Running barefoot and running with sneakers use different muscles. They affect your body differently, too. Many of us don’t live near a beach or grassy field, so we’d have to run on concrete or gravel to get the barefoot benefits. Vibram is trying to solve this problem.
I was confined to testing the KSOs indoors because it was raining hard. Fitting was difficult. I easily did couch jumps. I felt I had full body control and balance. They have more control and stability than sneakers. Balance and landing jumps will take some time to adjust to. It can hurt your heels if you don’t absorb properly on landing.
I had trouble with the fitting again. It took about three minutes to put them on. As for the run, I took it slow. I ran for 1 km, stretched, then walked back home. It felt like I was running barefoot. Sharp rocks still hurt my feet. I felt like a running frog. After the run, different muscles in my legs began throbbing, e.g., foot arch, above and around the ankles, and below the calf muscles. I think they were strained because they’re rarely used with conventional footwear.
[1 week later] Fitting still took a few minutes. I tried to run a bit faster and further this time. I ran 1.5 km and didn’t feel tired. When I stopped, the strain hit me. The muscles I mentioned above were feeling sore again. When I got home and took off my VFFs, my feet and lower legs felt tender but stronger. Walking on hardwood floor felt so comfortable.
[a few days later] After rereading the instruction manual, I discovered a section I skipped: how to put on VFF. This solved my only problem. Now I couldn’t put both on in less than 30 seconds. I tried to run faster and further again. I ran 2 km but hurt below my right calf when jumping over a bush.
[1 week later] I played 3-on-3 basketball a few days earlier. My leg wasn’t fully healed yet. I challenged myself with a short run. I made my injury worse.
[2 weeks later] I let my leg heal. This time, I ran slowly. I felt the usual soreness. I noticed my lower legs had different muscular definition from before. There were new muscles like striations and curves developing.