Joe, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, sent us his story of choosing barefoot running in Bikilas over orthotics. Although, we don't recommend going against a doctor's advice, the recent popularity of barefoot running has produced many differing opinions on what works. Here is what worked for Joe:
Last summer I made a decision to take the exact opposite of my doctor's advice. My podiatrist had recommended that I wear shoes with custom orthotics from dawn to dusk. There were just two problems: the first was that the orthotics didn't stand up to daily use plus soccer twice a week, and second my feet hurt worse with them. It got to the point that the only time my feet felt good was when I was walking barefoot around the house. So, I picked up a pair of KSO's and this spring I was able to start running again.
In June I ran the North Olympic Discovery Half-Marathon in Port Angeles, Washington wearing a pair of grey and red Bikila's I got from City Sports. Our local MLS team, the Seattle Sounders FC, won the night before so I decided to wear my Sounders jersey during the race. It proved to be an interesting expiriment... what would garner more comments? The V5F Bikilas or the Sounders jersey? Well, in the end they turned out to be pretty even, although the Bikilas started more conversations. Oh, and how was the race? Well the half-marathon course at the NODM runs through a wooded trail for the most part with the last five miles running next to Puget Sound. Its a beautiful place to go for a run, and I made it three minutes off of my personal best... which was a bit disapointing but it give me something to work towards next time.
Joe, glad to hear barefoot running in Vibram Five Fingers is working for you and thanks for the story.