Vibram 5-Fingers

Design-wise, it must have been a pretty cool product to work on, but aesthetically…?

This is a pretty funny take on the situation:

Any thoughts on these things?

I love em. Im going to order another pair because I think someone stole mine or they are lost… I got the KOS wore em to the beach a few times, hiking in the MTNs, fishing and they were the only shoes I wore in Costa Rica.

Your feet will be sore, but it will toughen them up after about 3 days and they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.

*** You will stub your toes… after you learn your lesson a couple times it wont happen again… trust me

always thought they were a terrible, ugly, horrible joke, my best friend loves them. He also tends to be barefoot more than pretty much anyone I know.

Saw some dude walking down the street with them the other day, first time I’ve ever seen them out of the store… neat idea… kinda dorky.

I’ve wanted a pair of these for years but alas I have Grecian toe and they are uncomfortable for me.

I’ve been surprised that they were doing well enough to continue to develop new styles, given that they are kind of odd looking. Not that they haven’t tempted me.

I saw them actually being worn for the first time at a bike show earlier this year- the wearer joked that if they could only attach bike cleats to them… She let me take a picture (attached). After a friend saw the photo, apparently she’s become a big fan- and this is someone I made a pair of heavy boots for :slight_smile:

They’ve come up a bunch lately in articles discussing “barefoot” running that seem to spawned in part by that article discussed on the boards- something about paying too much for running shoes?

so how much are these things? vibram rubber is mad expensive, i was under the assumption that these were not a “bargain”, although there is probably only about $3 of material in the upper, so even it it is an expensive sole it can still be somewhat cheap.

I remember last year at WSA everyone in the Vibram booth was wearing them, and they had pairs to try on, but given that everyone from the show was trying on the same 20 pairs they had i figured id pass.

“everyone from the show was trying on the same 20 pairs they had i figured id pass.”

Good call…eew.

It looks like they retail between $75 and $90.

I was always curious about those but have big doubts on the fit. I see people with more slender feet and longer toes and some with short stubby flintstone toes. I’d imagine adding in toe length to the equation would make sizing much more complex.

I really like the 5-Fingers, but only for their original intended purpose, which is water usage. For things like kayaking and canoeing they’re much better than flips or sandals. They’re much less bulky and the soles are siped for wet traction on rocks and boat decks, rather like Keen sandals.

I worked part time in a gear shop and managed to sell a few pairs and was curious to see what people used them for. I hadn’t heard of barefoot running in them (that would kill my arches). Most people bought them for white water kayaking, but one woman told me she was a physical therapist and that she wears them for pool therapy sessions. Apparently the pool has a gritty floor to prevent patients from slipping, but it also tears up your feet if you spend 5 hours a day in there. Another couple of people were life guards. Then was one dude that said he was a clam digger. I guess they have their niche.

I have seen quite a few people rockin these in the bay area…then again you see some different things in the bay area:)

I just bought my first pair yesterday. I’m planning on using them mainly for weight lifting, where they are just beginning to catch on. I’ve done actual barefoot training in the past, and you can’t beat it. Your level of agility and balance improves significantly. Hoperfully these will work out nearly as well.

As far as how they look, I’ve thought for a while that a hybrid between Vibrams and something like the Nike Frees (which are also intended to simulate barefoot motion) could appeal to a larger market. My thought was something with two split toes, one for the big toe and one for the little piggies a la ninja shoes.

Check out the Nike Air Rift for some of that tabby boot style split toe action.

I thought I remembered them doing one back in the day. The only problem was nothing about that shoe said flexibility other than the split toe.

You know whats weird though? For years I wore New Balance for over pronation (recommended by my podiatrist). Then they started hurting. I actually run in Rifts, they are actually the most comfortable and give me no pain or injuries - I never expected that!

I love five fingers - they are excellent!


Off topic (first part)- but I’m curious- do you think that after wearing footwear for over-pronation, that maybe you’ve corrected something? Maybe your able to control the over-pronating without specialized footwear? I’m taking Pedorthics courses here in the US, and find myself wondering if the corrections prescribed are solutions ending in transforming and correcting biomechanics (in not-so-severe circumstances)?

Personally, I have Hallix Valgus (big toe points laterally) on both feet and the Five-Fingers looks like it might actually do something about correcting it.

Even though I can see a personal benefit to them, I’m still resisting trying them on because photos like in the original link make them look very, very odd- even while I find myself drawn to them…

I really don’t know - I should add - I wear orthotics. I was actually scared of running in Rifts. I originally went to the podiatrist after wearing Nike Air max and getting injured and got such a lecture from the podiatrist about how unstable many of the Air shoes are!

I think the thing with footwear and biomechanics is you can have too much of a good thing. I know that Air can be ‘too cushioned’ causing a ‘running on a lilo effect’, I suppose stability shoes could be ‘too rigid’?

They definitely fall in the category of “I don’t care what my shoes look like. They just have to perform.”

Lots of Crossfitters wear these shoes as they are the closest thing to “bare feet” as you can get with some level of protection.

Biggest complaint = STINKY… putrid, stench. Next gen should have anti-microbial protection akin to an Intel “clean room”.

Biggest complaint = STINKY… putrid, stench. Next gen should have anti-microbial protection akin to an Intel “clean room”.

I think that’s a problem with most shoes designed to be worn without socks. Even flip-flops give me trouble like that sometimes. I think if I ever got Vibram Five Fingers I would only wear them in wet outdoor environments where that wasn’t an issue or perhaps wear real shoes (avec socks) to the location and put on the Five Fingers only when doing activities that required their use.

As an alternative: baby powder, and lots of it.