Vibram FiveFingers at the Gore-Tex TransRockies
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.
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.
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.