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Old 07-19-2012, 02:13 PM   #101 (permalink)
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When I play I wear a hunting shoe that's essentially a camo colored chuck Taylor . I wore boots in the early days of my paint balling that's how I blew out a knee now I won't wear boots
I'm stuck with them for work though tactical boots are apart of the required uniform at my security job. So I'm stuck. I have converse tac boots for that. Wanna try out the new balance ones and the Nike sfb next. For paintball when the hunting shoes I wear break down I'm gonna switch to a pair of new balance hiking shoes. My podiatrist says new balance and aesics are the best for your feet. I'm inclined to trust the md. But yeah boots are a terrible thing for joints yeah your ankle doesn't give but your knew does instead. I'd rather role an ankle then tear my maniscus again
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:47 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Coming from seven years as an Infantryman i'd personally counter with the exact opposite being what I've seen (and experienced)...

I must not've come across clear enough.

Military Footwear is in complete opposition to barefoot, minimalist idealogy (which I personally believe), and like you, I do believe it leads to higher rates of Foot (and other injuries). However, I do not know of any research that pertains to the extended carry of heavy loads while using barefoot or minimalist shoes. So, I personally will not say that Barefoot Shoes are the best thing for those carrying heavy loads. However, I do believe that this is probably going to be looked at very soon, if it's not being evaluated already.

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I too agree with folks talking about how they don't need the ankle support. Honestly, if you are playing in an area that has uneven ground, roots, rocks, and what have you, do you really go running full tilt, completely ignoring the ground, until you trip and fall face first into whatever?
I agree that barefoot/minimalist shoes tend to make your ankle, foot, and lower legs stronger. But, does that mean that barefoot/minimalist shoe wearers will never get a a sprained ankle (or worse) unless they trip over something?

Personally, I tend to jog on the field more than sprint. The clearest exception to this is times when I need to move from cover to cover, under fire (where I've made someone duck, and I need to get to another bunker and others are likely to react to my move and start firing. I will share a somewhat funny story of one such time where I managed to sprain an ankle-

I was standing outside of range, behind some thin brush, not drawing attention to myself. I see a large tree (3-4ft trunk diameter) that I can use as a good firing position but, there's next to nothing between me and the tree (abut 30yards away). So, when I felt reasonably sure I would have the drop on the opposition, I sprint to the tree. However, as I'm most of the way there, I start to notice the downward slope and, I'm carrying a pretty hefty loadout (for paintball anyways, my warp fed Ion with a large capacity Rotor, a 68 tank and four full dye pods on my back).

I slam full force into tree, breaking my impact with my arms but I still manage to bounce my chest off it (not with anything close to painful or injury). As I come to a stop, my right foot toes are up against the tree, my left leg comes up and crosses behind my right leg so that my left pinky toe is along the right edge of my right boot (why? I have no idea).

I fall straight back, with my left leg preventing me from bending the right knee. As I fall, the straightened right leg applied a joint lock to my left ankle (because the toes were pinned to the ground outside of my right foot). It hurt like hell, I landed, I tucked up close to the tree (amazingly I didn't get shot during the sprint or the recovery), and I played the rest of the game. I sucked down a couple Alleve, and played the rest of the day). I believe that the boot's (Oakleys) ankle covereage kept the injury to a minimum (doctor said I had a mild sprain).

So, maybe I'm wreckless. But, since 89, I've only managed to get a paintball related injury twice (once on each ankle, the other ankle was after running/jumping over some small rocks, to land on a downed tree branch that rolled out from under me). So, maybe folks like me would still benefit from a minimalist/barefoot shoe with some ankle support?
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Honestly, I will never claim that a person wearing anything will or won't get any kind of injury. But I will say that wearing VFF's, I tend to be a bit more aware of my environment, so I have less chance of getting a sprained ankle due to stepping into a hole that may have been covered by some foliage, or tripping over a root.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #104 (permalink)
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it's not likely that you would have been running full tilt through the woods with five fingers on. I certainly would not- maybe you guys have different style woods than here, but there is so much deadfall and places where thin trees and brush are cut down. Too much crap to wear footwear that is going to take my attention in order to not hurt my feet. For woodsball I just wear old sneakers. This allows me to run full tilt over brush, logs, branches, up walls (well ok not so much) without much worry about bad foot placement or random debris.


Which is another thing I worry about when off trail wearing five fingers. The land around me is agricultural, what is not being farmed now was actively farmed within the last century. There is lots of old barbed wire fences laying under the soil just waiting for my nearly bare foot to come across a washout. I hate anything that requires a tetanus shot...
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:52 PM   #105 (permalink)
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I wore boots all of 2 times playing paintball. I hate it, they're heavy and slow me down and I trip over everything. All of my favorite shoes from avia have been retired to paintball used because the have holes in them on the sides. Avia stopped making my favorite shoe, basically a rock climbing shoe, from, oh god, like 10 years ago. Shoe goop has rebuilt those soles so many times to prevent the paper thin rubber from finally going away. I never trip or slip with those things (except for wet mossy logs in a swamp).
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:08 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
I must not've come across clear enough.

Military Footwear is in complete opposition to barefoot, minimalist idealogy (which I personally believe), and like you, I do believe it leads to higher rates of Foot (and other injuries). However, I do not know of any research that pertains to the extended carry of heavy loads while using barefoot or minimalist shoes. So, I personally will not say that Barefoot Shoes are the best thing for those carrying heavy loads. However, I do believe that this is probably going to be looked at very soon, if it's not being evaluated already.



I agree that barefoot/minimalist shoes tend to make your ankle, foot, and lower legs stronger. But, does that mean that barefoot/minimalist shoe wearers will never get a a sprained ankle (or worse) unless they trip over something?

Personally, I tend to jog on the field more than sprint. The clearest exception to this is times when I need to move from cover to cover, under fire (where I've made someone duck, and I need to get to another bunker and others are likely to react to my move and start firing. I will share a somewhat funny story of one such time where I managed to sprain an ankle-

I was standing outside of range, behind some thin brush, not drawing attention to myself. I see a large tree (3-4ft trunk diameter) that I can use as a good firing position but, there's next to nothing between me and the tree (abut 30yards away). So, when I felt reasonably sure I would have the drop on the opposition, I sprint to the tree. However, as I'm most of the way there, I start to notice the downward slope and, I'm carrying a pretty hefty loadout (for paintball anyways, my warp fed Ion with a large capacity Rotor, a 68 tank and four full dye pods on my back).

I slam full force into tree, breaking my impact with my arms but I still manage to bounce my chest off it (not with anything close to painful or injury). As I come to a stop, my right foot toes are up against the tree, my left leg comes up and crosses behind my right leg so that my left pinky toe is along the right edge of my right boot (why? I have no idea).

I fall straight back, with my left leg preventing me from bending the right knee. As I fall, the straightened right leg applied a joint lock to my left ankle (because the toes were pinned to the ground outside of my right foot). It hurt like hell, I landed, I tucked up close to the tree (amazingly I didn't get shot during the sprint or the recovery), and I played the rest of the game. I sucked down a couple Alleve, and played the rest of the day). I believe that the boot's (Oakleys) ankle covereage kept the injury to a minimum (doctor said I had a mild sprain).

So, maybe I'm wreckless. But, since 89, I've only managed to get a paintball related injury twice (once on each ankle, the other ankle was after running/jumping over some small rocks, to land on a downed tree branch that rolled out from under me). So, maybe folks like me would still benefit from a minimalist/barefoot shoe with some ankle support?
IMO the issue with heavy loads is the heavy loads, not the footwear. There's no good reason for a guy to be carrying 120+lbs in a rucksack up in the mountains. The cure for that is easy, better and lighter equipment. The hurdle is bureaucracy. Again, BTDT.

Could VFF work? Sure, but IMO for the terrain in Afghan in particular some attention would need to be given to the soles durability. Ironically Vibram has an edge here.

I completely wore out the soles on 2 pair of the panama sole desert boots there while the belleviews we were issued (vibram soles) looked a hundred timed better. I don't know of anyone who wore out a sole on those boots.

As far as injuries with VFF the most common I've heard of was fractured toes from some really active people doing weird things. IIRC one happened while bouldering, another I recall had a line or something wrap around a toe and break it.

So they obviously have some drawbacks, but i'd like to see some proper testing done. Not the typical testing where they pass them out to line dogs without instruction and say "here, try to break this". That won't play out well at all.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bagels View Post
I am unsure of what size to go with. I need some help with you experienced VFF wearers. I measured my foot to be just under 11 1/2 inches. This told me that I am a size 45. My friends dad brought home a size 45 for me to try on. They were pretty comfortable, but both my big toes and the longer ones next to them were kind of snug up against the front of the shoes. He doesn't think that there are any 46's in stock so I don't know what size I should go for. Have any of you experienced any blisters or soreness on the tips of your toes from rubbing?
Sounds like you need a 46 or maybe 47. Don't go by the online charts or buy online. If you want them to fit right you need to try them on. From what I've seen they vary a bit between models and sometimes with the same shoe.

Follow the directions as well when putting them on to ensure the best fit.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:28 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Sounds like you need a 46 or maybe 47. Don't go by the online charts or buy online. If you want them to fit right you need to try them on. From what I've seen they vary a bit between models and sometimes with the same shoe.

Follow the directions as well when putting them on to ensure the best fit.
Thanks for the advice.

As far as the whole lack of ankle support debate going on here. I have a little experience/research to chime in here. I am a frequent basketball player. I play very competitively nearly on a daily basis while I am at school. I played all throughout highschool as well. I would have been playing college ball this year if it hadn't been for a partially torn peroneal tendon in my right leg. As a matter of fact, the reason I had a partially torn peroneal tendon is due to the fact that I have sprained both of my ankles 6 or more times. Each have had multiple serious sprains as well where I physically could not walk for weeks(nevermind doctors orders). Frankly, I got sick of spraining my ankles so I started doing a lot of research on how to prevent myself from ankle sprains.

What I learned is this. The most common cause of ankle sprains and other leg injuries is actually due to shoe technology. The amount of padding and shock absorbsion that shoes have these days, especially basketball and running shoes is the main cause of all of these injuries. Those soft flexible heels allow you to roll your ankle more easily. I have experienced this. I actually stopped buying basketball shoes that had too much padding because I tended to role my ankles every single time I played. Believe it or not, the search for shoes with less cushion led me to cheaper basketball shoes. All of those high end nikes that I had been wearing for years had way too much cushioning. I started buying the cheaper models with less cushioning and have not sprained my ankle since. I sprained each ankle 3 times my freshman year of college. Last year, after I made the switch, I have not sprained my ankles at all. This doesn't mean that you don't need ankle support. My right ankle sure still needs it. The reason I developed a torn tendon is due to me spraining my ankle so many times that my peroneal tendon was the only thing keeping me from rolling my ankle on lateral movements. After so much stress, a tear developed.

So what I am trying to get to is that the Vibram Five Fingers have almost no cushioning, thus theoretically, they should diminish lower leg injuries while wearing them. I actually had been concerned myself that the lack of ankle support may be an issue for me, but after trying them on and jumping back and forth explosively, I realized that it would be pretty hard for me to roll my ankle because of the lack of cushion.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:17 AM   #109 (permalink)
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for the record, when I play woodball, I do run full tilt off the break...

The only time I've ROLLED my ankle, the uneven driveway on which I was playing basketball with my much younger cousins played a more significant ROLE than my footwear.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:47 AM   #110 (permalink)
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Ah, but you would feel the uneveness better with a VFF

As for trails, the rock-blocking effect of the Spyridons made a huge difference. I went on a short trail with lots of hard, knobby tree roots and in my KomodoSports, it hurt when the middle of my arch came down on one if I wasn't paying attention...wtih the Spyridons, much more manageable. All you have to do (even at full tilt) is keep your eyes on the ground up to 15 feet ahead of you - avoid clearly dangerous things like sharp rocks/roots and your feet and toes adjust to the uneven terrain flawlessly.

As stated previously, the hardest part is building up your muscle for them SLOWLY. They will make you want to run further than you should.

All of the injuries I've heard of were people who tried to do the same distances they normally did (even ultra-marathon runners +50km!), or people who didn't adapt their stride and landed on their heels. Without that inch of cushioning, they developed heel fractures.
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