Getting Started

I am a seasoned runner (46 years old) with plantar faciatis. I'm trying to figure out the best way to transition from shoes to 5 fingers.
Is it okay when starting out (i know slow) to run in both shoes, and 5 fingers, in the same workout?
For instance; Run 2 miles BF, and 4 miles in shoes with orthotics.
i need help!


  • I don't technically see anything wrong with it, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I've always felt that the transition wasn't so much about the transfer between shoes,  as immediately employing FiveFingers, but on a much lighter load. If I were you, I'd just do the two in FiveFingers and slowly step up to the six rather than trying to split the difference.
  • You could do both, but it would be easier on you in the long run to give up your orthotics and go VFF or BF all the way. The key is to start slowly, seriosuly. Read the VFF running thread because there are lots of helpful tips on stretching, adding milage, fashion, and form.

    It's a long thread, but worth the read.  
  • I'm inclined to side with those saying go all VFF... but a possible compromise would be to alternate days, rather than trying to do both in the same workout. 

    Another possibility would be to alternate days in which you run short distances in the VFFs and days in which you go for longer distances, but walking instead.  This is what I ended up doing, rather by accident, and it seemed a good way to strengthen my legs and feet without hurting myself.
  • I agree with everyone else.  You need to jump into minimalist running with both feet.  You get to do a do-over here:  welcome the chance to start your running all over again.  You'll re-build your mileage quickly and be much, much happier two months from now when you're fully transitioned. 

    I don't know if it's exactly the same with everyone, but I stand, move and run biomechanically much different either BF or VFF than I do with shoes.  Alternating between the two when I first started was causing my body all kinds of trouble.  When I finally gave up that plan and ran only in VFFs all of the troubles disappeared.

    I've been an on-again, off-again runner for 20 years and started with VFFs in June with 1 mile runs.  Most weeks I run 50 miles now and I have none of the issues I used to have:  PF, soreness, knee trouble, blisters are all a thing of the past.

    Good luck.  Use this forum to help guide you and to keep us informed!

    - Pete
  • When I was transitioning my running from in conventional shoes to VFFs, I started out with 5 minutes in VFFs, then switched back to my regular running shoes for the rest of my run (I ran close to home :) ). I then gradually increased (in 2.5 to 5 minute increments) the time I spent in my VFFs while decreasing the time spent in my regular shoes. I was fully switched over in about 2.5 months. At the time, I didn't want to sacrifice the mileage I'd already gained by having to start all over in VFFs.

    I had been suffering with plantar fasciitis for 6 years before switching. At the time, I had transitioned off the orthotics and was running in a neutral running shoe.

    I remember that my arches would hurt after a little while of running in the VFFs in the beginning. It was not the same pain as the PF, though, more of an overtired kind of pain due to their lack of use from the crutch of the orthotics. Gradually, the overtired pain would start later and later during my runs until it ceased altogether.

    Good luck with the transition Tom!
  • can only refer to my own experience.
    I went for the whole run in vffs then normal shoes the next run, slowly tipping the balance towards vffs.

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