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Inexpensive alternative to Barefoot

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  • Inexpensive alternative to Barefoot

    Many people go the Vibram Five Fingers route, and that's good but for those that don't want to spend 60+ I have been using swim shoes without the insert (insole) for quite a few months and I love it. The "support" is minimal, about as much as you would get from Vibrams and they last a looong time too, great traction for hills.

    Some downsides:

    - I go for a tight fit and my big toes have managed to poke holes through the fabric, I don't mind/care but some of you might.

    - Folks tell me it looks like I have ballet shoes on, again, if you don't care it's all gravy.

    - You will most likely not get that "earthy" response from your feet as you would if you were going barefoot, but if weather and surface aren't kind I believe this is a great inexpensive alternative.


    - You can buy a pair for $5, probably upwards of $10.

    - Taking out the insert and not wearing socks will give you a serious ground feeling, I feel everything under my feet but I prevent blistering and soreness of the foot by not exposing it to hard gravel.

    - If you get all-black ones you're less likely to hear any random comments

    - If the top cloth part doesn't tear they will last forever, I've had mine for about 8-9 months, my mileage is low though at 10 a week. (I mostly sprint now, but 2 months ago I was doing 3-5 mile runs thrice a week)

    I'm not saying folks shouldn't go barefoot, straight up barefoot feels great and can't be beat but for ME personally I don't like having blistered feet or not being able to walk because I ran a little too much. I guess I'm not patient enough to let my feet adjust. The climate too, with my swim shoes I can run in the cold as well as the heat and my feet always feel great. I have correct posture and barefoot form while running/sprinting.

    I have been told Vibrams separate your toes a bit and also I happen to have my middle and ring toes sort of webbed and I don' think I could use Vibrams haha

    Just figured if anybody was unaware of that, or wanting to transition to Barefooting but the price tag on Vibrams was holding you back, this might be for you.

    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

  • #2

    I've also taken up running in aqua shoes this winter, as well as walking around in them. I've tried three pairs -- I haven't found one that has great abrasion resistance on the sole but so what -- they're $6.

    I've also found that the aqua shoes are very comfortable and safe for driving. They have great traction when walking in snow and ice (for example, when shoveling snow off the driveway or when walking from parking lot to lodge at the ski area).

    On the negative side, the aqua shoes tend to slip quite a bit when you're really sprinting -- I could see how a well-fitted pair of VFFs might be better for that.