Monday, January 14, 2013

Barefoot Running Part I: The Battle with the Running Shoes

After PBIM, I moved on to the next stage on my running revolution. Sept 2010 I started run regularly. Sept 2011 completed my first full marathon, and Apr 2012 completed my first full marathon in VFF. Now I am doing full time barefoot running.

When I first started in running, I was like others. Do some online research about running shoes, visit the local store to get one. Local famous brand like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics and Brooks are the first few stores we look into. Btw, the quality of the sales force in these stores varied. Some will able to help you with the right recommendation, some will just pushing their sale target.

My research was through enough to cover some of the big term used in running shoes, so I figured that I will need stability or motions control shoes as I am flat-foot with over-pronation and wide foot. That’s, the beginning of my battle with running shoes…

Round 1, NB1226 was recommended by RunnersWorld. I was lucky that this is really what I wanted and the shoes see me thru the next 1000km before I need to get into the shoes problem again.
NB1226 in action, PACM 15km Run @ 2011
Round 2, NB905. Not really getting along with this model. Make some mistake and learn something new about shoes then moved on.
NB905, can't find any photo in it, only raced in SCKLM HM 2011
Round 3, VibramFiveFingers Komodo Sports. Got this shoe because it is on great sale when Running Lab Malaysia open. I am not ready back then to run in VFF, only used in shorter distances training and races.

Round 4, Brooks GTS10. After throwing away NB905 and not ready to go full time in VFF, Brooks GTS10 came into rescue. Did my first full marathon in it and this shoe is great. I got another GTS10 as spare on the next clearance sale. But after some time, my running injuries are starting to haunt me. ITB, shin, knees, butt, and lower back start to aching up. A short 20k run on Sunday morning will saw me hoping for at least half a day. I started to look for alternative, or perhaps cure.
Brooks GTS10 in action, my first FM @ RJM 2011 (with Khoo)
Round 5, VFF Komodo Sports. After some research, I start to run in VFF full time. The pain is at bay, but still come back from time to time if I pushed too hard. Then I thought I went too bare.
VFF KS in action, my first VFF FM @ Energizer 2012
Round 6, NB MR00. This is the shoes that really drive me off the cliff. The terrible build quality, and again my foot can’t get along with it. I start to wonder what to do with the shoes that I can’t run with, how to reduce the failure rate and getting the shoes that fit me all the time.
NB MR00, never used in any race, still nicely packed in the box...
Round 7, VFF Komodo Sports. And next? Perhaps, is time to take the shoes out of the running equation?

Then, I started to run barefoot.

Summary on the running shoes I owned since Sept 2010:
1x NB1226
1x NB905
1x NB MR00
2x Brooks GTS10
3x VibramFiveFingers Komodo Sports


  1. What a journey.

    You did great at MPIB barefoot. :)

    So barefoot all the way now?

    All the best Neoh!

    1. I am glad that I have an alternative not to continue the journey, and went barefoot all the way :D

  2. You have my respect. I don't think my feet are suitable for barefooting. I'm just glad the Skechers range of shoes have so far been pretty kind to my feet :D

    1. I will still racing in VFF. Barefooting is a tool or training method I use to strengthen my muscles.

      May be you can try out barefoot walking at the park as your cross training, it will help to stimulate recovery.

    2. That might just be a good idea, Neoh :D I think I'll try barefoot walking at the park nearby.