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806 Views 0 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2013 9:52 AM by Frerunner
Frerunner Rookie 5 posts since
Aug 12, 2013
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Aug 12, 2013 9:52 AM

My experience with VFF. (Half Marathon training)

Hi guys this is my first thread in this forum.

I wanted to start a thread from a long time about my experience with Five fingers running shoes as i have heard all sort of "crap" on diferent forums about them.


This is tha 1st time i have ever suck to a training plan, but I am not new to running at all. I have always incorporated running (10 k as my main distance) to my training for the numerous sports i have been involved at. (basketball, football, martial arts, boxing, biking, surfing).
Before transitioning into running as a main sport i was racing dirt bikes at enduros. (Thats 3+ hour long races at the toughest trails you may imagine), Therefore conditioning was not an issue for me.


I used to have a history of sore back and knees that agraviated when i ran too frequently. So when i had to drop off racing dirt bikes due to $ problems i bought a pair of Nike Pegasus and started to hit the roads. I started running 10k every day and i noticed how the cushion on this shoes was helping me not to feel any pain on my back or knees afterwards. I averaged a pace of 9 min per mile.


Since there is a huge marathon ran each year here in town i decided to browse the web for a training plan, at the same time i started to hear polarized opinions about VFF´s all over the web. Since i tought i had the conditioning part ok from my dirtbike training i decided to jump right into the 1st weeks of the HM training plan instead of building on a base.


Into the 2nd or 3rd week of running 30+ miles per week i bought the Bikilas. The first day i used them i ran planed to run 6 miles but i had to stop after 4 miles due to pain on the bottom of my feet.
I continued running and started to use them only on short easy days 3 miles at the most. After every run in them i experienced soreness in my calves and pain in the bottom of my feet. After 2 weeks or so i started doing longer runs in themand i noticed how diferent i run in them vs the pegasus since the nikes are so high and have a huge heel toe dropoff. When i tried to land with the ball of the feet as i did with bikilas the nie´s heel got in the way.


I like to adress my running by runningt at the trails 2 or 3 times a week. And during this runs i noticed how clumsy the Pegasus height felt. While stepping on rocks and ruts my feet would bend all over the way and when running fast through turns my foot wuld slip inside the shoe. I started to wonder what it would be like to run in VFF´s at the trails. low center of gravity, total freedom of the fingers, inmediate response to uneven surfaces, etc. I had less than 2 months with the Pegasus when a torn at the trails deflated a rear air bubble inside the sole, so the shoe felt uneven and it made my ankle hurt due to this, so i decided to give it a go and i bought the vff´s Spyridon to run at the trails.
BTW at this time i still experienced soreness at the bottom of the feet after running on the Bikilas, and my longer runs whith them were of 6 miles.

On my 1st run with the spyridon´s i made it through 12 miles of trails. Lets keep in mind that i was running on hardpack dirt not concrete, and that when you run at the trails your stride is not perfect and even, but you constantly switch from landing with your mid foot to landing with your heel or fron of foot on ups and downs. I experienced no pain whatsoever.

I love running with them on ultra technical trails, running through rocks, ruts on climbs and descents is ultra fun as you feel as you have monkey feet and also the sole material provides a lot of traction. running fast on switchbacks is fun as you can power through the turn and the low center of gravity allows you to push off though the turn and acellerate the other way. This is where my foot would slip inside the shoe on the Pegasus making the bottom of my feet slip into the outer side of the shoe bending my ankle.  


Bikilas are way more comfy to wear after running, The top of the shoe is very cool and breathes well. The bottom of the shoe even though its the same thickness is more flexible, This translates great for running at the road.
Spyridons are made tough, I wouldnt run in Bikilas at the trail for fear of ripping them with all the rocks, ruts and stuff you can find at the trails. With the spyridon that aint a concern. The downfall is that they are uncomfortable to wlak around with since the material irs rough feeling, surprisingly i dont feel this when i run in them. The sole has a hard insert beneath it the provides protection against rocks and stuff so its less flexible than the Bikilas.
Another strong point of the Spyridon for running at trails is that it doesnt matter if you get tehm wet or run into mud with them the fabric doesnt get soaked or dmaged. But the bikilas are messy to run with even with the smallest puddles.


I continued with the HM plan and iafter 2 weeks or so I felt the bottom of my feet hurt too much, I was running 40+ miles a week. I averaged 8:30 min per mile, by doing this i was mostly running at 80% HR, which is too hard. And  I did a practice run of 21k with the bikilas only this time i stuck to 70%HR so it took me 150 minutes to acheive this. I plateud and after reading more about training plans i decided to start all over again only this time i was going to build a base first and stick to the sugested HR on easy and long runs. After easying down on the miles and intensity my feet stopped hurting and i could manage the 9+ mile long run easily.


So  have been using VFF´s exclusively for over 4 months and i dont feel any pain whatsoever, not on my feet or on my back or knees. I am running 40+ miles and im on week 3 of the intermediate HM plan.

I recently bought the Seeya Vff´s, they are going to be my racing running shoes  i use them exclusevely on speed days and plan on using them for racing.



The seeya upper is an ultra thin mesh, it breathes extremely well. You can notice the weight diference between these shoes and the Bikilas right away. The seeyas are ultra light as the sole is only 1 mm thick on the heel and ball of foot, and under the arch they took it off to save weight. You need to be very eficient with your stride on the seeyas, the 100up running excercise is a must. And they are not forgiving by any way on longer runs. The moment you put them on, you feel invited to pump up the pace, they are great for speed trials, and races, but due to the lightness and lack of sole thickness they are not my 1st option for easy days or long runs.
The bikilas also hold on to your foot better at slower speeds or while swearving through traffic, pedestrians,etc. The seeya dont slip off your foot but feel sort of loose if you are not running straight and fast, so it just plays with your mind.

I see the seeya as a specialized tool, they are lighter and cooler therefore better for racing, but they are not good trainers they are les forgiving and faster wearing.


Sorry for the long thread but i hope this helps to dismistify the VFF´s a bit.

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