Vibram FiveFingers at the Gore-Tex TransRockies

October 10, 2010 by
Filed under: Foot Care, Footwear 

You may recall that in August I was part of the TransRockies Race, a three day and six-day footrace through the Colorado Rockies. I was impressed with the athletes. Most were very prepared for the rigors of covering 115 miles through the demanding Rockies.

I had contact with many of the runners each day. I would see them at breakfast and dinner, and of course, when they came for foot care.

Vibram FiveFingers

Vibram FiveFingers

One of the runners impressed me every day. John Cutroneo wore Vibram FiveFingers for the full six days. I saw him on at the end of day one. He also wore Injinji toe socks. Here’s a photo of his FiveFingers. His feet stayed relatively clean.

John came into the race with a few scrapes that bothered him. One was on the top of his foot, a bit back from the big toe on his left foot. It had been rubbed raw by one of the seams or creases on the FiveFingers. I taped that several times.

After each day’s run, I asked him if he was going to run in his FiveFingers the next day. I expressed surprise that he could run the rugged and rocky course day after day. He assured me he was doing fine.

Many runners were coming in with heel and bottom of the heel blisters. Toe blisters were common. The worst problem he had was heel blisters. I treated these and he continued on the next day.

John Cutroneo's FiveFingers

John Cutroneo's FiveFingers

I saw John most mornings and he always wore his FiveFingers and Injinji socks. He told me he had been running in FiveFingers for about 10 months. While that is not a long time to build a FiveFingers base, it worked for him. Running in these takes patience and a slow build-up to longer distances.

In spite of the FiveFingers’ lack of cushioning and support, he finished all six days. The photo here was taken at the finish line. The sole of his FiveFingers look no worse for the wear.

Yesterday I worked an aid station at the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile Run. I saw two runners wearing FiveFingers. If you choose to wear FiveFingers for trail runs, be sure you have put in the training miles to avoid injury.

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5 Comments on Vibram FiveFingers at the Gore-Tex TransRockies

  1. Ewa on Mon, 11th Oct 2010 11:11 am
  2. I am coming off injury slowly building up my mileage and working on my barefoot/VFF technique. Sometimes I don’t have the patience with myself and want to run faster, further NOW. I am glad you posted about VFF’s. It gives me one more argument that it is worth the wait. Before I got injured (in shoes) I had had great luck in VFF’s. Hope I will get to my pre-injury fitness level soon.

  3. Ewa on Mon, 11th Oct 2010 11:12 am
  4. Oops, forgot to mention that I posted a link to your blog on my blog.

  5. Debra Martin, MSPT, CLT on Mon, 11th Oct 2010 12:02 pm
  6. Thank you for the update on these runners wearing Vibram FiveFingers. I work as the Medical Director for the Rock / Creek Trail Series in the Chattanooga, TN area, and we just finished the Stump Jump 11 Mile / 50K on Oct. 2nd.

    The terrain here is very technical – lots of tree roots / rocks in the trail, and several races have sections called the “rock garden” with ankle-twisting rocks at all angles making up the path – it’s actually hard to mark where the trail is on these sections.

    You can find my race report here:!/notes/archer-physical-therapy/injury-report-from-the-sump-jump-11-mile-50-k-2010/10150303076665002

    We had two significant toe injuries with runners in Vibram FiveFingers. No issues with arch pain or twisted ankles were noted, which is a plus.

    Thank you for passing along your wisdom and observations in your books and on your blog!

  7. Donald on Tue, 12th Oct 2010 9:34 pm
  8. Hi John –

    Thanks for working an aid station at Firetrails! I ran the race in VivoBarefoot Evos, and I was alerted to your post by a reader from my race report. It’s great to hear that you’re going to include a chapter on minimalist and barefoot running in your new book – I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts about it.

    Nice to find your blog. Keep up the great work!

  9. Taylor Cutroneo on Sat, 16th Oct 2010 7:32 am
  10. Hi,
    Uncle John it is taylor!!

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