I know these are becoming popular shoes for people, I even have 2 pair. But are these shoes good for our feet? And what about barefoot running?
Our feet are composed of 52 bones, 40 muscles, 66 joints and full of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. The architecture of our feet will alter based on the shoes we are wearing. Some shoes will help to increase our "fallen arches," help to support our bunions or will make us tall (I don't know what medical purpose there is, if any, for high heal shoes). I know for myself that if I continue to wear the same pair of shoes, when I switch to another pair my feet will bother me. This worries me a bit because what are shoes doing to our feet and the muscles that extend up our legs. How are shoes affecting us long term?
I know when I bought my first pair of 5-fingers I started wearing them at for just a few minutes at a time. Slowly I increased the amount of time that I was wearing my shoes. Now I can wear them all day without any issues (I will have issues if I have not clipped my toe nails however!). I have been wearing them for several years and yet I still have not gone out running with them, even though I have done some hiking. The reason I have not started running with them yet is because I am not sure my leg muscles are ready for the running. But soon I believe I will be ready to slowly start running in them (starting with 5 minutes and then slowly increasing the length of time).
I am one who likes to exercise without shoes; I will do walking videos without shoes, I will even be on our elliptical without shoes and of course I do yoga barefoot. When I first started exercising without shoes my legs would bother me, my muscles would be sore and my legs would just ache. I know I have been reading that people are having issues with running barefoot. I don't think running barefoot is bad, I think we just have to give our body and our feet time to adjust to the shoes or lack of shoes that we are using. The bone, muscle, tendons, ligaments in our feet and legs need to be able to adjust. They need to be allowed to slowly make these changes.
So my recommendation is to, of course, talk with your doctor before you start running barefoot first. If there are no issues, then I would say slowly start by getting your feet used to wearing your 5-fingers and then start walking with them, before you start running. Once you are ready to start running then start slow, start at 5 minutes, even if you are used to running for 60 minutes or more. In going slowly, I believe that you will have less issues. Always listen to your body however, if you feel any aches and pains then stop.