Haglunds deformity exacerbated by Vibram five finger shoes?

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by genkiguy, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. genkiguy

    genkiguy Barefooters

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    Greetings!



    During a period of ~1 year in college, I developed Haglunds deformity on the back of each of my heels from wearing cleats daily for intensive club sports. I noticed the bump growing on the back of my heels but never had any pain (or even blisters) so I didn't worry about it and thought it was just swelling. That was 5 years ago.



    For the past 2 years I'd been running almost daily in the same pair of standard running shoes. They're very comfortable and have never given me problems. This summer, however, I bought Vibram Five Finger shoes and developed some problems.



    To get used to the Vibrams, I was taking very short runs in them ~2-4 times/week for a couple months. Right about the time that I developed new muscles and could run quickly in the Vibrams, the bump on my right heel suddenly swelled a bit and started hurting. This was the first time that this bump ever caused discomfort.



    The discomfort could not be due to normal shoes because this summer I've worn flip flops (with no heel strap) 90% of the time.



    Could this be from the Vibram shoes? I'd be surprised if it was from rubbing on the shoes because I find them to be extremely comfortable. Could it be related to the fact that my heel never touches the ground when I run in them?



    Now I've stopped running altogether (in any shoes) and have continued wearing flip flops, yet after ~1.5 months the bump is still bothersome : (.



    Thank you for your help!!!!
     
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    First, why are you not

    First, why are you not letting your heel touch the ground? Not letting your heel touch the ground is going to lead to some pain at some point. The heel should just tap down after the mid/forefoot does. And you don't want to be running up on your toes either, unless you know for sure that's something you can get away with.

    Also, lots of people complain of the heel-rubbing that takes place while running in VFFs.

    Have you thought about getting some huaraches? There's only a lace that goes around the heel, but nothing that should cause any problems, since you can keep them loose.
     
  3. dunetraveller

    dunetraveller Barefooters
    1. Nevada -...

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    What style of VFFs are you

    What style of VFFs are you wearing? I have rubbing problems (on the back of the heel/tendon) from Classics if I do a lot of walking rather than running in them, but I am fine walking or running with KSOs. Not sure how the other styles are since I only have those two.

    The deformity may be preventing you from getting a good fit in the lower heel area since the VFFs would tighten against the area where the bump would be. At least that's where I would think they would. Without a nice tight fit, VFFs can allow the foot to slide.. a lot more than you'd think... and it has never been good for my feet when they do.

    You may want to use some moleskin to cover the irritated part. Might be a bit of fun to try and slip on VFFs over the material, but it may help a lot.

    John T.
     

  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Good point, DT.You didn't

    Good point, DT.

    You didn't say what VFFs you are wearing, genkiguy. (DT said something that made me think of this.) Please tell me it's not the Classics! They have that bungee cord contraption at the heel most people seem to complain about. That would be foot hell for you.
     
  5. genkiguy

    genkiguy Barefooters

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    I didn't realize that

    I didn't realize that ergonomically my heel should touch the ground. This adjustment can be made.



    Never knew about huaraches. I guess you're recommending them for leisurely walking. Might be worth considering.



    The model is the
    TrekSport men's multisport shoes. Viewable here: http://www.rei.com/product/805275/vibram-fivefingers-treksport-multisport-shoes-mens .


    Indeed, there is a nylon band that wraps around the heel, although it's not a bungee nor does it stretch. Perhaps this band is the culprit.



    Perhaps the feet have been sliding more than I realized. I'm shocked because they are ridiculously comfortable when I wear them - it wasn't until afterwards that the "pump bump" became painful. This is contrary to some cleats I've had, in which you put them on and right away say "Ahhhhh! Get these off!"



    I guess I can try some moleskins.
     
  6. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I would recommend the

    I would recommend the huaraches for running, walking, and hiking.

    I don't think the Velcro strap that attaches to the nylon band is even necessary to have, so make sure it's loose.

    But if you look at those, they have an added heel (bulk) pad that may be rubbing on your heel. The older vesions of VFFs Most don't have this. Maybe you would be better off with one of the VFFs that don't have that added bulk in the back. Just wondering.
     
  7. Dr. Andrew Klein

    Dr. Andrew Klein Barefooters
    1. Minnesota

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    genkiguy,I can't comment

    genkiguy,

    I can't comment directly on the VFF's since I have not worn them but as TJ said, not letting your heel come down is a big problem. Achilles tendinosis is quite likely due to the stress at the Achilles tendon insertion. Tendinosis is a thickening of the tendon with irritation to the bursa on your heel. I would recommend finding a physical therapist in your area who would be friendly to barefoot running and could help you work through the issue so that you can return to running, especially since it has now been 1.5 months.

    When you return, a change in form to make sure your heel touches is imperative. I made that mistake when first starting too, and developed a nice case of Achilles Tendinitis because of it.
     

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