My first barefoot running experience this week actually occurred before even trying on my new pair of FiveFingers: I had just got out of the shower and shamelessly trotted out to meet the UPS man. He handed me the box, thanked me for remembering to wear a towel, and left likely wondering about the exchange. I was all smiles and politeness if not appropriately attired.
When I dried off and unboxed my new FiveFingers KSOs I tried to get them on. And tried. And tried. I was actually sweating from the effort and frustration. Then I looked at the instructions on the inside of the box which cleared things up. As I mentioned, I bought these online and in a women’s size, as this was the only 42 I could find ANYWHERE. I tried on a pair of men’s Classic 42’s at REI and they felt a little big, and I read that only the shoe lasts (soles) are a little smaller on the women’s, so I went with them. (See here.)
They’re a little snug after all. I wish I read this article before buying. (See Barefoot-running.com.)
So I have a pair that’s not exactly the ideal fit, but I like them. For day one, I went for a long walk with my wife. It took some coaxing, but I managed to get her to be seen out of the house with me. She commented on my stylish new look and the practicality of wearing thin-soled shoes to improve my athletic performance and my posture. In response to her sarcasm, I had fun stepping on things to see what they’d feel like; surprisingly similar to being barefoot, you can feel grains of sand, the discomfort of pebbles and gravel, and the soft, resilient spring of grass. I would advise avoiding dog poop–bet it would feel all too realistic.
After trying them out my calves felt a little tight, but not much. I mostly train barefoot, but, as I’ll write about later this week, even that won’t prepare you for some of the new experiences FiveFingers provides.
Stay tuned for Day Two for a martial arts workout.