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The Problem With Barefoot Shoes

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  • #16
    Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
    My absolute loves, these blend in so well nobody can tell they're fully minimalist: Amazon.com: TMAS Feiyue Martial Arts Shoes: Sports & Outdoors
    I wouldn't call the Feiyues minimalist. They have a much to soft and thick sole that's also peculiarly rounded. Nor do they allow your toes to spread. They are flexible and cheap but they cannot replace VVFs or Vivobarefoots.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by haraldfather View Post
      I wouldn't call the Feiyues minimalist. They have a much to soft and thick sole that's also peculiarly rounded. Nor do they allow your toes to spread. They are flexible and cheap but they cannot replace VVFs or Vivobarefoots.
      You have some points. I think as far as sneakers go though, these are pretty minimalist. That's also why I threw in "they blend in so well" so people that think VFFs for instance look silly (like I do) can use these instead. You may be slightly off the ground, but not by a whole lot.

      I have tried VFFs, never owned a pair though, but the limited experience I had with them didn't impress me at all. I felt they were more padded than people here give the credit for.

      As far as toe separation goes, I'd prefer a wider toe box than individual toe pockets. I'm all for toe separation, mostly now that after 5 months of daily barefoot walks (at home/work mostly) I've definitely noticed my toes are starting to look more... independent for lack of a better word. They're not all splayed out, but I can foresee that happening too. I also think my feet are starting to get a little wider, perhaps due to the standing at work as well since they're having to bear the load of my body weight for longer periods of time.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #18
        Wow, it's like reading my own thoughts. Beware, though, there are Vibram Nazis afoot, lol. I asked for opinions on using ballet shoes at the gym (I must walk at the gym; I have 2 children and visions of them being themselves and whining, fighting, etc., if I attempt to take them along on a walk. Whereas, at the gym, I dump them in the nursery, come back in 2 hours, and all three of us are happy, lol.)

        Anyway, I think that the exorbitant prices on minimalist shoes is ridiculous, too. I would very much encourage you to find alternates. I currently walk in water shoes, but I've forgotten to stock up before the end of summer, so I'll end up paying dearly for new ones when these run out if I want to replace them in the wintertime. I normally buy mine for around $5 from the clearance bin, lol, and I can't abide the thought of paying $15-20. (Did I mention I'm a stay-at-home-mom on a budget, lol?) I'll buy a cheap pair of ballet shoes to get me through winter, then I'll be able to buy a really cheap pair when spring hits. Water shoes are more minimalist than plimsoles, imo, but the plimsoles will last longer, and, really, no need to replace what you've got when they're fine for getting your start.
        Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Sheryl5211
          Thank you Knifegill....but what are water shoes?

          Post #9 does a good job of explaining.
          Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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          • #20
            iniQuity, you also have some points. I must admit to not feeling perfectly cool in VFFs in public even though they are a great conversation starter. ☺ I mostly run in them – when not running barefoot. Toe separation is not a goal in itself but as I said it solves the problem of letting the toes spread at the same time as you don’t feel you’re slipping around in them. For everyday use I rally like Vivobarefoots with their wide toe boxes.

            I bought a pair of Feiyues in my search for an indoor shoe without toes. (I need that for epée fencing.) I’ve tried numerous various regular sport shoes and plimsolls but the Feiyues soles were just extremely squishy and rounded.

            I admit that minimalist shoes are overpriced, but, there is a difference that I’ve found no other way to get than to pay for. They are also not more expensive than many other brand shoes.

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            • #21
              Hi UK Guy,

              Nice to see so many of us questioning the pricing of barefoot shoes. I too considered plimmies but after much deliberation opted for vivobarefoot neo trail shoes. One of the main reasons was that they claim to have a puncture resistant sole and I also liked the super grippy sole which I thought would be beneficial on the UK's forest trails. (I live near the New Forest). recently I bought a pair of Converse trainers for casual wear thinking that their basic design would be similar to a cheap pair of plimsoles. They are the most uncomfortable shoes I have ever owned!
              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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              • #22
                hey, you know what, forget barefoot shoes.

                just go barefoot and get your soles tough. and when it's cold, use regular old beat up sneakers, they should be beat up because when they are heavily used they offer less cushion.

                what's the big deal??

                SWPL, blowing 100$ on glorified socks.
                Last edited by dado; 12-02-2011, 06:19 AM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by dado View Post
                  hey, you know what, forget barefoot shoes.

                  just go barefoot and get your soles tough. and when it's cold, use regular old beat up sneakers, they should be beat up because when they are heavily used they offer less cushion.

                  what's the big deal??

                  SWPL, blowing 100$ on glorified socks.
                  Hey, wear whatever yo want. There definitely is a difference and it's definitely up to each and everyone if they think it's worth it. No big deal at all, really. I spend a lot of time barefoot but because of various cultural, environmental and meteorological reasons I still need shoes. The more I have been barefoot the less any old sneaker will do. You're however absolutely right that they are better old, something that's true also for minimalist shoes.

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                  • #24
                    I have a pair of Vibram Treks. I also have a pair of aqua socks. I have hiked 40 miles so far up rugged, granite ledged mountains by my home in both. I also have worked out exclusively in both, as well as a pair of converse chucks. I enjoy the aqua socks more to tell you the truth, only problem is they don't last more than one season hiking, but at $10 who cares, buy new each year. If I had to do it again, probably wouldn't have purchased the Vibrams, I think if I had to buy something like that again I might consider the new balance minimus, however, I think in the end, the aqua socks are the way to go and are much cheaper to get into barefooting, save your money in my opinion.
                    You'll never see the light if you're in someone else's shadow, or said another way, life is like a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes

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                    • #25
                      I see no reason to spendmore than you are comfortable doing on shoes. Personally I enjoy good footwear. This year I have purchased two sets of Vibram KSO's a pair of merrel Tough Gloves for work and a pair of merrel trail gloves for more casual settings that are still to cold for my KSO's(It's getting doen to 0 defree F tonight where I live)

                      I love my collection of minimallist shoes and they are my prefered shoes to wear. So beware. If you begin to wear good minimalist shoes Like VFF's regularly you won't want to give them up. Not an endorsement, a warning.

                      I also have some very heavy duty work boots for different situations. but only wear such heavy apparatus when the situation or work requires the protection. I used to be the guy who never spent more than 50 buckson a pair of shoes. Now I am willing to pay much more for my feet, my gait, my back.
                      Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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                      • #26
                        I bought myself a pair of water shoes on Knifegill's recommendation. I've used them for slow cardio, LHT and treadmill sprinting at the gym and they were great. Thanks Knifegill. I think that we'd better keep quiet about the cheaper, alternative minimalist options. You just know that if manufacturers get an inkling that there is a market out there then these cheap options will suddenly increase in price by about £50. Lol

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                        • #27
                          How are those water shoes in terms of sweat and moisture? Do they ventilate good or do the feet get all moist and slippery? Are the shoes warm (i.e. could you go running in -2 degrees celsius)?

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                          • #28
                            They're often neoprene material and really quite warm, especially with socks. For running, sizing is important to ensure no slack since often the drawstring does not nip up the material quite enough. Half size under normal, perhaps?
                            Paul
                            http://www.pjgh.co.uk
                            http://www.livingintheiceage.co.uk

                            "... needs more fish!"

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                            • #29
                              Just wanted to give a shout out for the Vibram Bormios! I have a pair. It was snowing this morning. Toes are toasty after moving around and getting the blood going
                              --Trish (Bork)
                              TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                              http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                              FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                              • #30
                                I bought aqua socks on recommendation on the forum. I love them. I haven't tried running in them yet. But for just wearing around as a casual shoe, all I can say is AHHHHHHHHH...so comfortable.

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