Thanks to Niq for the prompt to write this.
November last year I wrote this article about shoes and my journey up to that point. Now over 6 months later I am further down the road with some more insights:
It has taken me months to adapt to minimal shoes. Initially my feet were tired after wearing Fivefingers for the whole day around the office. I progressed from 1 day a week to two and then to most days just before it got cold. I think the real benefit of Fivefingers is that you have something between your toes that spread your toes and metatarsals rather than cramp them in a constricting shoe.
I have certainly noticed that my feet feel wider in the front and my toes are more spread. This should be a good thing if you think about it (certainly compared to restrictive shoes). This idea was also mentioned by Ian Adamson from Newton Footwear at his recent talk at Newlands.
Now that the temps are colder I have bought a pair of Merrel Barefoot Trail Glove so that I can wear traditional socks with them. I really like these shoes as they have a wider toe box than usual shoes and feel very flexible. I will probably alternate between these and the Fivefingers for a while and see where this goes.
As far as running form goes I have worked on increasing my cadence to 90. The cadence has stayed there or there about. Also making sure that my foot strikes the ground as much underneath me as possible. There is far greater glute and hamstring activation when I do this properly and I think about pushing through on the stride. Also good ideas from Ian’s talk.
My training up to the Knysna Big5 has been great and I look forward to putting down some good miles from here on out. Watch out of my Big5 wrap up in the next couple of days!
Any comments are welcome.