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  • Barefoot Shoe Dilemma

    I'm looking to buy my first pair of barefoot running shoes and have narrowed it down to the Vivobarefoot Neo Trail and the New Balance Minimus

    I would love a pair of VFF's but my wife says she won't leave the house with me whilst wearing them!! So I'm appealing to you good people out there who have owned either of these shoes and would care to share an opinion. I intend to use them for forest trail running and general grok type stuff.

    All help greatly appreciated!
    http://www.richardlongart.co.uk/

    http://www.primalish.net/


    “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
    ― Carl Sagan


  • #2
    I'm pretty sure Vibram makes a zero drop shoe that is toeless. I can't remember the line name though.
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    • #3
      Had not seen the Vivbarefoot shoes, ( but then I am in the US), but they are similar looking to the NB. I have two pair of the NB and love them. Although I don't do trail running cuz I don't run. But they are great for park fun, sprints, tree climbs and such,and I also wear them in the gym. They are light and have great toe room and I like the vibram soles.
      Good luck!
      Living the dream, inside a myth

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      • #4
        Thanks Doc, I'll check them out.

        Littlesigh, thanks too. I do kind of like the New Balance shoes but was being swayed by the grippy sole on the Vivo's which might work well in English slippy mud !
        http://www.richardlongart.co.uk/

        http://www.primalish.net/


        “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
        ― Carl Sagan

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        • #5
          I'd say go with the Vivobarefoot shoes. I own a pair of the Dharma (VIVOBAREFOOT | Dharma | Dharma Tumbled Leather Black) for work and once you remove the insole, they have a very similar feel to the Vibrams I use for running and the gym. I had to buy them because I can't stand shoes with any heel drop at all now. Arguably, the shoes you wear for 8 hours/day at work will affect you more than the shoes you wear for 1 hour/day while exercising.

          By the way those New Balance shoes have a 4mm heel drop, which while much smaller than most running shoes, it will still affect your gait negatively, and the experience will be quite different from barefoot running. A 0 heel drop is imperative if you want anything close to barefoot running. I have actually tried short run with the Dharma just for kicks, and I find my gait is virtually unchanged from how I run in Vibrams.

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          • #6
            Thanks ppham27. The Vivo's seem to be winning it for me. Although I have read that New Balance intend to release a new minimus with 0 heel drop for 2012. Not sure I can wait till then!
            http://www.richardlongart.co.uk/

            http://www.primalish.net/


            “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
            ― Carl Sagan

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            • #7
              I wear the Merrell barefoot trail glove and they're awesome. They have a vibram sole as well and don't make you look like you have gorilla feet. I also have a pair of the Tough Glove for walking around town in. Merrell Barefoot Running and Casual Shoes - Merrell.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by benF View Post
                I wear the Merrell barefoot trail glove and they're awesome. They have a vibram sole as well and don't make you look like you have gorilla feet.[/url]
                Yeah I have big feet too which is why I'm not really keen on VFF's. I like the look of the trail glove and I've also found a store nearby that stocks them as opposed to ordering online, often problematic with shoes!

                Thanks
                http://www.richardlongart.co.uk/

                http://www.primalish.net/


                “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
                ― Carl Sagan

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                • #9
                  I got my VFFs yesterday luckily I have a boss who goes to the US a lot and doesn't mind getting stuff for me. I've just been out for an hours walk on the beach and I'm embracing the gorilla feet mind you the husbands yet to see them!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boneidle24seven View Post
                    Yeah I have big feet too which is why I'm not really keen on VFF's. I like the look of the trail glove and I've also found a store nearby that stocks them as opposed to ordering online, often problematic with shoes!

                    Thanks
                    I've got several VFFs, 2 pair of Vivo (for work), and a pair of merrell's for the winter... VFFs are my favs... the Vivo's are great for work (when wearing dresses/skirts), and the merrells are good for wet weather (Though they feel more constrictive in the toebox compared to the vivo's)
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                    • #11
                      Husband has said he'd like a pair for the beach, I would like a pair that don't give blisters !

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                      • #12
                        I have both vibram 5 finger and the new balance minimus trail.. and 26 other pairs of running shoes.
                        I reponded to another post about running in vibrams on cement.. basically dont do it. I mentioned that i have heard of people breaking their feet. today i spoke with one of my friends that lives across the country. I asked how his wifes running was coming along. She broke her foot in vibrams running on concrete.

                        I ran for about a year in regular running shoes and went for a barefoot run on the beach... it wasnt pleasant. I gradually switched to minimalist shoes and only after about another year of running did i have to foot strength to have a nice barefoot run on the beach. barefoot or running in vibrams is something you want to build up to. If you have been running a while the transition will be faster. one thing to remember is that the minimalist shoe became popular after the born to run book came out. The people in that book dont run on concrete.

                        On my long runs (10-15 miles when im not prepping for a marathon, longer if i am) i wear Nike frees with the 3.0 soles on them on concrete and all runs under 10 i wear a racing flat. The saucony a4 which is more minimalist than a lot of shoes that claim to be. I switch it up once a week with one of my other pairs of shoes just to change things up. None of my shoes have more than a 4mm drop in them.

                        Getting off subject here, you were asking for suggestions.
                        The New Balance minimus seems to tight on the foot. be sure to try it out on a treadmill at the store if you can. they have some sharp corners and lines to them that tend to dig into the foot. it could very well be my foot though.

                        I would not get Vibram 5 fingers. Others will disagree with me on this, but having your toes spread apart by fabric is not natural. Your toes work separately.. but together...
                        the fabric in between your toes is ver thin, but its there. think of your hands.. now think of putting on a thin pair of gloves. sure you can still everything you could do without gloves, but its not the same. it doesnt feel natural. things just arent exactly right.
                        on the other end of the spectrum dont get a shoe that smashes your toes together. it happens in my NB minimus. my favorite pair of shoes (a4's) have a wide toes box.. my toes are free to move. again think of your hand. If you ever sprained a finger and had 2 taped together you know how odd that is.

                        to sum it up.
                        Try the Saucony A4's, beautiful shoe.
                        try the NB minimus. it might fit your foot better than it fits mine.
                        The nike free run 3.0 is a great shoe for concrete. complete flexibility and natural feel with just enough padding to make long runs comfortable.

                        overall, run in what feels right. buy your shoes from your local running store over the big box stores if you can. a lot of times local running stores will let you try the shoes on the treadmill or even outside. also shoe company reps often visit running stores with demo shoes that you can take out for a decent run

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the in-depth reply Joe. I will only be running off road and very short distances. No marathons or concrete for me! Basically I'm looking for a minimalist shoe for running around in the woods, just something to do some Grok style workouts. I probably wouldn't even need to wear them for that long. If I find them really comfy then I might do some trail walking in them too.

                          It's looking like I may have to mail order them too as initial searches have shown that nowhere round here stocks them. Trying them first could be a problem.
                          http://www.richardlongart.co.uk/

                          http://www.primalish.net/


                          “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
                          ― Carl Sagan

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                          • #14
                            my husband runs on concrete in his vibram komodos, which have a thicker sole (and are less slippy when the ground is wet). he has not broken his feet BUT he's not putting in the kind of mileage that RAJoe is talking about.

                            depending upon the quality of the trails, you could go actually barefoot and/or huaraches.

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                            • #15
                              more than the shoes you wear for 1 hour/day while exercising. By the way those New Balance shoes have a 4mm heel drop, which while much smaller than most running shoes, it will still affect your gait negatively, and the experience will be quite different from barefoot running.

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