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What's a good alternative to VFF's for a minimalist running shoe?

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  • What's a good alternative to VFF's for a minimalist running shoe?

    My KSO's are comfortable for walking around, but I believe they're a bit small for running. Specifically, the pinkie toe pocket is a little tight. After two easy 2-mile jogs last week, the toenail on one of my pinkie toes started to turn black. My calves have responded favorably to a mid/fore-foot strike and no longer burn the next day, but jogging just isn't much fun for me when my toes are getting crushed like this.

    While I like idea of the individual toe pockets in the Vibrams, in practice I think it's very tough to get a good fit due to variability in the relative lengths of our toes; Vibrams has to pick a ratio and go with it, and unfortunately one size does not fit all. In my case the big toes fit perfectly, the pinkie toes are cramped, and there's a lot of excess room for the remaining toes. If I were to go one size bigger just to accommodate my pinkie toes, then 8/10 of my toes would fit poorly.

    I wouldn't mind trying barefoot running, but that's not going to work out very well for me with the winter cold, snow, and ice. Can you recommend another minimalist running shoe to try out?

  • #2
    Ok, pending further input, I did find a number of threads with a theme similar to mine, and possibly containing the suggestions I'm looking for. Yeah, I probably should have searched first.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...oe-alternative

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ar-alternative

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...er-Alternative

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...rra-Plana-Evos

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...moks-my-review

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    • #3
      I'm not too convinced the VFF's will be warm enough outdoors in winter either, for that matter.

      What did the northern Indians wear?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sam Cree View Post
        I'm not too convinced the VFF's will be warm enough outdoors in winter either, for that matter.
        My feet were a bit cold when I ran in ~ 40 deg weather in the VFF's last week. I think the combination of sore & cold didn't help much either.

        What did the northern Indians wear?
        Mukluks, or something like it apparently: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukluk

        And I doubt they ran much in them.

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        • #5
          not sure how they'll stand up to a cold winter, but i'm really loving my nike frees

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          • #6
            check out terra planna's evo shoes

            dh loves his (hasn't worn his KSOs since the Evos showed up) (he's a triathlete)

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            • #7
              The Merrel Barefoot range and the New Balance Minimus ranges are coming soon. For me it's a toss up between those.

              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...oes-coming-out

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              • #8
                One alternative would be actual barefoot running. Riskier--you could tread on glass or something--but certainly cheaper! If it's your little toe that's giving you problems, try modifying that pocket, although that would require cutting into (or cutting from) a rather pricey piece of equipment. Also try Naturalizer Shoes, they are another good alternative.
                Last edited by apples; 10-15-2011, 09:04 PM.

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                • #9
                  http://birthdayshoes.com/saucony-gri...ng-flat-review
                  My food blog ~ http://stuffimakemyhusband.blogspot.com
                  My primal success story

                  "Boxing seems to contain so complete and so powerful an image of life -- life's beauty, vulnerability, despair, incalculable and often self-destructive courage -- that boxing IS life, and hardly a mere game." --Joyce Carol Oates

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                  • #10
                    I wanted to try minimalist as well but immediately balked at the price of VFF. Thought about moccassins, but my research landed me at huarache sandals. www.lunasandals.com or www.invisibleshoe.com . I've been running in them for about a month. I got a pair of toe socks for when it gets colder, but so far I've been OK with temps in the low 40's with nothing but the sandals.

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                    • #11
                      I'm going to try a pair of neoprene socks in my softstar run amoc lites when the snow comes..

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                      • #12
                        maybe find a pair of cheapy canvas shoes? i don't know much about minimalist running, but the pair i picked up from walmart for about $7 is as flat as can be. my foot pain is finally going away, so i think i'll be going this route for awhile.
                        And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                        Kahlil Gibran

                        http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

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                        • #13
                          You could use this modification on the problem toe:

                          http://birthdayshoes.com/got-morton-...-with-this-mod

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Lots of good stuff to consider. I definitely want to have a shoe with enough warmth to get me through the winter. I know of some especially warm-blooded folks who can run barefoot in the winter even in cold climates, but I don't think that's me unfortunately.

                            Originally posted by Lars86 View Post
                            You could use this modification on the problem toe:

                            http://birthdayshoes.com/got-morton-...-with-this-mod
                            Nice! That appeals to both the engineer and cheapskate in me. I just might try it, thanks!

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                            • #15
                              I've used that technique to customize the fit of mine. The sole can take a lot of heat, you just need to be careful of the upper. I used a mini butane torch to heat mine and went to some extra lengths to protect the fabric. I used a 4.5" grinding disc in between the toes. It does a great job of filling that space to keep flame out and wont heat up much itself.

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