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nanny-rosy
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Author Topic: British beginnings  (Read 625 times)
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Clambers
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« on: April 29, 2012, 04:14:42 AM »

Hey all,
Greetings from miserable England.  I'm a recent covert to the barefoot ethos, and to say that i'm in the early stages of learning how to do this properly would be a gross understatement.

- Not a runner (until now)
- Not fit
- Lower back disc problems have put a swift halt on previous excursions into jogging
- Came across barefoot when reading online about why I shouldn't have just bought some Air Max; thought that it might be a means by which I could run without ruining my back.
- Tried some short runs on the forefoot in some too-big cheapy sponge Reeboks (built up to about a mile over a couple of weeks) which confirmed my suspicions: no back problems.  Pleased, I resolved to pursue this with vigour.
- Read up on good form etc, realised that my impressive inflexibility would need to be addressed to avoid injury (exceptionally tight hamstrings, achilles, and probably calves too I shouldn't wonder).
- Bought some VivoBarefoot Gobis for work (aching feet all day long suggests that they're providing a great foot workout)
- Embarked upon a few weeks of as much stretching, one legged balancing and squatting as I could find the time for, along with some fully barefoot runs on the local pavements.  Built up from 0.3 to 0.8km over a couple of weeks.
- It seems that this was too much too soon for me  Roll Eyes
- Mild acute achilled tendonitis in my left heel right on the bone, and significantly more of it on the right heel.
- Currently 2 and a bit weeks into waiting for the pain to subside so I can mount my second attempt at easing myself safely into things.  Frustrating.
- Also in the process of attempting to procure some Fivefingers for when I get back on the roads.  Living in the UK, this is no easy task, as VFFs are rarer than the proverbial hen's teeth, and buying at a distance is particularly difficult for this kind of shoe.

So there it is, or rather, there I am.  In terms of what i'd like to get out of this forum, my two current issues in need of your collective wisdom are:

1. Management of achilles issues and safely building into barefooting
2. VFF procurement and sizing for my outlandishly proportioned and shaped feet

For the time being i'm going to post about 2. in the sizing forum.  Quick responses would be most helpful, as i'll explain in there.

As you can hopefully tell, I am totally bought into the barefoot idea, and am really eager to get up and running, but definitely in need of a bit of community support to make sure I don't screw this and/or me up in the process!
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« on: April 29, 2012, 04:14:42 AM »

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Sablewings
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 06:02:27 AM »

Hello from a fellow Englisher. Smiley Hardly a day for barefoot running today I must admit.... *tries to ignore freezing wind and rain howling round house*

I think you know you need to take it slower.  One thing that's helped me is getting rid of all my non-barefoot shoes and going totally minimal, oh and going for daily 20 minute walks. (I'm an office worker, so this helps greatly) I used to pull my lower back muscles quite a bit when I was a teenager and in my early twenties, but that seems to have got better. I go for short jogs occasionally, but my issues with jogging are more to do with my attitude/endurance than my shoes...I'm working on that. Wink

I did have some twinges in my achilles tendons in the first year of wearing minimal shoes - don't forget if you have worn shoes with even a slight heel raise before, and cushioning, the muscles have not been used to stretching or flexing this much - especially if you have changed from a heel strike to a midfoot strike,  getting more flexibility/shock tolerance in them takes a while. My feet used to ache all over for some months, and that was just from days when I was walking about.

I've worn nothing but minimal shoes for two years now and can squat with both feet flat on the ground. I couldn't do this before!

I don't know too much about back disc trouble, but I have a work colleague who was treated for slipped disk. He now chooses to sit on top of one of those giant inflatable exercise balls whenever he's sat in front of the computer, because I think balancing upright keeps the core muscles engaged/strong.

As for brick and mortar shops which stock Fivefingers - I heartily recommend Ten Point in Amersham if you're anywhere near it. Very helpful service, I have bought both pairs of mine there. 

Other shops are listed on Primal Lifestyle - http://www.primallifestyle.com/stockists/ - it's worth checking to see if any near you still have Vibrams on their website, if they do and then whether they have a shop or fitting service.  Fast and Fresh are in Castle Donington and do  a fitting service if by chance you are close by - http://www.fastandfresh.co.uk/

Hope this helps!
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Guy on a busy Tube Train staring at my VFF's:   "You wearing those things down here, eh... [shakes head]  Don't you know this is a place of tranquility?"

~~VFF Speeds White~~VFF Speeds Black~~Vivobarefoot Lucy Black and Blue/Grey~~Vivobarefoot Aqua Lites Red~~Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Black~~
Clambers
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 06:23:02 AM »

Hey Sablewings,
Nice to meet you, and thanks for the advice.  Sounds like my Vivo Gobis for work are going to really help me strengthen up then over the coming months; I always put in a good 30 min walk at lunchtime, which is crippling me at present (in the good way).  Looking at the Primal Lifestyle UK stockists list, I see the shop i've been using in Bristol is on there (Easy Runner), which is reassuring, given the proliferation of fakes around.  If you've got a minute, i'm gagging for some prompt advice on Bikila sizing over at http://birthdayshoes.com/forum/fivefingers-sizing-and-fit-discussion/damn-you-non-standard-feet/

Cheers
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Sablewings
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 06:40:45 AM »

Size 47, oh gosh, right on the Vibram sizing limit arent you?  Undecided

I am a UK size 8 and fit a M41 - so a size smaller than my regular shoe measurement. Mind you, some M41's were less comfortable than others - I tried on multiple pairs in the shop across various VFF types - from Treksports to Komodos to Bikilas and Jayas (I was there over an hour. Cheesy) You may therefore find that some will fit you better than others.  I got my pair of white Speeds in the end, not because of the colouring, (impractical to say the least) but because they seemed the most comfortable shoe I tried on - perhaps it's because Speeds apparently have longer toe pockets - my toes aren't long, but my second toe on my left foot is longer than my big toe, (Mortons) and reaches past it when I flex my foot - which can cause issue.

If you try a shoe shop with a greater range of types, and still have no luck finding VFF's that fit, there are other highly esteemed barefoot shoes about - a lot of people on here love their Merrell Barefoot shoes - (I've never tried any on, so can't speak for them) - they cater for people up to size 14.

There are also New Balance Minimus Zero - which also go up to a size 14 - http://www.shopnewbalance.com/search_results.asp?searchType=quick&qry=NB0MRCM&h=Men%27s%20NB%20Minimus%20Road%20Zero

Good luck!!
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Guy on a busy Tube Train staring at my VFF's:   "You wearing those things down here, eh... [shakes head]  Don't you know this is a place of tranquility?"

~~VFF Speeds White~~VFF Speeds Black~~Vivobarefoot Lucy Black and Blue/Grey~~Vivobarefoot Aqua Lites Red~~Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Black~~
BirthdayShoes.com Vibram Five Fingers Forum
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 06:40:45 AM »

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Clambers
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 07:37:26 AM »

Hmm.  I am admittedly kind of stuck on the idea of getting VFFs if at all possible (I am nothing if not a sucker for novelty and gimmickry), so the prospect of "settling" for some Vivos or Merrells is not exactly appealing right now (yes, I am being a bit of a baby about this).  Sadly there doesn't seem to be anywhere handy where I can try on the full VFF range, so i'm kind of stuck with KSOs or Bikilas... I think i'll see if I can find a KSO 47 to try today and if that doesn't work i'll buy the Bikilas and see how they go around the house for a few days.  Photos likely to follow at http://birthdayshoes.com/forum/fivefingers-sizing-and-fit-discussion/damn-you-non-standard-feet/
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 02:26:37 PM »

Amazon UK have one pair of black/grey camouflage KSOs available in M47 for 63. Select UK size 11.5 to get M47.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vibram-Five-Fingers-5F-M1485BG-47/dp/B0040H96VS/

If it's the one I returned last week, it will have a tiny glue spot on the upper mesh of the left shoe. If you don't like it, they allow you to return it free of charge, and they'll pay the return postage too.
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VFF: M46: KSO (Four colours), Trek (Brwn)x2, Trek LS (Blk), Treksport (Bk/Bk, Orange/Bk), KMDSport (Bk/Silver), EL-X (Black),
     Flow (Bk), Signa, Speed (Bk/Wht), Sprint (Wht/Blue, fake?); M47: Speed (Bk/Wht), Classic (Grey/Green, too big)
Non-VFF: 46 Merrell Tough Glove (Blk), 47 VB Synth Hiker
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 03:43:37 PM »

yeah, go buy nowsters sloppy seconds...... Wink Grin Wink
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Clambers
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 04:23:03 AM »

I'm not too proud to wear another man's cast-offs!  Sadly I think a 47 would be little use to me unless the KSOs are notably roomier (specifically longer) than the Bikilas (see my thread over at  http://birthdayshoes.com/forum/fivefingers-sizing-and-fit-discussion/damn-you-non-standard-feet/ ). 
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 07:09:19 AM »

If you dont mind a bit of a trip you can always try Wayne at Naked Ape in Sheffield I've talked to him on the phone and now made the trip to visit and he was super helpfull and knowledgable and is a runner who runs in vibrams himself. He did have some of the older colours around so you might find he also has some of the more rare sizes too.
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Clambers
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 07:30:08 AM »

I think Bristol to Sheffield counts as a little more than a bit of a trip!   Grin
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 08:34:26 AM »

Maybe worth a call to him though ?.

Ive been looking/trawling VFF suppliers on tinternet for some time and dont recall seeing many 48s kicking around, however GSS have a couple of size 48s here :  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsX_OiU6BNy3dC1mUkhRYjNHNUk4UDBzNW03Z0FxRUE#gid=0

Details about then on this thread :  http://birthdayshoes.com/forum/buy-sell-or-trade/huge-sale-on-all-vff-stock!!/
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Clambers
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 09:45:31 AM »

I think i'll be ringing around a few places in the coming days.  I'll stick Naked Ape on the list.

Ta for the GSS list, but i'm not sure i'm sold on the Classics and Sprints, so might have to give them a miss.
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 11:02:16 AM »

I forgot to add a link to Ten-Point - they have about 15 different types of Fivefingers, and they often have stuff not listed on their website plus more of a range of colours listed too - always worth giving them a call.

http://www.ten-point.co.uk/index.php/shop/run/five-fingers.html

They are in a leafy suburb of Amersham, Buckinghamshire - so about 113 miles from you, not too bad, especially if you are heading London way at any point.  I travelled about 90 miles to buy my archery kit though, so maybe I'm nuts. Wink

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Guy on a busy Tube Train staring at my VFF's:   "You wearing those things down here, eh... [shakes head]  Don't you know this is a place of tranquility?"

~~VFF Speeds White~~VFF Speeds Black~~Vivobarefoot Lucy Black and Blue/Grey~~Vivobarefoot Aqua Lites Red~~Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Black~~
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