In January of 2011 I bought my first pair of shoes. They were Merrell hiking shoes. Within the first few hikes I began to run. I knew that I shouldn’t be running in these shoes because they didn’t have the support system I would need.
I bought a pair of Asisc trail running shoes, but after a month of running in them I had to return them because they didn’t release the heat and because I run through knee high water at certain parts of the trail and they didn’t let the water out.
I replaced those shoes with a pair of Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes and I fell in love with them. I’m talking IN LOVE, could write a poem about them…would marry them if I could.
During my trail running shoes adventures, Tabitha had bought a pair of Vibrams FiveFinger shoes. I wasn’t impressed with the look of the shoe or the support they would offer out there.
Soon after Dan bought a pair of them. Again, I wasn’t impressed with the look and endlessly picked on him about them.
Then something crazy happened…both Tabitha and Dan started getting ridiculous muscles in their calves and legs. They could both take these insane hills like they were no problem at all.
Long before Tabitha got the shoes, I started researching the pros and cons and watching an absurd amount of podcasts on reviews from runners, doctors, podiatrists and just normal every day wearers of the shoes.
I secretly decided I wanted to give them a try. Since I am one of those people that never wear shoes unless I’m outside and spent a million hours as a kid running around in the hills without shoes I figured what would it hurt to at least try them out.
I got a pair a few days ago and I took them out for a spin.
My boyfriend has watched and encouraged me on my lifestyle change but has never joined me out in my playgrounds of Auburn California. I’ve promised him to take him out on a hike and not run if he would just join me once.
On Christmas morning with a deep desire to get a couple miles on the shoes, I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk and I picked a simple trail out in the canyons. We harnessed up the dog and headed out. I took it slow to see how the rocks and ground would feel. His walk is about equal to my slow jog and if I fell back just enough I could do short sprints to see how they would hold up. I could tell I was more in tune to the ground and how my foot struck. The Treks that I picked out have more grip than some of the other models of the FiveFingers and are made for trail running. They held up nice on the rockiest part of the trail. Not once did I say, “OUCH” like I was prepared to do.
At the bottom of this big hill I decided I was going to do a power walk up. There is something about the shoes that actually allowed me to sprint the hill and I didn’t have the lag I normally have halfway up.
On the way back I was encouraging the dog to do a little one minute jog with me and low and behold those little doggie legs kept up fine. I couldn’t help but notice that my boyfriend was actually doing a little bit of the running as well.
This morning we made our way to the shoe store so he could get himself a pair of Brooks so he can (possibly) do a run with me at the beginning of the year. There is no way to put into words the pride I have right now that he’s willing to take this small step into such a huge part of my world. He said he wasn’t going to run, but I told him he might accidently start running. I’m willing to hang back and enjoy the time we have together in our first (and maybe only) official race together.
On the Hiking with the Exes site I will be doing more on the review on the Vibrams FiveFinger Trek shoes. We shall see if this is for me. For the record, they are ugly as hell and I tried on all types of them in hopes of finding a pair that were bit stylish, but really…how can you make these Shrek feet looking shoes cute? You can’t…so I am just going to go with it and hope they grow on me.