five toed shoes



  • wombat94
    wombat94 Posts: 352 Member
    I started in VFF KSOs as well. I got them a couple of weeks before I started C25K do I've never run in anything but VFFs.

    In April I bought a pair of VFF SeeYas... they have an even more minimal sole than the Sprints/Speeds/KSOs.

    The great thing about the SeeYas is that they upper is SO soft and supple... there is absolutely no rubbing or hot spots from the shoes now.. including the Achilles at the heel. The SeeYas feel more like socks with rubber soles.

    I'm now up to a 10 mile long run and have my first half marathon in just over 3 weeks... all in VFFs.

    Now, before I found VFF shoes, I was never a runner. I was 320 pounds, had heel spurs in both feet and have had several bouts of plantar fasciitis in my right foot over the past three years.

    I firmly believe that the mid-foot to fore-foot strike that barefoot running (and minimal shoe running) requires is the reason I can now run. I'd never be able to take the pounding in my feet/heels/knees if I was heel striking the way that traditional cushioned running shoes tend to promote.

    So it is possible that minimal shoes are the thing for you, but they are not for everyone. The only way to know for sure is to try them.

    One word of warning, though... I agree with everyone else who has cautioned to work them in to your routine gradually. It is VERY different and it took several months of running and slowly extending the length of the runs before my feet really felt like they had caught up to the amount of stamina that my legs, heart and lungs achieved pretty quickly.
  • kgprice11
    kgprice11 Posts: 750 Member
    ewww stinky feet hehehe :laugh:
  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,344 Member
    I'm the same way, I'd be barefoot 24/7 if I could also. I wear flip-flops about 9-10 months out of the year (for casual wear). I bought a pair of Five Fingers (Komodosport LS) a couple weeks ago and absolutely love everything about them - IMO they're the next best thing to being barefoot. I wear them for strength training and walking/running (although I'm not a long-distance runner - usually 2-3 miles at most). I also wear them as "kick around"/casual shoes when I'm out and about and don't want to wear flip-flops for whatever reason. They're easily the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever owned.

    As others have said, they *do* require an adjustment period for walking/'ll feel it in your feet, ankles and calves as you're using muscles you're not used to using in traditional running shoes.

    I bought a pair of the Fila Skeletoes a month or so before the Vibrams. While they're similar, they're definitely not the same thing. The sole is thicker and has a 'wedge' to it, more like a traditional running shoe. The top of the shoe didn't fit as snugly as the Vibrams do around my foot and let dirt/pebbles in (I run on dirt roads/trails). They also gave me friction blisters on my heel and side of the ankle (just below the ankle bone) the first time I tried running in them. I returned the Skeletoes and am much happier with the Vibrams.
  • jonnyrosko
    jonnyrosko Posts: 30 Member
    Buy them in person!! I bought a pair over the interwebs, then had to buy a different pair because they didn't fit right.
  • Kasya007
    Kasya007 Posts: 165 Member
    Wombat, you've never had any metatarsal-phalangeal issues with the combo of VFF's, your foot strike & distance running?

    Now, you've got me curious about how builds & bio-mechanics play a role with the success &/or failure of VFF's. High arch, low arch, regular? Pronator, supinator, neutral? What surfaces are you running on & why the heck can't I do that? :tongue:
  • sbilyeu75
    sbilyeu75 Posts: 567 Member
    I love my Vibrams. I used to have knee pain, heel pain and shin splints when running. After I started using Vibrams, I have non of that. I wear them everywhere and for everything (except in the snow).
  • I have a pair of the Fila minimalist shoes. They're cheaper than Vibram's ($45) and have a thin hard sole so no rock/heat on the soles. I LOVE them. I have a weak lower back and these have been amazing.
  • jenillawafer
    jenillawafer Posts: 426 Member
    I'm assuming one could wear toe socks to prevent ankle rubbing, right? (:
  • wombat94
    wombat94 Posts: 352 Member
    Wombat, you've never had any metatarsal-phalangeal issues with the combo of VFF's, your foot strike & distance running?

    Now, you've got me curious about how builds & bio-mechanics play a role with the success &/or failure of VFF's. High arch, low arch, regular? Pronator, supinator, neutral? What surfaces are you running on & why the heck can't I do that? :tongue:


    I haven't had any problems to speak of in running with VFFs. I can't speak too technically about my foot/gait but I believe that I am pretty close to neutral in all respects. I've never noticed any unusual wear on any of my footwear in my adult life (other than excessive wear from being well over 300 pounds for most of that time).

    I would say I have a pretty normal arch... maybe on the higher end of normal, but definitely not a typical "high arch" foot. Definitely not low arch. I have a pretty neutral gait.

    Early on as my muscles/bones/ligaments were strengthening in response to running, I did have occasional mild Top of Foot Pain... though it was mild enough that I wouldn't call it pain really... discomfort is all. As I read about minimalist running I found that that was pretty normal... and the best thing to do was to back off and ease up a bit for a few days, which I did and it never developed into serious pain. As I kept at it, the distances that I could run and total weekly mileage that I could cover and not have that pain kept growing, so I believe that it was normal discomfort as the ligaments and bones of the foot were getting their workout and building strength.

    The only other issue I had was that at first, when I was approaching the 3 mile/5k distance, I would occasionally get some numbness in my second and third toes on both feet. I experimented a bit with my form and found that if I increased my turnover and reduced my stride length a bit, it would not be nearly as bad... I think I was landing too far onto the balls of my feet instead of the forefoot. That change in form mostly eliminated the problem, but not entirely. It wasn't until I switched from the KSOs to the SeeYas that it appears to have gone away completely. I think ultimately a part of the problem was that my KSOs were a bit too small... they fit great for walking, but with the swelling that goes with longer distance running, they were one size too small. I went up a size in the SeeYas, and I've been fine since then. No problems at all.

    Almost all of my running is on asphalt surfaces... either local roads or paved jogging/running/biking trails. I do try to minimize running on concrete and that is just jarring no matter what I do to try to improve my form. Even that is not as much of a problem as I have gained in strength though... last weekend I had an 8 mile run where nearly 3 miles of it was on concrete sidewalks and I made it through just fine, though my feet were more sore than they had been recently afterward. The next day they felt fine.

    I wish I could offer you more on why/how I can do this. In part, I run this way because I don't know any better. I've never been in pain from running (:::knock on wood:::) so I just keep doing what I'm doing and cautiously extend my runs and slowly increase my pace.

    If you are an established runner, I think a big part of it is that you don't try to transition to minimal running too quickly. I built from nothing, so it was two months before I was running 3 miles at a time, and it's been another 4 months of base building and training to get me to 10 miles.

    Vibram has a transition guide, and it really emphasizes taking it slowly when you start out with minimal shoes. If you stick with it, eventually your feet will gain strength and you should be able to run longer distances in VFFs.

    Good luck.

  • 1981simm
    1981simm Posts: 123 Member
    Looks like I'll be the next fool runnin circles around rei:) now that I know it's so much more then pickin a pair online thanks guys!!!