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  • Vibram Advice/Insight?

    So I'm thinking of committing to a pair of Vibrams for my birthday. I can already barefoot (as in skin on pavement) walk a mile (so can my Grace!), and winter is coming so I'd like something to keep my toes dry. I'm not sure what I'm looking for in fit though. I'll be using them at gym (hamster wheel & track), home, and maybe out and about on drier days until it's warm again, then regular wear.
    Guidance?

    I do have access to a very good running shoe store (owned by a family of super friendly professional marathoners), and I know they have VFFs there, would just like to be prepared when I finally walk in...
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

  • #2
    hmm. can't really tell you.

    how wet/cold does it get? because i don't wear mine much at all this winter. if it was a warm day, then yes. but if it was wet/cold (the norm) then no. it was no help.

    now, oli -- our feldy guy who wrote this awesome new blog about pimping your stretch -- wears the leather ones with socks in winter and he says he's fine as. So, perhaps that would work for you?

    yeah. hmm.

    and yes, that was a shameless plug for oli.

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    • #3
      The KSO treks come in kangaroo suede which is nice and warm as long as your feet stay dry. In between the toes however is stretchy fabric which is very not waterproof. For SoCal winters the KSOs with a pair of Ininji socks keep my spoiled feet comfy.

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      • #4
        would KSOs make good cross trainers? running shoes?

        I've been wanting a pair for more than a year now, but I saw a gal at the Dirty Dash with a pair on & thought "BRILLIANT!"
        They won't come off in all that gunk AND they're machine washable. Genius.

        So that really inspired me to want a pair even more, I'm just not sure which ones would be best for running and general wear
        --Trish (Bork)
        TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
        http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
        FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          DH has komodos, which he likes because it gives him more traction on slippery pavement. he was running in the ones with the strap (not KSOs), and found that they had less traction on wet sidewalk while running. he also runs over grassy and leafy areas, and found that the komodos were better for that.

          they also are "thicker" material on top, so that might help in winter too.

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          • #6
            The KSO's (and those that share the same sole) are really the only ones close to a barefoot feel. I've had two pairs of KSO, a pair of speeds and a pair of KSO Trek's. Both of the latter sacrifice a lot of feel for other features. If they are going to be a winter shoe for you, I'd recommend the Flow. You get the nice thin sole, with more upper insulation.

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            • #7
              i had a pair of sprints and HATED THEM. Now i have Bikila's and i love them. Much better for jogging. I never put that strap on the sprint on right - it was either too loose or too tight. But I never have any trouble at all w/ the Bikila's. Plus they are bright pink and orange which makes me happy.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Catherine View Post
                Plus they are bright pink and orange which makes me happy.
                bright colors make me happy too! <3

                I'm thinking the VFFs will be my gym shoes until spring/summer, and I'll start using my brooks for regular wear now that I think of it. My balance is terrible and I slip/trip easily (the only person I know who is a bigger clutz than I am is my 3yo Grace-- figures I'd name her Grace & she'd be clumsy, lol), so I want something with good grip.

                What am I looking for as far as fit goes? I am nursing some abrasions on the back of my heels right now from a pair of running shoes I just retired on Sat, so I'm pretty conscious of that area ATM
                --Trish (Bork)
                TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  I love my KSO, despite having worn through the soles where the balls of the feet are. KSO work well for cross-training, yup. I've gone running in mine, done a mud run/trail running in 'em, walked around in them, played water sports with them, worked out with 'em, etc.

                  So yeah... the KSO is very cross-functional and they're a very comfortable fit. As far as fitting yourself before going to the shoe place, don't bother. They'll fit you there and you'll definitely need to try a pair or two on before you know whether the measurement is accurate (mine wasn't). Do not leave the store without having tried some on and being assured that you have a good fit.

                  Enjoy 'em!
                  August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

                  I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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                  • #10
                    Hi All,

                    BorkBork, I hope you don't mind a slight threat hijack -- but I'm wondering, what is the advantage of the pricier barefoot shoes over, say, a pair of keds or some inexpensive water shoes? I'm not disparaging the former at all -- I'm genuinely curious, and am considering investing in a pair, but want to understand if they're really "worth it" before I plunk down my money.

                    Thanks!
                    Kim

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                    • #11
                      I agree there is nothing you can do before hand for the fit. VFFs have their own measurement scale with a special measuring instrument to get you close. Unless your toes fit the instrument determined size perfectly, you will want to try on adjacent sizes to determine which one fits best. I have the KSOs which work fine for gym, sprinting, light hiking, and around town.
                      Grass Fed Beef Restaurants

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                      • #12
                        Different styles fit differently too. My partner tried on a few models because he has a wide foot and some of them were uncomfortable where they wrapped around his forefoot. I found it easier because I have a narrow foot, and I found the adjustment works pretty well on most styles to snug them in on my heels. I find I like a very snug fit so they don't slip and rub (but obviously not so tight that they put uncomfortable pressure on the foot), especially in the heel area.

                        As for winter, up here they're not really adequate once it gets really cold. Some people in warmer climates are barefoot purists who think you should just toughen up, but I'm not willing to go barefoot in -30C, and VFFs are just not enough insulation either, especially because the toe separation means that the individual toes are insulated from each other, so they get cold very quickly (the same reason that mitts are warmer than gloves), and the fabric between the toes is definitely not waterproof.

                        I want a pair of these: Manitobah - Hunter Tall
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

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                        • #13
                          KSOs sound promising!

                          I have wide, flat feet. I call them duck feet.


                          so that's what I was wondering about fit (what am I looking for in fit. Should they be snug? Should they be looser? Should I stop stressing and let the marathon pros worry about it?)

                          in my brooks, my feet rub badly & I get blisters from longer walks. I would like to avoid that if possible. A friend of mine who runs suggested it could be a sock issue.
                          --Trish (Bork)
                          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                          http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                          FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kimwg View Post
                            Hi All,

                            BorkBork, I hope you don't mind a slight threat hijack -- but I'm wondering, what is the advantage of the pricier barefoot shoes over, say, a pair of keds or some inexpensive water shoes? I'm not disparaging the former at all -- I'm genuinely curious, and am considering investing in a pair, but want to understand if they're really "worth it" before I plunk down my money.

                            Thanks!
                            Kim
                            I paid the big bucks for some VFFs a couple years ago and found that for me, at least, a cheapo pair of water shoes does the same thing, only with a lot fewer fit issues, for way less bucks. If you have anything at all "nonstandard" about your toes, you will have problems--VFFs fitting well are predicated on your toes pointing straight ahead and being of "normal" size in relation to each other. My big toes point slightly outwards and while I can and do wear them for walks of a couple miles, I cannot run in them as the outer side of each big toe is sore in no time from the compression/friction w/the VFF toe pocket. At the other end of the foot, my little toes are so short that they do not stay in the pocket well.

                            Another thing to consider, if you live in a cold climate, is if you intend to wear your minimal footwear outside. I wear wool socks inside my pool shoes and have been fine thru Wisconsin winters. This would not be the case in the VFFs, as if you get them loose enough to accomodate socks, they will likely be too large when you wear them without socks--or at least that is what I found w/mine. Wearing socks inside them made them uncomfortably tight.

                            So anyway, not to say the VFFs are bad or a waste of $$ or anything, just to say that if a person is trying out the minimal shoe thing, it might be smarter to pay under $20 for a pair of water shoes on sale and try it that way. They offer the same benefits as the VFFs, allowing your foot to move freely w/no "support" and w/no built-up heel, plus you can put socks in them if needed, and they are a fraction of the price. If you really love your pool shoes and decide you want to spend the big bucks for the fancy, colorful VFFs, at least you know a little more about what works for you when you do go to buy them.

                            Best wishes!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
                              in my brooks, my feet rub badly & I get blisters from longer walks. I would like to avoid that if possible. A friend of mine who runs suggested it could be a sock issue.
                              Back when I was running long distances, I had similar issues because I have such narrow feet (same issue of bad fit at the other end of the spectrum). I found that an anti-friction sock made a huge difference (WRIGHTSOCK Anti-Blister Double Layer and Performance Sport Socks as an example). I still like them for hikes if I'm not wearing VFFs, and my partner--also a duck-footed type--wears them pretty much daily.
                              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                              Owly's Journal

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