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Vibram 5-Fingers with flat foot?

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  • Vibram 5-Fingers with flat foot?

    I know I need to go the store and try them out (which stores sell them by the way?) but, I have very flat feet, so flat I have to wear custom orthoic inserts in shoes I wear. Walking around barefoot for me is fine, but if I'm in a pair of shoes without my orthotics it gets excruciatingly painful after about 20 minutes. With Orthoics normal shoes are fine.

    I assume my orthoics would make zero sense in the vibrams, but would I be candidate to use the vibrams with no orthotics AND no foot pain?

    I don't care about people looking at me like I'm stupid, because I get that already.

  • #2
    Originally posted by akm3 View Post
    I know I need to go the store and try them out (which stores sell them by the way?) but, I have very flat feet, so flat I have to wear custom orthoic inserts in shoes I wear. Walking around barefoot for me is fine, but if I'm in a pair of shoes without my orthotics it gets excruciatingly painful after about 20 minutes. With Orthoics normal shoes are fine.

    I assume my orthoics would make zero sense in the vibrams, but would I be candidate to use the vibrams with no orthotics AND no foot pain?

    I don't care about people looking at me like I'm stupid, because I get that already.
    Yeah, don't put orthotics in your vibrams - missing the point. Things you haven't told us ... Do your feet hurt walking around barefoot? How long can you walk without shoes before you have pain? Are you planning to run in them?

    As to where to buy them, that really depends on where you live. Right?
    My primal journal that I don't update enough:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

    Comment


    • #3
      I've had flat feet my entire life, and picked up VFFs about a year and a half ago.

      There are two types of flat feet - "hard" and "soft". There's nothing you can do about the former. If you've got soft flat feet, however, you might have a shot at actually improving them. I had abysmally flat feet, flat enough that my childhood podiatrist still jokes about them with my parents. I used to be unable to stand for more than maybe 5 or 10 minutes without pain. Over time, my left knee began to bother me. I also injured my left sacroiliac joint chronically. My feet over-pronated, which worsened over time, and I also ended up with knees that didn't track at all over the toes as a result of the flat feet. I eventually started walking with a limp in my left leg because the problems got so bad.

      Since I've been wearing VFFs every day, I've built arches. They're certainly not impressive arches, but they're there, and that's huge for me. My feet feel GREAT! I've got 3 pairs of Vibrams, a pair of Huaraches, and a pair of Teva Zilch sandals, and you'd be hard pressed to talk me into wearing anything else. The only time I wear anything else is to the gym for squatting (olympic lifting shoes) or deadlifting (chuck taylors since I deadlift sumo with feet near the plates). I can run without pain or shin splints, hike for a day without pain, stand for a very long time without pain. My feet are...completely different! My knee no longer bothers me. My feet have slowly but surely become less pronated and my knees are tracking more over my feet. I walk with my feet pointed more forward than I used to, and I do not limp.

      I had plenty of orthodics and that stuff...never fixed my problem. I'm a firm believer in "use it or lose it" now for feet. Also, when I wear old shoes, I feel like I'm walking in mush and my legs and feet feel like garbage by the end of the day. I throw on some minimal shoes and go out and it puts the spring right back in my step and eases the discomfort of the offending "normal shoes".

      It was a violent adjustment period for a while, but I just dealt with it. The sore feet and sore everything just meant that it was working! I also do arch exercises, stretch, foam roll, and roll my feet on a tennis or golf ball. I will also admit that I made a conscious effort to walk with a forefoot or midfoot strike and "fake it till I made it" by forcing my gait into a more healthy one when wearing the minimal shoes. I think if you wear them and sloth around and drag your feet and let them pronate a lot you might be at risk to miss out on some of the benefits. I was desperate and miserable so I really made sure to pay attention and make them Vibrams work! So stay conscious of how you walk!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Open_Cover View Post
        Since I've been wearing VFFs every day, I've built arches. They're certainly not impressive arches, but they're there, and that's huge for me. My feet feel GREAT! I've got 3 pairs of Vibrams, a pair of Huaraches, and a pair of Teva Zilch sandals, and you'd be hard pressed to talk me into wearing anything else. The only time I wear anything else is to the gym for squatting (olympic lifting shoes) or deadlifting (chuck taylors since I deadlift sumo with feet near the plates). I can run without pain or shin splints, hike for a day without pain, stand for a very long time without pain. My feet are...completely different! My knee no longer bothers me. My feet have slowly but surely become less pronated and my knees are tracking more over my feet. I walk with my feet pointed more forward than I used to, and I do not limp.
        This is the best story I've heard in favor of wearing minimal soled shoes! It's great to know that they are really helping some people.
        I am curious what do you wear for work or, if work doesn't require business wear, what you wear with a suit (you know ... weddings etc.)
        My primal journal that I don't update enough:
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Christ I'm dumb.

          To answer some questions, TYPICALLY I can walk barefoot a long time without pain. Today I gave it a whirl to get back into it figuring I have relatively tough feet from doing Judo. So I walk to the grocery store not too far away on a walking path that is rough asphalt, on a 85 degree day. I burned my feet and now have terrible blisters and can barely freaking walk. Dumb dumb dumb. The blisters are in the middle part of my foot, my actually calloused big toe side and heel are tough as nails and just fine. It was the soft part below my middle toes that is borked on both feet. Christ I'm dumb.

          I do live in America, I've found some vendors since posting. Seems like I'm an ideal candidate for them. I have no idea if I'm hard or soft flat footed, but I also have had custom orthotics since a child since they noticed my feet rolling over the instep.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have had many foot problems over the years and switching to VFFs has fixed them. I run typically 12 - 15 km/week in them, which took some time to adapt to in VFFs, but now I wear them all the time. I have 4 pairs. I say if you can walk barefoot then you can wear VFFs. They protect you enough but not too much.

            Nothing is going to solve your problems overnight, but wearing VFFs all the time will probably help you eventually. How many years have you been doing bad things to your feet? Chances are it'll be a couple of months at best before you get through the adjustment period and start to feel like you've gained ground. The question is, in two months will you be saying "I'm glad I did this" or "I wish I'd done that".

            Andrew

            Comment


            • #7
              I have no idea if I'm hard or soft flat footed, but I also have had custom orthotics since a child since they noticed my feet rolling over the instep.
              Then you have soft or flexible flat foot. I have flexible flat feet and it took me 3months to get to where I could go for hours in VFF or barefoot. At 6mo I can go days without anything on my feet. You need to work on strengthening the feet and surround musculature, as well as toughing up the skin.
              http://kitoikitchen.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by akm3 View Post
                I burned my feet and now have terrible blisters and can barely freaking walk.
                Oh no!! I really didn't intend to suggest you go out and walk on a hot sidewalk. ouch. I hope your feet feel better soon.
                My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Open_Cover View Post
                  I've had flat feet my entire life, and picked up VFFs about a year and a half ago.

                  There are two types of flat feet - "hard" and "soft". There's nothing you can do about the former. If you've got soft flat feet, however, you might have a shot at actually improving them. I had abysmally flat feet, flat enough that my childhood podiatrist still jokes about them with my parents. I used to be unable to stand for more than maybe 5 or 10 minutes without pain. Over time, my left knee began to bother me. I also injured my left sacroiliac joint chronically. My feet over-pronated, which worsened over time, and I also ended up with knees that didn't track at all over the toes as a result of the flat feet. I eventually started walking with a limp in my left leg because the problems got so bad.

                  Since I've been wearing VFFs every day, I've built arches. They're certainly not impressive arches, but they're there, and that's huge for me. My feet feel GREAT! I've got 3 pairs of Vibrams, a pair of Huaraches, and a pair of Teva Zilch sandals, and you'd be hard pressed to talk me into wearing anything else. The only time I wear anything else is to the gym for squatting (olympic lifting shoes) or deadlifting (chuck taylors since I deadlift sumo with feet near the plates). I can run without pain or shin splints, hike for a day without pain, stand for a very long time without pain. My feet are...completely different! My knee no longer bothers me. My feet have slowly but surely become less pronated and my knees are tracking more over my feet. I walk with my feet pointed more forward than I used to, and I do not limp.

                  I had plenty of orthodics and that stuff...never fixed my problem. I'm a firm believer in "use it or lose it" now for feet. Also, when I wear old shoes, I feel like I'm walking in mush and my legs and feet feel like garbage by the end of the day. I throw on some minimal shoes and go out and it puts the spring right back in my step and eases the discomfort of the offending "normal shoes".

                  It was a violent adjustment period for a while, but I just dealt with it. The sore feet and sore everything just meant that it was working! I also do arch exercises, stretch, foam roll, and roll my feet on a tennis or golf ball. I will also admit that I made a conscious effort to walk with a forefoot or midfoot strike and "fake it till I made it" by forcing my gait into a more healthy one when wearing the minimal shoes. I think if you wear them and sloth around and drag your feet and let them pronate a lot you might be at risk to miss out on some of the benefits. I was desperate and miserable so I really made sure to pay attention and make them Vibrams work! So stay conscious of how you walk!
                  wow, i think you may have just converted me. i am flat footed and have knee injuries i cant afford surgery for. its forcing me to become knock-kneed and have shin splints and seriously being unable to even stand for long periods.....now i gotta find $$ for these vibram things
                  Get on my Level
                  http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Funny because I have the opposite concern. I have very high arches and CW has always said to find footwear with great arch-support (which is pretty much non-existent anyway). When I took pointe lessons for a short time in high school, I had to get hard soles because I would have broken the soft soles due to the angle of my arch! That probably only means something for people who are familiar with ballet, but anyway... There's a store nearby with these shoes so I'd really like to try some, but I am worried about my arches.

                    The most comfortable pair of shoes I can ever remember owning was a pair of Doc Martens that I wore everyday for ~8 months (and then suddenly outgrew them, boo). I wore them in perfectly and the person I sold them to was quite pleased heh.
                    Depression Lies

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MalPaz View Post
                      wow, i think you may have just converted me. i am flat footed and have knee injuries i cant afford surgery for. its forcing me to become knock-kneed and have shin splints and seriously being unable to even stand for long periods.....now i gotta find $$ for these vibram things
                      Fila has skeletoes, similar to vibrams but way cheaper. Not sure how long they'll be around cause vibram is suing fila over their version.
                      My weak attempt at a journal:http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35809.html

                      M/30y/190#

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                        When I took pointe lessons for a short time in high school, I had to get hard soles because I would have broken the soft soles due to the angle of my arch! That probably only means something for people who are familiar with ballet, but anyway...
                        I have high arches and have never heard of a hard soled ballet shoe. While I've never been super serious about ballet, I've been going to classes on and off most of my life and I've always used the classic soft sole and never had a problem. But I'm not an expert on ballet or ballet shoes.

                        High arches shouldn't be a problem in terms of minimalist shoes or going barefoot, however, weak arches/weak muscles in your feet could be. Walking around barefoot or in a barefoot style shoe would strengthen your feet and thus your arches.
                        I don't have problems with walking in minimalist shoes. I've tried on VFFs and will probably never buy them - it's just too much bother to try to get each toe into it's separate pocket. They all want to slip into the wrong pocket and I really don't have the patience to straighten them out. It's like putting gloves on a two year old. I do like and own a pair of Merrell's barefoot shoes. They have a bit more of a sole and do hug my foot nicely particularly along the arch which might be why I like them so much. I've spent the day walking all over Paris in them - no problem. I've been seriously looking at the Luna sandals as I think they would be great for the summer.
                        My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ^I don't know the difference re: hard/soft soles honestly, but I remember trying on both. They said I would wear out/break the sole because of the height of my arch, much faster than the average foot. It was only for pointe shoes though (looking it up, I believe the "sole" is called the "shank" for pointe shoes). They also said I should be a foot model =P

                          I don't think I'd have too much trouble with VFFs because of the spacing of my toes. They don't really clump together/go in towards each other. They're a bit stubby I like that Luna will sell the materials to make your own, which makes me think you could make your own quite easily from recycled materials (yoga mat would probably be too thin/not sturdy enough though). I remember seeing cheaper minimalist sandals much like those somewhere else on the forum.

                          I don't like how silly VFFs look either, but the Merells options are nice, since they're close-toed.

                          I'm curious what people think of Earth shoes, which angle up at the toe. It's supposed to put you in some perpetual yoga pose to strengthen your legs/back etc. My sister really likes them, but they aren't all vegan-friendly.
                          Depression Lies

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                            ^I don't know the difference re: hard/soft soles honestly, but I remember trying on both. They said I would wear out/break the sole because of the height of my arch, much faster than the average foot. It was only for pointe shoes though (looking it up, I believe the "sole" is called the "shank" for pointe shoes). They also said I should be a foot model =P
                            Ahhh ... pointe shoes are another thing entirely. I lasted on pointe for about 3 months and dropped it as it was simply too painful.

                            And .... I was a foot model in my early twenties. (hands too) Weird job.
                            My primal journal that I don't update enough:
                            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33293.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ^Did it pay well? Maybe I should pick that up for some extra income. Probably lots of skeevy people out there though, don't feel like feeding somebody's fetish. I didn't last long on pointe because the class I had wasn't very structured so I couldn't get much instruction on it (it was easier for me than most of the other people who had done it for years and years, but we just didn't focus on it).

                              /threadhijack
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