VFF wearer, Rocky Trails, Tired feet

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by OwlFeet, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. OwlFeet

    OwlFeet
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    Howdy,

    I am a VFF wearer living in Colorado. Before I go to work everyday as a carpenters assistant, where I have to wear protective footwear (ugh), I run trails in my VFF. When I run trials that are less compacted, my feet never get sore and my milage ranges from 4-15 miles each run. However, there's a few trails where I run about 7-10 miles, parts are rocky, where I pick my way, but the next day my feet are just sore! I could just pick trails that are less rocky, but that's hard to do where I live. I also stand on ladders a lot of the day and find that when I do those rocky trails and in combination stand on ladders in those protective boots, my feet really are sore the next day. Wearing VFF at work is not an option.

    Does anyone have any advice/tips about running rocky trails? I am really bummed when I feel like I need to rest to let my feet feel better.

    (background info; have been running for 15+ years, was a minimalist shoe wearer, forefoot strike before I switched gradually to VFF about a year ago.)
     
  2. Dan Cook

    Dan Cook
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    Could you be very specific about where your feet feel sore.
     
  3. Abide

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    1. Nederland -...

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    I had the same issues in AZ. I quit wearing vffs and switched to Luna's trail sandal which worked well. The thicker sole really helps. Now I run in altras primarily as they help with the foot soreness.
     

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  4. OwlFeet

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    Hi Dan,

    My feet are sore mostly on the pad/forefront...and of course, when I accidentally (but impossible not to) step on a rock that doesn't make my feet happy.

    The soreness is mostly located on my pad kind of between the big toe and the index toe. (I also have a callus in that same location on both feet).

    They aren't really sore when I run, its later in the evening and in the morning when they are sore. I liken it to when you lift weights and are sore the next day?

    When I take a day or two off, the soreness does go away, but usually comes back when I hit about 6 miles on rocky trails.
     
    #4 OwlFeet, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  5. OwlFeet

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I was going to look into lunas. I have so many pairs of VFF's and its only when I run on those really rocky trails. Did you find any problems with running off trail and sticks and grass and such getting the tops of your feet? What about cactus and such?
     
  6. Einar

    Einar
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    Maybe you pounding too hard. As you used to do with thicker, more rigid soles in you previous minimals.
    One way to fix stride - run barefoot. Or try to use socks in vff, if problem is friction.
     
    #6 Einar, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  7. migangelo

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    Try looking for shoes with rockplates. Merril TG's used to have them. Not so sure about the shoe options now.
     

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  8. Dan Cook

    Dan Cook
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    Do you think this soreness is bruising or an ache from bashing your feet hard against rock?

    If so, here is my advice: You have to remember the difference between running in VVF and barefoot.

    With VVF it feels soft on your feet, so it's tempting to hit the ground hard with each step. Running barefoot teaches you to take gentle steps, with a relaxed foot. Studies have shown that some runners heel strike in VVF which is very bad news!

    You are also more likely to run too much on the balls of your feet. I did this and it led to tendinitis on the top of the foot. It can also lead to a stress fracture which is even more serious.

    I recommend you practise running barefoot over the rocks, at least temporarily, until you have learned to run gently.

    In fact, it is recommended you start with really tough ground, on sharp gravel, so that you learn to walk/run gently.
     
  9. Aldri Fajar Muhammad

    Aldri Fajar Muhammad
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    I used to run in rocky trail once really barefoot, and its agitating. But it's only for the pad of legs. No soreness from calves and callus at my feet. Even I just did it once, I believe run in rocky trail with no protective device at all makes your feet stronger comes along when it often to do. (sorry if my english still bad)
     
  10. Abide

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    1. Nederland -...

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    Yes Luna's can be annoying in that aspect but once you get used to having things get between your foot and sandal you don't notice it much. They also mimic barefoot the closest I think. But they also take some time to get comfortable. They aren't a magic pill and have their own set of issues especially when talking about cold and wet conditions.

    It's a difficult situation, do you have aspirations to increase your run distances? If not you can probably just keep using the ff and it will likely get better. If so then considering some other options might be best.
     

  11. Abide

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    1. Nederland -...

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    No I never had an issue with cacti and Lunas, the only time I ever had an issue I was in a pair of Altras and a needle went though the sole and into my foot. I think the hard Luna sole would have actually prevented it.
     

  12. Wanderer Jiyuren

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    I would like to temper all of these gear suggestions with the comment that, while I try to avoid running trails (I just don't like having to dodge people that much) I have experienced similar soreness from hiking on rocky trails. I have a working hypothesis --which I no longer have the occasion to test unfortunately-- that this soreness is likely from the uneveness of the terrain on rocky trails, and the required muscular activation required to navigate on said terrain.
     
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  13. Dan Cook

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    If your hypothesis is correct: here's what I would do: don't run on the trails for now. Work on the 'required muscular activation' then when you have sorted this, gradually return to the trails.
     

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