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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-29-13, 09:32 AM   #1
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Minimalist Running Shoes - Warning

First long run wearing the flat heel, open box shoes - Merrill's nod to barefoot running. I guess reading "Born to Run" really got into my head. Yesterday, road my bike to the dirt path run, road back home. The warning for those transitioning from regular running shoe is your calfs will be barking the next day. Especially dangerous for big guys putting a big load on each stride.

OMG, can't believe how tight my calf and achilles tendon muscles are today, like I ran up the stairwell at the empire state building. If I were to day the same run today I suspect I would be injured for sure. On the other hand, it does tend to confirm that running in the classic modern running shoe shortens those muscles, those big heel pads and heel striking result in a compact stroke.

Kinda excited to see how my pedal stroke changes after the transition, I suspect the stronger forefoot and longer calf extension is going to pay dividends on a bike, climbing perhaps. But, I'm slowing it down; the advice in those articles to think in terms of 6 to 10 months before you fully rely on flat shoes seems justified. It's like learning to run, walk all over again.

Anyone make the transition to minimalist running, walking shoes?
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Old 09-29-13, 10:28 AM   #2
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I switched a couple yes ago when I got into running. Knees were killing me on my lunch runs of 3-5miles. So switched to forefoot landing and got some light weight Nike's. Ended up getting a stress fracture on my big toe from too many hills and hung up my shoes til this past July. Now running 3-4 days a week with the same shorter stride I started a while ago. The impact has to go somewhere, instead of the knees the calves and low quads act as the shock absorbers. Mine get really sore as the week goes on and worse if I try to run fast. I found calf compression sleeves help a ton for both running performance and recovery so I use them allot and worth the $40 for them. I still have yet to do a long run, most of my runs are at lunch so I just bang out 4-7miles pending on if I have a meeting when I get back to the office. Current shoes are Reebok realflex transition 2.
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Old 09-29-13, 11:36 AM   #3
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My limited experience is that moving to mid foot/fore foot strike is more important than the shoe. Having a show that facilitates that move is good.

I ended splitting the difference and with with nike free...... They let you know if you do a heel strike as there is not lots of cushioning, encouraging mid/fore touch. Totally different from all the heavy duty shoes I used to brooks beast.

for me I can run (not far, or fast.....far is conditioning (running take a lot more than biking IMHO) and fast is a never to be thing) and my knees don't hurt.
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Old 09-29-13, 11:51 AM   #4
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I have been living in barefoot shoes for the past two years... I don't run but these help with the neuropathy in my left leg and foot and have strengthened weakened muscles to a point where my left leg looks nearly as good as my right even though it is not at 100%.

Friends who run in them have started by walking in them first, especially if they were not forefoot runners and when I ran, and I often ran barefoot or in the most minimal shoes, so the transition to barefoot shoes was not difficult.

When you switch you will notice how regular shoes prevent you from using all the muscles in your calf and foot and balance should improve as your feet get stronger.

I have two pairs of Vibram Five Finger shoes and 3 pairs of Merrells... the Merrell is nice because you can wear regular socks and I have a leather pair that don't look like athletic shoes, a street shoe, and a hiking shoe (Trail Runner). My street shoes are sized to accommodate a thicker wool sock so they can be worn in much cooler temperatures and the leather Merrell has the same tread as my hiking shoe so it off roads quite well.
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Old 09-29-13, 07:41 PM   #5
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These are the former model Merrell Trail Gloves. I agree about the balance, it was one foot balances on a BOSU that suggested to me my running shoes were getting in the way of what my muscles naturally wanted to do. I've been trying to stay away from heeled shoes the last few months, but this was the first 4 miler I've done with the gloves, doing interval training. Yikes.

I don't think you can fully replicate the motion on the heeled shoe even running of your forefoot/toe down, your heel just doesn't travel the same distance on each stoke. Anyway, the next six months should be interesting.

Any comments about the cross-over to pedal stroke? I rode today and the pedals seemed too far away, but I think that's just cramping.
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Old 09-29-13, 08:37 PM   #6
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While I wasn't a HS athlete, I can remember a coach/gym teacher giving me a hard time because I ran "flat footed" rather than stretching for a "full stride" and striking heel first "like you are supposed to".
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Old 09-29-13, 09:41 PM   #7
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The common advice is not to use them if you're a a Clyde, and definitely don't use them if you aren't an experience runner. If you are indeed an experience runner, you should make the switch slowly. I thought about buying a pair for better lifting, but Adidas has a shoe designed specifically for that. Too bad they are crazy expensive.
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Old 09-30-13, 09:21 AM   #8
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Minimalist Running Shoes - Warning

I have a couple pairs of Vivobarefoot shoes and one pair of New Balance minimalist shoes I can't wear. My overpronation won't even let me gradually adjust so I have 3 pairs practically new that I can't wear.
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