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#FreeYourFeet review by Satay Runner

April 21, 2016

#FreeYourFeet review by Satay Runner

*Please note that FYF is no longer available on our website. Please check out Skinners instead.

For those seeking my personal opinion on the #FYF Swiss Barefoot socks i had pre-ordered through www.runminimal.sg...

Spoiler alert...its dreadfully loooong...!!! i dun wanna edit much... just type free flow...whatever comes to mind... Apologies, but im not getting paid a cent for this and simply sharing my passion n personal knowledge to a small group of "purist" barefoot runner


BRUTALLY LONG VERSION...

Took it out for a 5km, easy pace jog today at #TFR (Terry Fox Run). I wanted to be one of the first to try out this new product released by RUN MINIMAL SG, who also requested some feedback. I understand this is the first launch of this product, in Singapore.

"GUINEA PIG Sa Tay"
I purchased it hoping it would later serve to protect my kiddoes feet, whiles still developing their little intrinsic feet muscles and balance. I also told myself that it was also good for me to get back to basics with bf training, especially since my form was affected by the lack of running over the last 7months before my spinal surgery. So truly, i felt that if it didnt meet to my expectations... I really had nothing much to lose. Well, except for spending about 100bucks on the most expensive sock i would ever buy?!!!

"DISCLAIMER"?
...and apologies...as a physiotherapist...i must put some kind of disclaimer?. I know what some of you are thinking... why run bare when you can have shoes to protect your feet right?!! Well, simply put...for me, its a personal reason. N as long as youre able to enjoy running #INJURY FREE! and know how to gradually improve and progress your runs... i find bf training an EXCELLENT form of training - esp for the teeny tiny feet muscles and generally great for improving your dynamic balance through feeling the ground ie., proprioception

JOYFUL RUNNER & BAREFOOT RUNNING
Just to share... It was also the main treatment method i used to treat my daughters flat arches (and unstable ankles) when she was 3 or 4years old. Now if u see her feet, her arches are well formed and has nil issues..well..except for bunions because her feet are simply too big and wide now for most school shoes!!! (Hashtag: hobbit? ?)

RUNNING ON PAVEMENT/CONCRETE:
Throughout the 5k jog, i was able to meet my objective and jog without having to consciously lift my knees. Actually, Joy was dragging her feet for the first 2km and unable to effectively correct her form, even when she was trying to lift her knees and land lightly...likely cuz shes not used to jogging so slowly... All was corrected once i asked her to take off her shoes!

Also, near the starting point (Big Splash), there were plenty of tiny, spiky burrs scattered on the pavement... It had irritated my feet when i ran bf 2years ago (TFR, 2014)..think "OUCH! OUCH!!" Now, only Joy was feeling them, running in her socks ???

However, today, i could land directly on these burrs, even intentionally?, without having to feel the spikes on my soles. Also, the burrs didnt stick to the sock material, except for that 1 burr that got caught between my first n second toes. Nil pain, just a noticeable pressure whenever my foot landed, until i plucked it out - which was easy... No dramas?

RUNNING OVER SHARP STONES (Smallish-tablespoon sized ones)
Messing around with my iphone camera settings, during the jog (as i sometimes do to snap a few pics)... i hadnt noticed i was stepping on a large slab of uneven n broken concrete. A little thrown of balance but still messing with my camera settings... I felt some "pressure" on my soles.

This was actually a pleasant surprise!!! Jogging on smallish stones, without the sock, theres no way i would not have felt it. Once again, these were broken off concrete chips/rocks, somewhere near the carpark @Fort Road

RUNNING THROUGH GRASS/SOIL
For a short distance, i tried jogging through the grassy area, which was mainly barren with sticks and soil (probably from runners like me who had cut through to get to the pathway...oops...my bad!) Landing on pencil like branches (with intent), i could feel the pressure, especially towards the ball of my feet. No sharp pains though.

Looking back, i do wonder if the special material at the soles will wear off sooner than expected..esp with my kind of fun running AKA "abuse" by jogging on different terrains (great fun and good to train balance/proprioception!!!).

FURTHER LEARNING
Ive still alot to experiment with further mileage...different speeds... on different terrains...and generally seeing how long they last esp. considering i enjoy monkeying about in minimals??. Likely, ill continue to use these socks as i progress in speed. And plan to use them during my recovery jogs, as i did for my bf training before my spinal surgery.

SORE, UNDERUSED MUSCLES
I noticed im more sore than usual, hitting my feet in general and somewhere deep in my calves. This is normal, given that ive been doing all of my brisk walks n light jogs in my Merrells which has a 4mm drop...hence, i see it as a progression, wearing this "zero drop" sock and i must be careful not to do too much too soon (TMTS).

WASHING
Im gonna treat them like i do with my shoes - short n gently machine wash with some baking soda in a garment bag - and hopefully they last my 100 bucks worth of running on this pair of socks. Btw...this method of washing is something, i certainly wouldnt recommend! I think before i excitedly ripped off the label and wore them for this charity run, i saw its "hand wash" recommendation, by the manufacturers.

SATISFIED CUSTOMER
Overall, im very happy with the decision to try them out. I plan to measure my daughters feet to get her correct size (guessing, a "Medium"for her ladies 6.5-7 shoe size? I'm wearing a "Large" which fits rather perfectly for my usual US 9-9.5 shoe size

Hope this gives u some idea of the barefoot sock n if u made it this far...youre awesome! Thanks for reading ?

Cheers!
Satay




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