Competing in FiveFingers

Good morning! I am the new VIRTUS Clinic manager, and this is my first blog. I am a keen runner and I thought I would give you guys a race overview of the one I did yesterday, the Salisbury half marathon (the first time I have done this race). This would be my first race since changing to running with a forefoot strike over the last 4 months, doing this in my Vibram FiveFingers KSO’s. If you have not heard of these shoes I seriously recommend checking them out. So, I arrived at the event, I got my timing chip, sat down and a small crowd of people gathered round me. Yes, they were looking at my shoes… ‘What the hell is that guy wearing?,’ ‘Are those shoes?,’ ‘Is he just wearing socks?’. That timing chip took a while to attach as these shoes have no laces- just a Velcro strap!

I approached the starting line and I was amazed at how many people looked down, then up at you (weird look) then back down at the shoes. The gun fired and we were all off. I went out at a pretty fast pace but I felt good. The route took you through country roads, in and out of exposure to the elements. There were a few deadly hills; the first cleansed the legs being a pretty hefty gradient, with following shallow hills. However these hills were not the problem, in these shoes, you learn to take short steps and store the load on your Achilles. The downhill’s were tough; these were very steep and in normal running shoes you can just blitz down a hill because you land on your heel and let the cushioning of the shoe take the load – not in the KSO’s, this method will send shockwaves up your leg and really hurt your heel.  So I had to scurry down, taking lots of really small short quick steps, a totally different style! All in all though there were some good flat patches, to let the legs loose on.

I have never run this distance in the KSO’s before, only previously doing 10 miles in training. At this mark in the race my calves and Achilles were beginning to burn and tighten which was expected, but I still managed to keep a good pace. The finish was strange at this race, you ran past all the spectators and then did a loop around some parkland on footpaths, and then came back round to the spectators again to finish. I did not like this as at the moment I find it hard to push the pace on in these shoes whilst on gravelly footpaths – you can feel everything underneath!

I finished the race with a time of 1hr 28mins and I was pleased I managed to do this in my KSO’s. I hope to run a marathon in them in the spring!

My next blog will be on these weird, wacky and extremely healthy shoes – Vibram FiveFingers!!


If you would like to discuss any of these details in more depth please email me at or check our website at, facebook page or twitter, just search for virtusclinic.


Sam Lunn BSc (hons)

Virtus Clinic Manager


five fingers, sam lunn, vibram, virtus, virtusclinic

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