minimalist running shoes experiences

smal48
smal48 Posts: 102 Member
Do other people find minimalist or bare foot running exercises their calf muscles much much more than running in trad running shoes?
I ran in minimalist shoes for the 1st time 2 days ago and my calf muscles are still feeling it! I have never had any ache in my calf muscles from running before.

Replies

  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,430 Member
    Yes. That's one of the reasons you need to transition into them very gradually. Too much too quickly will wreck you. The 0 heel drop causes the calf to absorb the shock and stretch longer than in traditional shoes.
  • smal48
    smal48 Posts: 102 Member
    Thanks rybo, I will take it more slowly. It's a very different experience from running in my normal shoes, but I liked it!
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    You can also ease into it with altras or another zero drop partial cushion shoe.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    smal48 wrote: »
    Do other people find minimalist or bare foot running exercises their calf muscles much much more than running in trad running shoes?
    I ran in minimalist shoes for the 1st time 2 days ago and my calf muscles are still feeling it! I have never had any ache in my calf muscles from running before.

    That would be a result of putting your achilles under much more stress, hence building up. Once you've adapted it gets much easier to transition.

    Personally I use a range of shoes with different heel/ toe drops. I find a low drop much more comfortable for long distance and off road.

    Something to be conscious of is the point above about maximal zero drops, Altras, which can also have a place. I hate the feeling of maximals, due to the cushioning and loss of ground feel. My ultra shoes have negligible cushioning and a 4mm drop.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    edited July 2017
    smal48 wrote: »
    Do other people find minimalist or bare foot running exercises their calf muscles much much more than running in trad running shoes?
    I ran in minimalist shoes for the 1st time 2 days ago and my calf muscles are still feeling it! I have never had any ache in my calf muscles from running before.

    That would be a result of putting your achilles under much more stress, hence building up. Once you've adapted it gets much easier to transition.

    Personally I use a range of shoes with different heel/ toe drops. I find a low drop much more comfortable for long distance and off road.

    Something to be conscious of is the point above about maximal zero drops, Altras, which can also have a place. I hate the feeling of maximals, due to the cushioning and loss of ground feel. My ultra shoes have negligible cushioning and a 4mm drop.

    Thanks, learned something new. I didn't know that maximals were the new/latest thing.

    I've got the Lone Peaks which are a moderate/low cushion zero drop.

    I really can't imagine wanting to add extra/excessive cushioning. Just a little goes a long way.

    I tried transitioning to barefoot/zero cushioned shoes a few years back and while I didn't have the calf problems, I didn't like being "THAT" in touch with every rock and pebble when running..
  • thewindandthework
    thewindandthework Posts: 531 Member
    I run in Lem's Primal II, and I adore them. There's enough sole to protect me from unexpected rocks, but little enough cushioning that I can feel the road.

    I did very little running before I switched to minimal shoes, so I didn't have a very steep learning curve. I understand that runners transitioning from traditional shoes need to take it slow.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,191 Member
    You wouldn't think that a few mm would be that noticeable but i actually had to go back to a 12mm drop show because of Achilles tendon issues last year (old age can suck sometimes....)
  • Mrs_Lechner
    Mrs_Lechner Posts: 2 Member
    I definitely recommend transitioning slowly and make sure you stretch.

    I used to love my vibram 5 fingers for jogging. I then took a break from running and gained some weight and tried to go back to going my usual distance with my toe shoes and ended up really hurting my ankle real bad. the hope is once i'm down some weight i'll be able to go back to those shoes, i really loved running in them.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    Yes, the lower drop definitely works your calves and achilles more. They change the way you land so the impact is different - you may notice differences in soreness in other parts of your leg as well.

    I use them because I end up with jumper's knee within a week or so of running in 'regular' drop shoes but have no trouble at all with minimal drop. Figured that out early when learning to run so like others, I've mostly run in zero/minimal drop shoes and didn't have much of a learning curve.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    Transition gradually (like others have said). I tried to go too fast and wound up injuring my Achilles, took me weeks and weeks to recover. I am not patient enough for minimalist shoes, so after that I just went back to regular. The pain was so awful, I don't ever want to go through that again.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    edited July 2017
    smal48 wrote: »
    Do other people find minimalist or bare foot running exercises their calf muscles much much more than running in trad running shoes?
    I ran in minimalist shoes for the 1st time 2 days ago and my calf muscles are still feeling it! I have never had any ache in my calf muscles from running before.

    That would be a result of putting your achilles under much more stress, hence building up. Once you've adapted it gets much easier to transition.

    Personally I use a range of shoes with different heel/ toe drops. I find a low drop much more comfortable for long distance and off road.

    Something to be conscious of is the point above about maximal zero drops, Altras, which can also have a place. I hate the feeling of maximals, due to the cushioning and loss of ground feel. My ultra shoes have negligible cushioning and a 4mm drop.

    Thanks, learned something new. I didn't know that maximals were the new/latest thing.

    I've got the Lone Peaks which are a moderate/low cushion zero drop.

    I really can't imagine wanting to add extra/excessive cushioning. Just a little goes a long way.

    I tried transitioning to barefoot/zero cushioned shoes a few years back and while I didn't have the calf problems, I didn't like being "THAT" in touch with every rock and pebble when running..

    For me Altras and Hokas look as if they risk excessive rotational torque on the ankles. In my last marathon I used a 6mm road shoe, but really felt the need of a rock plate. That was two weeks ago, I've got another in a couple of weeks where I'll be wearing a 4mm light trail with rock plate.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,293 Member
    If I get another pair, I'd only wear them inside a gym. I fell very badly wearing a pair outside.