too! I’m not advocating barefoot all the time, but something to do from time to time to help our feet and lower limbs get stronger and perform better! Keep it here folks 🙂



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