Probably, most runners used to running in typical running shoes who start running in minimalist shoes such as Vibram Five Fingers know that they should introduce the new shoes gradually.
But how gradually? A research study at Brigham Young University looked at experienced runners who introduced running in VFF gradually over a 10-week period according to ‘industry suggested protocol’. Some people would argue that this introductory period was still not gradual enough — and they would probably be right. The study revealed that more than half of the minimalist shoe wearing group suffered stress injuries and bone inflammation.
Most of us unfortunately do not have access to the MRI scanning equipment that revealed the damage and would probably only become aware of it when the pain set in; which of course is rather too late.
Well, it’s the same one that we should know from other aspects of our running training:
Just because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean there’s no damage occurring.
We cannot stress too much the importance of introducing minimalist shoes very slowly — and often more gradually than the manufacturers recommend.