I suspect one of the reasons I ended up with extensor tendonitis a month ago is that I went from doing no running for years to running three times a week in barefoot shoes.
I have been wearing nothing but Vivo Barefoot trainers for over a year.
Having heard about them through various podcasts, I did some research on the purported benefits of zero drop shoes, and being convinced, purchased my first pair.
Taking a chance on the Vivos paid off. The way I walk noticeably changed, my posture improved and nagging back pain I’ve had for years has reduced.
However running regularly in them may have been a step too far.
I feel a bit sad admitting this, but swapping to more traditional cushioned trainers since I restarted Couch to 5K has made a positive difference to my running experience.
Rather than feeling the impact of tarmac slamming through my ankles and knees with each stride in my minimalist trainers, in my battered old New Balance 790s I feel lighter and more resilient to the pressures of pounding the pavement.
The result of this is that I experience less pain during my runs and immediately afterward. I also recover quicker and feel less achey on the C25K rest days.
Given I have already had one surgery on my right knee and I know the cartilage is wearing thin, combined with the fact that I am three stone overweight, I think need to be pragmatic about it and acknowledge that barefoot running may not be a wise choice for me right now.
I still remain convinced that in an ideal world zero drop shoes would be the optimal trainer to run in, and I hope one day to do so, but for now, when I go for a run my Vivos will be staying on the shelf.
What is your experience of minimalist running shoes? Do you use them regularly and feel any benefits?