I didn’t go back through every post, but if this isn’t the first product endorsement I’ve done, it’s one of the few.
So a few years back, I bought into the trend of the time and purchased a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I know, many of you out there think they are ugly. Many think they are uncomfortable. But I loved them. I have a wide stance to my toes, and even wide width shoes fail to give my toes the room they need. Even socks tend to keep my little toes curled.
But the Five Fingers let my toes free. In fact, the shoes actually force my toes to straighten and relax.
The problem, a while back, two or so years, I lost them. Oh I’d find one… or the other… but never both at the same time. Until today. So for the first time in at least two years I wore the Five Fingers again. I learned something… even walking barefoot, which I did often, didn’t force my little toes to relax. Not like the Five Fingers do. And for the first time in two years, my feet feel great. Pain from cramping that I’d long since gotten used to and ignored have relaxed out of my feet. And I’ve now gone longer than I can remember without a foot cramp of any sort. Oh, I’m sure that I’ll get one before long as my feet gratefully accept the new state of relaxation.
I do love these shoes. I don’t know why I didn’t buy another pair while mine were missing. But finding them has never been easy, they tend to be in expensive boutiques. I couldn’t remember my size, and they are in weird European (sorry European friends) so I didn’t chance doing it over the net. But now that I’ve worn them again for a couple of hours of intense pleasure I’m going to have to get more pairs. They are just too comfy, if my current pair are a bit cold for the current weather.
Anyway, my happy feet and toes happily endorse these odd and oddly comfortable shoes. Now I get that most of you won’t run out and buy a pair based on my recommendation, but if you have curled toes that won’t relax, even when barefoot… well can it really hurt to try these?
I’m not a podiatrist, and have no idea if podiatrists even think five fingers are a good idea.
So I Googled research on the shoes, and found mixed opinions. Popular Science reported that the shoes are almost as good as barefoot running, and that regular sneakers are potentially harmful. At the same time, a study used to write an article at Running World shows that the transition to Five Fingers or other “minimalist” shoes should be done gradually due to the fear of bone injury. I also found a user report that went into fantastic detail.
Finally, here is a humorous, but will well thought out, video review of how bad the Five Fingers could be. Now, since he’s worried about wearing them while lifting heavy weights, I will say these are the absolute wrong shoes for wearing while doing anything you wouldn’t do barefoot (if you could.) They offer no protection of your toes or foot.
My last note on the shoes. Back when I was wearing them regularly, I was building a two story set for Theatre Huntsville. At times I was hanging off ladders and other weirdness to build the set. While, considering all the wood and other heavy items I was carrying it might not have been the wisest choice, but while trying to balancing in odd angles, I can’t tell you how much us modern humans forget how much gripping force our toes are good for. And as a last piece of video for your viewing pleasure, here’s the trailer from the play I built the two story set for.