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Thread: Vibram 5-Fingers with flat foot? page

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    akm3's Avatar
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    Vibram 5-Fingers with flat foot?

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    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.

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    Quote 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?
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    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!

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    Quote 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.)
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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    girlarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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    Quote 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

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    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.
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