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Old 11-13-2007, 10:12 PM   #1
James Falkner
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Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

I've had an interest in running "right" and buying a pair of the shoes people rave about here. You know the ones. With minimal "stuff" in them, that's supposed to be hell on you and your lower legs for two weeks then deliver you to running heaven with a perfect stride by minimizing the support elements of the shoe and forcing you to run "right". I'd like to do an experiment with them, but...

Are any of you over 200lbs? Like, 210 or so? Is there going to be an issue with using these kinds of shoes in the long run? I dunno if, by simply being heavier, I am doing more damage per foot strike (regardless of if it's a heel or forefoot strike), than someone lighter. I am concerned that the musculo-skeletal system doesn't develop linearly with weight, meaning that mine isn't 2x as "strong" as someone half my weight, so I am effectively doing more damage per foot strike, and should look for more support otherwise I'll be screwed in 10 years, moreso than a 100 lb person?

I'm 33yo, ~210 lbs, and run an average of 15-20 miles/week (in addition to doing the WODs, as Rx'ed, on a regular basis). The only "overuse" injury I've ever had was a case of achilles tendonitis (or was that tendinosis? It lasted about 2 months), and that was about 2 years ago.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:51 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

James,
The right shoes help you get the feel for running with better/proper form more easily.

Either way, you'll want to improve your running form, it will only help you in the long run, especially as a heavier athlete.

I'm 180# on heavy days, not quite in your class. Learning how to run properly has gotten rid of any recurring running issues I had (mostly in the left hip and hip flexor).

Do a lot of jump rope, preferably barefoot, before you get the shoes. That will initiate the conditioning of your lower legs.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:38 AM   #3
James Falkner
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

Great idea with the jump rope.. I'll give that a go. I'm going to ask for a pair of shoes for Christmas and see how it goes.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:23 AM   #4
David Long
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

I ran a 5 miler at 200lbs in a pair of Frees and felt good. I still wear them in the 180s and feel good. I have some lower leg imbalances, and I think the shoes helped work through SOME of them,
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:56 AM   #5
Roberto Dowse
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

James

I weigh the same as you and have been using the Nike Free for my running WODs. I have not been logging the miles per week you do so I do not feel comfortable to run greater distances than the 400s and 800s of the WODs I do. For the longer runs I am doing as I build my mileage I still try to use a very light less supportive racing flat or similar shoe that gives me more cushion without running on "Pillows".

I do have a very efficient running stride that is bio-mechanically correct and 50 pounds ago was a competative runner.

I would just let your legs judge if the Frees or the 5 Fingers are good for you.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:19 AM   #6
Steve Vanderbok
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

I'm spitting distance from your weight class (being ~190#). I recently bought a pair of Vibram Fivefingers. Love 'em. They're great for lifting. But I haven't run in them yet. Walking in them sure lets you know not to bang your heels. Running must surely punish poor form. Oh yeah, and if you get a pair of Fivefingers be prepared for getting eyeballed since everyone wants to look at them but is afraid to outright stare.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:46 AM   #7
Garrett Smith
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

Definitely make sure you know how to jump rope before "jumping into" it barefoot, as a jump rope smack on the toes doesn't feel good. I would stick to the standard hop, or maybe the alternating hop, definitely no double-unders (ouch!). Remember that we are conditioning the feet & arches, so don't overdo it.

Good article from Dr. Romanov here WFS: http://www.posetech.com/training/archives/000503.html

My short shoes "want" list:
OL shoes
Vibram 5fingers

Already got two pairs of Frees (5.0s for heavier stuff with a little running, 3.0s for mostly running without heavy stuff).
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Last edited by Garrett Smith : 11-14-2007 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:12 PM   #8
Michael Dykstra
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

I am right around 203 and I wear both the nike free 5.0 and vibram 5 fingers. I do most of my running in the nike free. I haven't tried running distance in the 5 fingers yet. But I did wear them playing racquet ball the other day and they worked great. I would just recommend when you first get this type of shoe (if your not used to barefoot) to wear it around the house for a couple of hours and add an hour each day for a week. That way your feet and the rest of your body gets used to it.

people give me crazy looks when I wear my 5 fingers. But I think they are just jealous of my cool shoes. hahaha

Last edited by Michael Dykstra : 11-14-2007 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:47 PM   #9
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

What about for a real lard butt that weighs 260+?

I've tried to find the frees in my size in stores, but I've yet to find one big enough. If you guys think it would be worth it, I'd order a pair on line.

Just thinking out loud.

All the best,
Arden
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:54 PM   #10
Michael Dykstra
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Re: Nike Free and/or Vibram Five Fingers for Big (200+ lbs) people

quick idea you could just try walking around barefoot or workout barefoot and see how you like it.
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