Has anyone with plantar facsiitis had any success with the vibram five finger shoes?

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Posted 6/17/2013 by raindancer in NSBR Board
 

raindancer
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Posted: 6/17/2013 11:24:06 PM
I have been feeling so much better, but every time I try to get back to a regular walking/running routine, it starts to really bug me again. I have been "off" for almost 2 years now and I am really needing to get back in shape.

I was hoping some of the peas had some good success with these, because they feel sort of "gimmicky" to me, and I don't want to throw good money after bad shoes.

My good running shoes are professionally fitted, and they are good, but they just aren't good enough to get me back 100%.

Reviews seem good, but I wondered if anyone had any experience that isn't posted on the websites that have money to make.


~Heidi~



"You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can't make both."

YooHoot

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Posted: 6/17/2013 11:35:44 PM
I used to run with asics but recently switched to brooks and I'm in love! I got the ghost 5 style and it had great reviews. My point is, switching brands worked great for me. I can't do the toe things though. They creep me out.



TinCin
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Posted: 6/17/2013 11:37:05 PM
I would say no because they are similar to walking barefoot. According to my friend who wears them, he can feel every pebble and stick he steps on. I know with my plantar facsilitis it kills my feet to walk without shoes on.


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*Shannon
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Posted: 6/17/2013 11:57:59 PM
I am doing well with PF after PT, switching to only GOOD shoes, continuing exercises and having custom orthotics made.

From what my ortho and the doctor who fit the orthotics said, going barefoot is BAD for people with PF. Very bad. Vibram = barefoot.

Walking barefoot, even for short time, still kills my feet (THoiugh I do exercises, I don't do them like I should). I have to wear good, supportive (rigid, neutral) shoes all the time. No more tiny, cute flip flops. No more barefoot around the house. It's Dansko, Alegria and the like from now until I die.

I highly recommend seeing a doctor (MD) to custom fit orthotics while making sure you inform him/her that you intend to begin running again.

If he/she works like my guy, they'll let you know what type of shoe will work best for you and will diagnose the issues that are causing the PF, along with doing the orthotics. Do not go to Good Feet or a doctor who does a mold and sends the mold off to be made.

My guy is Dr. Thomas Chanin (303-781-5050) in the Denver metro area. You may want to give him a call to see if he can recommend anyone in your area that can perform similar services. If you do call, know that he can be very intense, but he's passionate about what he does and wants to help people.

I know I sound way over enthused about this, but Chanin's diagnosis, footwear recommendations and orthotics changed my life. I have to do foot and calf stretches every morning before getting out of bed or the PF yells at me and I should do more stretching throughout the day than I do, but like I said... things are much, much better.




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Basket1lady
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Posted: 6/18/2013 6:31:05 AM
I don't use the Barefoot ones, but do use vibram Bare Access by Merrell.

I don't know that I would run in them, but I will run errands in them. I have balance issues caused by vertigo and I find the thin soles help me stabilize better. They have an excellent arch, but the soles are very thin.

http://www.amazon.com/Merrell-Bare-Access-Arc-Barefoot/dp/B0058YCWR2/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1371554903&sr=8-22&keywords=merrell+aluminum


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Woobster
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Posted: 6/18/2013 6:42:46 AM
I had surgery for my PF almost 15 years ago and haven't had any issues since (I'm not saying that's your solution, just my experience). I ran in professionally fitted Brooks for a few months, but they felt like giant clown shoes to me. I switched to Vibrams and haven't looked back. My first pair was the Five Finger style, and while I loved the feel, I had issues with one of my big toes when running. I've since switched to a Merrill shoe with a Vibram sole and I'm in love!

I don't know how good they would be for current PF issues. Vibram does make different styles (some intended for trail running, etc.), but they are still minimalist shoes. I would definitely discuss it with your Dr. first.

Pen and Ink
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Posted: 6/18/2013 9:14:50 AM


I have been feeling so much better, but every time I try to get back to a regular walking/running routine, it starts to really bug me again. I have been "off" for almost 2 years now and I am really needing to get back in shape.


Have you looked into deep water running? You need a swimming pool with a deep end, and a buoyancy belt. It is really a great form of exercise. I started working with a trainer before I had my knee replaced 2 years ago, and he got me running in the pool. I love it and now run in the pool 5 days a week. If you google deep water running or aqua jogging, you'll find lots of information about runners who continue training with an injury while jogging in the pool. there are runners who have trained right up to a race and still kept or beat their previous road running times.




scoobers

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Posted: 6/18/2013 11:42:36 AM
Heidi - check into Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment. A good orthopedic surgeon would do it. It's the same treatment they use to break up kidney stones with sound waves, only they do it on your feet.

It's out-patient and your feet are tender for a few days but it makes it go away. I had it in 1999 and my feet haven't hurt sense then. I can do anything I want, go barefoot, etc.



MissBianca
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Posted: 6/18/2013 12:28:09 PM
I couldn't go that minimum after my bout with PF. I wear New Balance MT10's. They are trail runner shoes but I wear them every day for running road and trail and another pair for general use. I have been pain free for 2 years now with them.

One thing I have noticed with people who wear five fingers is how hard their feet slap the ground every time they step. Especially if they are heel runners. That can't be good for the feet, knees and back.

DS16 is a runner and wears saucony (looking for kinvara 4's right now).



raindancer
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Posted: 6/18/2013 12:28:34 PM
Thanks everyone. The claims seemed "off" to me. Glad to see I wasn't wrong in my thinking on this.


Have you looked into deep water running? You need a swimming pool with a deep end, and a buoyancy belt. It is really a great form of exercise. I started working with a trainer before I had my knee replaced 2 years ago, and he got me running in the pool. I love it and now run in the pool 5 days a week. If you google deep water running or aqua jogging, you'll find lots of information about runners who continue training with an injury while jogging in the pool. there are runners who have trained right up to a race and still kept or beat their previous road running times.


I would love this, but I live over 25 miles from the nearest pool or club. It's just not in the cards for me to pay a membership and the gas and commute time for the use.

I am thinking about buying an indoor bike trainer so I can ride my bike without worrying about the heat. It's better for my feet, and still great exercise.



~Heidi~



"You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can't make both."

raindancer
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Posted: 6/18/2013 12:31:06 PM

Heidi - check into Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment. A good orthopedic surgeon would do it. It's the same treatment they use to break up kidney stones with sound waves, only they do it on your feet.



I will talk to my doc about this and get a referral. Thanks.


I couldn't go that minimum after my bout with PF. I wear New Balance MT10's. They are trail runner shoes but I wear them every day for running road and trail and another pair for general use. I have been pain free for 2 years now with them.



I have two pairs of saucony's and they do ok. I've got weirdo feet and I'm hard to fit. But maybe the style of shoe would matter, maybe I will try some trail runners instead of a regular running shoe.


~Heidi~



"You can make excuses or you can make progress but you can't make both."

MergeLeft
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Posted: 6/18/2013 1:21:58 PM

One thing I have noticed with people who wear five fingers is how hard their feet slap the ground every time they step. Especially if they are heel runners. That can't be good for the feet, knees and back.


Slight hijack here, but my DH is a barefoot runner and wears the vibram five fingers exclusively for running. He's also changed his stride to a mid-foot strike (I think I'm saying that right) and is now able to run long distances without any of the knee pain that has bothered him with regular running shoes since he was in the Marines 20 years ago. He says the different stride is absolutely essential for the barefoot shoes though.

I don't run but I do wear Merrell shoes with a Vibram sole for walking, and for the first time in my adult life have no arch pain while walking. I also have some tendinitis in the top of my foot that was made much worse by waking in regular walking shoes, and has completely disappeared with the "barefoot" shoes.

I'm not purporting to give anyone medical advice; just wanted to share our experience. I think my DH would say that the best thing is to work with a sports medicine doc who has trainers on staff who can help you improve your stride and choose the right athletic footwear for you to prevent pain - a regular doc or orthopedist may not be able to do that.


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fivebahtelephant
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Posted: 6/18/2013 9:58:29 PM
I just want to echo what Mergeleft said about her DH and his running form. If you do switch to Vibrams or any other 'barefoot' shoe you absolutely have to change your running to a mid- or fore foot strike. It's kind of like learning to run all over again. The transition takes months.

Good luck with the PF. It's no fun, that's for sure.


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