on 21 September 2012
Two years ago I broke my neck and am now on the rocky road to recovery. I am in the army and although I have always passed all the relevant fitness tests, I have also always struggled with steady state running. I encountered these trainers for the first time at a martial arts training session just prior to my injury. The colleague with them swore by them, saying that for athletes who regularly train barefoot they were the perfect footwear for running.
I reached the point where I could start running properly again so I figured it was a good time to try and improve my running style. My concept was that as martial arts were my preferred exercise regime I should try and apply as much of the body mechanics and stresses as possible to my running... and it worked!
I no longer feel like running and martial arts training are worlds apart. With these trainers I feel more in tune with my body and can make use of the muscles groups that are already developed. The back and knee pains I typically experienced on a hard run are a thing of the past as the shock of impact is properly dissipated through my lower leg. The rapid fatigue I expected never happened because the flexibility in the shoe allowed me to relax my body during running and therefore conserve energy. Even running on uneven ground (a common concern from people considering using them) proved easy and safe: It seems that the flexibility the shoe grants your foot allows you to 'smother' rocks that would normally cause discomfort to tread on with a hard-soled trainer that forces your foot to remain straight. This smothering again dissipates the impact. I am no scientist but my understanding of body mechanics and anatomy convinces me these shoes accommodate a more natural way of running.
In summary then, I'm no fan of running. I prefer short explosive exercise with periods of recovery. These shoes have, to an impressive degree, allowed me to apply the natural movements I am familiar with (and physically/physiologically suited to) to running. As an added bonus, they're excellent as a trainer to use if the conditions for martial arts training don't lend themselves to going barefoot (such as a dirty boxing gym floor or outdoor training area). I cannot recommend them highly enough.
on 9 August 2012
I read a number of books about barefoot running after visiting a running shop and finding out that I naturally run on my forefoot. I was suffering from ankle pain and I wanted to find something to cure this. Sports massages and compression socks helped but did not solve the problem.
Once I knew I was running on my forefoot but in trainers made for shod running I knew I had to change my running style or my shoes. I choose the Vibram because I wanted a minimal shoe, that protected my sole over long runs and they look cool.
I originally ordered the KSO in a size too small. After many emails with Richard of Loscarla I settled on the Komodo as I run both off road and on road. I also used the size guide on Loscarla's website to make sure I had the correct size. They fit perfectly and are brilliant for both road and off road running.
I started by running a couple of miles at a time and am now starting to increase the distance to 4 - 6 miles. My calf muscles do tighten up towards the end of the run but I am not suffering from the same pain I was before which stopped me running. As my technique is improving and my legs are getting used to it I can go further and faster. You do have to concentrate on your technique whilst learning to run in these shoes.
I have not had any blisters or discomfort and they are now very easy to put on.
I am working towards running a marathon in January and if things remain the same the training will be a pleasure and injury free.
on 1 August 2014
got them thinking my feet were a size 10, nope im a size 9 kinda disappointing tbh but regardless as im not a pansy i still wear them, even though there on the large size i can run perfectly fine in them, Long distant running in them is kinda hard but when it comes to sprinting god there a good bit trainer.
Use now mainly for inside gym work and some well played squash for the all round playability in these. No restriction for my ankles in these so makes it perfect for bouncing about the court in.
4/5 i dont feel they will be very durable so will make 5/5 in a couple of months.