Today’s post is from the fabulous and gorgeous Teri. Ever wonder about running in Vibrams? Teri knows a thing or two about them and has agreed to share her experience with you. Enjoy!

Hi SoS readers! I’m Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit. I’m so happy to be visiting With a Side of Sneakers.

[I should probably tell you that I don’t have blonde hair right now. But that’s another story.]

Heather and I are both NC-ers but sadly, rarely see each other! However, we did have a blast hanging out in San Francisco last fall and at a bloggy Holiday Gift Exchange dinner last December.

Today I’ll be sharing my experience about running in Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs). I’ve been running for over 10 years; the first five years in Mizunos, the last five in Asics. And last July, I started running in VFFs. Today, I’m going to share some VFF secrets with you…

10 Things You Should Know Before Buying Vibram FiveFingers

10. You’ll get blisters. It could be a result of less-than-perfect form, treadmill running, no socks, or all of the above. You just have to find solutions. I’m still working on finding a solution since I have issues wearing the Injiji socks with my VFF (they don’t feel comfortable to me).

9. People will stop you constantly to ask about them. Do you like them? Do you run in them? Do you weight train in them? Can you solve world peace in them? etc.

8. You’ll need to start with very low mileage. Even if you are in marathon shape, your first run in your VFF should be less than a mile. You can read how I built up my mileage here.

7. They’ll get stinky. But you can just toss them in the washer on a gentle cycle and air dry them. Voila!

8. You’re calves will hurt like helllll for the first 2-4 weeks. They force you to change your running gait and you’ll be running more up on your forefoot, which really works the calf muscles. It will get better, but expect some major soreness and tightness. But, you’ll  soon have super-sexy calves!

7. You can run really long distances in them. Or maybe you can’t. Everyone will be different. I ran a half marathon in them but I know others who have major discomfort after just a few miles.

6. You’ll hate other shoes. When I wear regular shoes now (sneakers, heels, flats, boots, anything), I feel almost claustrophoic in them. I love the free and “connectedness” to the ground that VFFs give me.

5. Soreness is different than pain. You’ll know the difference. If your feet/calves/ankles feel achy, like they got a workout (which is kind of an odd feeling), you’re probably OK. If you feel sharp pain, discontinue using the VFF and see your doc. Some people have developed stress fractures from improper training in the VFF.

4. Your ankles and feet will be sore. You are running in a whole new way and forcing muscles to play that have been sidelined for a long time.

3. You’ll get an earful from non-believers. There are many skeptics out there that are convinced everyone needs really padded, structured shoes. And hey, some people probably do. But you are not everyone and you can decide what you want. You know how I deal with Vibram haters?  Them: “You know those are so bad for your joints and feet and you’re going to get hurt right?” Me: “Huh. Haven’t had problems myself.” I don’t get into it with them because sometimes, arguing just ain’t worth it with those that already know that they know. Ya know?

2. All your running injuries will disappear. FOR-EV-ER. Or not. Who knows? Everyone is different. For me, my IT band problems are gone. I had major IT issues for over 6 years and since switching to VFF, the problem has completely disappeared. I wouldn’t say that’s a result solely from running in VFF, but more an issue I had with form. And for me, running in VFFs helped me improve my running form to where my body could run more easily without that pain. But others may experience new injuries from switching.

1. Your experience will be different than mine. I have had incredible experience with VFF and have heard multiple other success stories. But I’ve also heard stories of woe and pain. Listen to your body. Read (with a grain of salt) others’ experiences. But ultimately, you’ll just have to see how it goes for you. But i hope it’s a good switch.

If you want to read more, check out these links on my blog:

Would you ever run in VFF?
What color would you want?
I love my hot pink ones. They definitely get noticed!

*Remember, I’m not a doctor or running coach, but am just sharing my experiences. Please check with your own health professional before making changes to your exercise routine and always consult a professional for injury diagnosis and treatment!