First official run with my Vibram FiveFingers

March 24, 2010

in daily life

My left foot after the race. Photo by Matteo Penzo

On Sunday 21 March 2010 I participated in the Stramilano 10km race, the first official run using the Vibram FiveFingers shoes to simulate barefoot running. While I’ve been a FiveFingers user on-and-off for the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve only started running using them one monts ago and this race in Milan was the longest distance I’ve used them so far (10 km).

My reasons to use the FiveFingers are many but one of the most important ones is that since November 2009 I’ve been feeling acute knee pain while jogging for more than 2 km. As I’m constantly traveling, I haven’t been able to do an accurate medical check-up but it is planned in the short term. I’ve been practicing sports for several years and I’m not new to knee pain. The causes are multiple but it had never happened while doing light running. A secondary reason is that I’m a pure-heart geek and last Sunday I participated in the Stramilano together with my friends from the GeekRunning group.

My Vibram KSO FiveFingers

My Vibram KSO FiveFingers with tune belt attached for the Nike+ sensor

The result was that I could finish the race at a regular pace with no pain. Now some of my leg muscles are a bit sore because I was not training often enough and because running with the FiveFingers stimulates different muscles that when using regular sport shoes. I aslo got some minor blisters on the internal side of my feet as I still have to completely “break” into the shoes.

Geek Runners after the Stramilano (photo from Matteo Penzo's flickr but not taken by him)

The model I currently use is the FiveFingers KSO combined with a “tune belt sensor pouch” (Amazon link) to hold the Nike+ sensor (Amazon link) I use to track my running (through the iPhone). I’m looking forward to running in them on a weekly basis and, why not, do some trekking too.

Side-effect of running in the Vibram FiveFingers: I got asked at least a dozen times how it was to jogg in them and if it was healthy for my feet.

I probably made all the mistakes listed in this article, pity I didn’t find it earlier.

More photos

My Vibram KSO FiveFingers with tune belt attached for the Nike+ sensor

Tune belt for Nike+ Sensor

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Matteo Penzo March 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

It would be at least a little bit creepy I could take photos that picture myself in. Using Blackberry. And no tripod.

justin March 25, 2010 at 7:48 am

Nice write-up! Will pick it up Sunday when I post the weekend link love on birthdayshoes (unofficial fivefingers fan site.


Mike March 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm

How did you find the accuracy with the Nike+ using it strapped to the strap like that? I’ve recently switched to barefooting and running in Fivefingers and I’ve been unable to use my Nike+ and I thought if I just strapped it on it would be greatly inaccurate…Would love to hear how it works, thanks!

Gian March 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Hi Mike! I really can’t say much about accuracy as I’d need to run on a track with a known distance to compare (lately I’m mostly running for time, not distance). What I did notice using the Nike+ (with regular shoes) while running with some friends that had it too (and also Adidas’ my coach) is that we all got different results, sometimes differing of half a kilometer or so! I guess it’s time to calibrate my sensor… what I did find online is the suggestion to place the Nike+ sensor as flat as possible. cheers

Drew July 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Since it’s been a few months, how have you found the accuracy? I’ve read elsewhere about needing to calibrate them to your VFF gait. Is it still accurate when you use the sensor in the Nike+ shoes? I switch back and forth between VFF and regular Nike+ shoes, and I’d rather not have to calibrate it back and forth.

Margarite Wikel September 11, 2012 at 1:03 am

i was a little bit unsure when i bought these but was excited to attempt them out none the much less when the box arrived i promptly place them on … it had been odd initially and took me a minute to have my toes while in the correct location but i was really impressed. when i obtained these i was operating at a boy scout camp being a High Adventure guide. we did plenty of rock climbing, river and white water rafting and back woods and trail hiking. and these footwear preformed with no issues.. it took about two weeks of solid put on time for my feet to acquire utilised to them and it has stretched out my toes somewhat but all in all they worked just also as any climbing shoes i’ve ever purchased greater then any water Vibram Brown Five Fingers Kso Trek Males Vibram Brown Five Fingers Kso Trek Guys i’ve ever bought and so far as trail trekking they had been perfect…. definitely worth the dollars i spent on them .A fantastic and value with the network store:

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