My first running shoes were a pair of Nike Air when I was 13 – Lightweight, bouncy and snug, it was such a good fit that I kept it for years before finally bidding them farewell. I’ve gone through my fair bit of running shoes and most of my selections are geared towards minimalist types – I hate shoes that are boxy and heavy. So when I was given a pair of Vibram Spyridon, I was naturally excited and could not wait to test them out. Lightweight, minimalist yet with enough traction made for the trails, the Spyridon fits like a glove and runs like a feather.
The first time I wore them was for a run at night on trail and pavement. ( I was still rather concerned about people staring at my crocodile-paw like feet if I wore them out in broad daylight) The one thing I love about them is how sensitive it is to the movement of my legs, it’s almost as if every muscle movement from the thighs to the calves gets effectively translated to the feet and ground. I feel extremely close to the earth and it forces me to adopt a mid to forefoot strike which naturally speeds me up. The momentum it generates is excellent (the feeling is akin to cycling with clips) and I felt my strides opening up subconsciously.
The multi-directional tread provided a good amount of traction and grip on gravel and trail. Though it is rather glove-like thin, it adequately protects my feet from sharp protruding rocks and I’ve never had anything pierce into the soles. On very rocky surfaces, it just feels like a foot massage. If you’re not a fan of barefoot running though, I highly suggest trying out minimalist shoes first, before transiting into them.
Though I’ve heard of many who run marathons in these, I have used them only for runs under 10km and usually get a bit of abrasion under the big toe, but nothing a good pair of toesocks can’t solve! (trying to justify my recent splurge on a pair of Injinjis). I’ve since replaced 2 runs a week with these while I’m still wearing my NB1600 and NikeFree for the other 2. After 5 months in them, I’d say the Spyridon really did a good job of gradually correcting my strides and pushing my pace.