I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve kind of been obsessing over a certain pair of shoes lately.



My not-so-subtle hinting paid off, and I received a pair as a birthday gift from my boyfriend.


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve kind of been obsessing over a certain pair of shoes lately.

My not-so-subtle hinting paid off, and I received a pair as a birthday gift from my boyfriend.

I opened my new Vibram FiveFinger Bikilas in all of their hot pink and orange glory Monday morning and immediately slipped each of my toes into their individual pockets.

Luke was almost as excited as I was when I opened my “toe shoes,” as he likes to call them. But he won’t have to wait too long to own a pair of toe shoes like mommy and daddy. Check out the Vibram Kids KSOs that will be out sometime in 2011. The three of us will certainly turn heads as we wear these shoes around town. Now there’s a great Christmas card idea. 

I wore my new shoes around the house for the remainder of the morning and considered wearing them to work, but they didn’t really go with my outfit.

Yesterday after work, I decided to take my new shoes on a test run. I’ve heard that too much, too soon in Fivefingers can cause muscle pain and such, since our feet are used to the support provided in everyday, cushiony shoes. But, I figured if I can rock a pair of super uncomfortable heels for hours on end, surely I can run a few miles in these shoes. Just to be safe, I planned on running a quick three miles around my parents’ neighborhood in East Peoria. I strapped on my pretty pink shoes and hit the road.

About a quarter of a mile into my run, I wanted to call it quits. My calves were already burning and the balls of my feet were not liking the rough pavement.

I pushed on, but decided to shorten my run to two miles.

I felt everything under my feet. I felt the cushion of grass, the flat hard pavement and even a few rocks. I definitely noticed the rocks, but they weren’t enough to hinder my run.

From everything I’ve read, one of the major reasons runners are forgoing traditional running shoes for minimalist or even no shoes, is to help them maintain a forefoot strike. This guy explains it better than I ever could.

So, as I was running, I was concentrating on my forefoot stike. It was incredibly awkward. I can only imagine what I must have looked like out there. I felt like Phoebe in this episode of Friends.

Good thing there were no horses along my route.

I’ve also heard that barefoot/minimalist running can help increase your speed. But, during my two-mile run, I struggled to keep a 10:30 pace. I usually have no problem holding a 9:30 pace in my Brooks and Nikes.

I finished my run a little frustrated and woke up this morning with calves that felt like they had been put through a 20-miler as opposed to two measly miles. But, I plan to run in my Bikilas again soon. Probably not tonight as I tackle a few hills, but soon.

I’ll just try to keep my Phoebe-esque running skills in check. But, as the great Phoebe said, “I don’t care if people are staring. It’s just for a second cause then I’m gone.”

Holly Richrath is a reporter at Times-Newspapers. She shares the juggling act that is her life and her quest for sanity in her blog “Mom on the Run.”