Monday, January 17, 2011

Barefoot Running

I guess you could call me desperate.

It's been almost 1 full year since I had foot surgery on both feet. They removed two bunions on each foot, cut my big toes in half and straightened them...and finally, they put one big screw in each to keep it from happening again. Bunion + realignment surgery= ouch. So, Why? was painful to workout. Not excruciating but, painful. I spoke with my doctor and was told that this surgery would improve my feet & relieve the pain. Recovery would be 6-8weeks...


Here I am, a year later, to tell you that was not true.
Although my right foot has regained total function and range of motion, it still has moments where it just burns and aches.
My left foot, well, let's just say a day doesn't go by where it doesn't hurt, even if for just a minute. And you can forget about the range of motion, that toe won't bend at all.

Long story short, I'm frustrated. I'm in more pain than I was before surgery. But I don't want this to be the end. I don't want to give up. I don't want to just accept that I will have pain forever and that I will never be able to wear half of my shoes again.

All of this has brought me to purchase a pair of these funky looking shoes. They are called the Vibram 5 Fingers. Simply put, they are shoes that are meant to act as a shield between your feet & the elements, nothing more. They are meant to function as if you are wearing no shoes at all. I've read countless testimony after testimony about how great these shoes are. People have claimed they eliminate pain in joints, knees, and feet. They also help with your lower back (says an avid runner on a barefoot blog)... I'm sure the results vary per person. So I'm not saying they'll be the cure for my problems or the answer for everyone. But the idea is so intriguing, right? Here is what they post on their website:

"Our revolutionary design makes feet healthier by allowing them to move more naturally and freely.
The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised."

I've been watching people at my gym wear these during the fall months and have been so interested. I've read mixed reviews in running magazines, but even the bad reviews said they notice their feet are stronger after using these. Finally, a day or two ago, a good family friend told me how much it helped her cousin with foot was just enough to motivate me to buy myself a pair.

I can only hope this will aide me in my recovery. I have no idea if it will, but I am hopeful. The shoes should be arriving by Wednesday. I will be updating on my progress and my personal story with these crazy shoes, let's hope it's a success story! :)

For more information about barefoot running and 5Finger Shoes you can go here and here. Here is a personal story from a family friend.  Want more information than that? Just Google "barefoot running" or "five finger shoes"'ll get lots of info, trust me!

hoping to have happy feet soon,


  1. Mari- I hope these work for you. I love mine!! I recommend starting slow in them like the websites say. Your calves are going to burn. Maybe before you get them go job around your block completely barefoot.

    Oh and watch the videos on how to land. I am sure you have done your research. let me know if you have any questions and Good Luck!! I love that you got pink, they didn't have those ones when I got mine :)

  2. K I'm so excited to hear how you like these! I hope they work wonders for your poor little tooties. I am very interested in getting a pair myself. My knees hurt when I run a lot, especially any type of distance. I can't wait to hear how you progress!

  3. Yay Mari! Let's hope these babies work! Let me know what you think! I would also like to see a picture of you wearing them. Haha!

  4. It's true barefoot running shoes such as Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) can relieve some of the problems. My uncle has a deformed right foot accompanied with a joint pain for both legs. Ever since he switched to VFF and Zem Gear, he's no longer experiencing any joint pain on either legs. It really works wonder for our feet.

    I thought I would also like to share this important topic: Barefoot Running vs. Barefoot Shoes. Check out the link here.

  5. Good luck! I have also heard the book "Born to Run" is really inspirational and is about barefoot running. Have you already read it? If not, check it out.