New Barefoot Runner, Looking for help

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Migaloo, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Migaloo

    Migaloo
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    Hello,

    I’m sure people post that title a lot. I, however, am off to a good start. I started with a pair of Xero huaraches and instantly found loud slapping noises.

    Over-striding from years of shoes of course.

    Once I got rid of the slapping I now get top of foot pain in the Xeros. I don’t have any pain completely bare, just a small blister that forms on the outer inside edge of my forefoot after every run.

    Just wondering if anyone has tips or experiences to help with my small issues. I am no opposed to dropping the xeros and going full bare if I can fix the issue in my form causing me to blister.

    Also have a pair of correct toes on the way as I’m guessing the misalignment of my 5th metatarsal joint might cause me to bias the inner edge of my foot.

    Mike
     
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  2. Barefoot TJ

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    When you run, are you actively thinking about that area that blisters? If so, do you find yourself pushing off or grinding in? When I first started running barefoot, I developed a deep blood blister on the ball/pad of one of my feet. The blister only went away after I started running more gently, and it never came back.

    Can anyone else please chime in?
     
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  3. Gordon

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    You answered your question when you said that you don't have any pain when you run completely bare. Learn to do that well before you even think about shoes. Xeroes are shoes and they block most of the feedback from your feet. For now, use them for walking.
     
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  4. Migaloo

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    Thanks for the feedback. I actually found part of my issue once my correct toes arrived. When wearing them I can feel that I apply more even pressure to the ground and dont pronate inward too much. That was my main issue.

    On the subject of the xeros, hopefully the correct toes fix my blister issue over time and I can be completely bare for all my running! I do like the sandals but will probably only wear them when it’s socially required of me.
     
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  5. Barefoot TJ

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    Let us know how you progress.
     
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  6. Dirty Toes Joe

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    What's the current theory on TOFP? (Top of Foot Pain?) Years ago when I was more active here we were just learning about these things - about the time I left it seems like the prevailing theory was it could be stress fractures in the foot bones which were only visible via bone scan. It was generally attributed to TMTS (Too Much Too Soon). I seem to remember it sidelined a few people for a long time.

    I was lucky and never experienced TOFP so I didn't keep up with new developments in that area.
     
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  7. Barefoot TJ

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    Ken Bob has an excellent article on his site about it, but I'm having trouble finding it: https://barefootrunning.com/
     
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  8. trevize1138

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    Welcome! You're certainly doing a lot of good things by going with less shoe. The more sensory info your feet have from the ground the better your running will be. As Gordon said it's no accident that the pain goes away when you're totally bare.

    Here's something I wrote up going into more detail about why no shoes are better than any shoes: https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/entries/the-best-shoes-to-transition-no-shoes.1299/

    Even those super-thin Xero sandals have way more grip than bare skin. They blind you to damaging, inefficient horizontal braking forces which are the real enemy to running. For decades shoe companies have been operating on a completely flawed assumption that vertical impact is the source of injury. More recent research has found that it's horizontal forces not vertical that are a more likely cause:

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/lif...ticle-how-running-gait-increases-injury-risk/

    Think of it this way: when you run how much vertical oscillation can you measure with you head bobbing up-and-down? A few inches? How long is your stride length? A couple feet? Right there you see that there's an order of magnitude more horizontal movement going on than vertical when you run. Adding padding and cushioning is a solution looking to fix a non-problem. I fully believe it's that super-grippy tread and a snug fit that's responsible for more pain than anything.

    As for top-of-the-foot pain I had that at the start, too, along with pulled calves and achilles tendon pain. That was very likely due to a common misconception and over-correction almost all of us have fallen for:

    https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/entries/stop-worrying-about-the-heel-strike.1273/

    When you get rid of the padding it's understandible to think "I need to compensate." So you tend to be up on your toes/forefoot more. All that's going to do is stress out your feet and lower legs. Your whole body handles vertical load great and it does that best if you don't try to micro-manage that. Your calves should be used to bounce you forward not stressed-out by over-using them as extra shock absorbtion you simply don't need.

    For me I think the top-of-the-foot pain was just from stretching my feet out to land forefoot while still over-striding. It was an awkward position and my feet were taking a pounding slamming on the brakes in front of me like that.

    If you take the sandals off you don't want to do that because you chew up the skin underfoot. Now, over a long period of time skin will get thicker and become more puncture-resistant. It will never become magically immune to blisters. Evolution crafted our feet and legs to work together with the specific properties of bare skin. That means your legs are strongest when your feet are firmly on the ground under your center-of-mass not way out in no-mans-land in front or behind you.

    Shoes with super-grippy tread train you to over-extend your legs. Your body is cued into trying to grab at the ground with that artificial grip in ways that just don't do your legs justice. A lot of grip like that is useful if you're competing and you want to put as much power into your steps as possible. But for training if you're 100% shoes you're just teaching yourself to run worse. Cushion and structure complicates that but the real danger is in the tread itself.

    So think about how people like me have done several full marathons in bare feet and I didn't get any blisters. My feet aren't super tough. If I step on a small, sharp rock it hurts! How I did it is in learning to work with exactly how tender and sensitive human feet are. Work to baby those feet and handle the grund gently with finesse not force. The result is not just that the whole rest of your body will avoid damage but you'll be more efficient, faster and stronger as a runner.
     
  9. The Mole

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    Nice post trevise thanks very much
     
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  10. trevize1138

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    Keep us updated on your progress! If anything I've wrote either helped or totally didn't help at all I'd love to know. I babble on a lot and without feedback for all I know it's just that: meandering babble. :)
     
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  11. Barefoot TJ

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    Actually, I appreciate all the work you, and some others, put into your posts here to help others who may be struggling. They're thoughtful and meaningful, and you are spot on with your guidance and advice. You should consider writing a book for beginners... and veterans could stand to learn something as well. Your contributions are important. I may not say it often enough, but I want you guys to know that without your input, the BRS would be lacking greatly. You guys mean alot to me. Thank you.
     
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  12. The Mole

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    Well said TJ.... I’d say your held in the same regard to
     
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  13. Migaloo

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    Just want to start off by thanking Trevize for the abundance of useful information! I have kept at it and seen my top of foot pain go away even when running in the xeros.

    Even better, I found that the correct toes did fix my Blister issue by and large. Without correct toes my toes, which have been deformed by shoes, are scrunched together. This makes me have less distribution of force over my foot and put more pressure on the inside of the ball of my foot. Right where the blisters were!

    Since giving the correct toes more time I have seen a very noticeable improvement in how running feels. I have done 3-4 miles in the Xeros multiple times now. I have visible gaps reforming between my toes as well.

    I plan to do more fully bare and see how my soles handle it. I shouldn’t be afraid of blisters as much as I am. It’s just the concrete always feels so rough, especially on my toes!
     
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  14. Noodles

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    I have an image of you receiving a box of assorted toes, having finally realised that the ones you've been wearing belong to someone else.
    Probably a silly question, but what do you mean by "correct toes"? :shy:
     
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