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Thread: The Problem With Barefoot Shoes page 2

  1. #11
    UK Guy's Avatar
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    Thanks Knifegill...they actually look like an interesting option.

  2. #12
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    VFFs are obviously overpriced, especially in Europe. There is however something unique about how a well fit pair feels, which I think comes down to the feeling of your toes spreading without the shoe feeling to big. That's why I run in them when I'm not running completely barefoot. They are also great for indoor activities and my old classics have a fairly good grip on various gymnastic floors.

    I must also point out that going completely barefoot is the single most important thing you can do to find your running form.

  3. #13
    UK Guy's Avatar
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    Than you for your input.....when I get chance I'll give that a try but I don't think it'll be any time in the next few months. Winter months in the north of England aren't too forgiving...lol

  4. #14
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    UK Guy, I agree with you completely regarding the price issue. It's really frustrating that products which are supposed to be minimal cost so much. There's no high-tech cushioning system, no gel pads or air pockets, no motion control features, no support features, no extra comforts or anything, so you'd expect them to cost about $30 at most. Instead they're right up there with "normal" sneakers. It's supply and demand. Right now minimalist styles are all the hype, and the manufacturers are charging what they know they can get.

    For what it's worth though, the greatest thing about minimalist footwear is that it lasts forever. Back when I ran in cushioned sneakers I had to replace them every 500 miles or so because the cushioning is lost over time. With minimal sneakers there is no cushioning to begin with (that being the whole point) and you can basically use them until they come apart at the seams. I have a pair of New Balance Trail Minimus which I use both on roads and trails. I love them, they already have a few hundred miles on them and I see no reason why they wouldn't last me several more years. So, in that sense, minimalist shoes actually end up being pretty cheap.

  5. #15
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    The problem is people, and many of them frequent this forum, are happily paying for VFFs/vivo/merrels etc, so manufacturers are all too happy to keep the price up.

    People are free to do as they please, but I have never, and will never pay over $25 (my most expensive pair*) for a minimalist option. To do so simply feels absurd.

    * they're meant for scuba diving, and looks like cheaper on Amazon, get on it: http://www.amazon.com/Tilos-Neoprene...=pd_sbs_shoe_3

    My absolute loves, these blend in so well nobody can tell they're fully minimalist: http://www.amazon.com/Feiyue-Martial...2759534&sr=1-1

    Both options retail for under $25.

    You can also find tai chi shoes for under $10 on amazon, but I would warn AGAINST the brown soled "rubber" ones and instead look for the cotton soles. I reserve those strictly for at-home use since they basically feel like super thin slippers. The inside has cotton, very comfortable/warm. I wouldn't exercise or walk about in them outdoors too much though. I'm also not too crazy about the way they look for social situations. They closely resemble "Toms". I do use them for at-home workouts if I feel like wearing any shoes at all, which I mostly don't. I also don't need to wear shoes at work luckily so I average at least 30 something hours a week barefoot at work, and about 20 something of those I'm standing. I work from home once a week, and I do the un-primal thing and work from my bed! but I do get up plenty and work out, etc but there's something magical about laying flat on your back with a pillow to prop you up some and getting paid for it.

    Amazon.com: Cotton Sole Kung Fu Tai Chi Shoes Size 39/6.5-7: Sports & Outdoors

    don't get these: http://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Sole-Ku...759637&sr=1-13

    They're minimalist for sure, and pretty comfy so I don't regret buying them, but the rubber sole is fucking LOUD. It sounds like wood against wood when you walk. I can't sneak around ninja style in these at all... I'm getting the cotton ones soon.
    Last edited by iniQuity; 12-01-2011 at 10:30 AM.

  6. #16
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    Quote 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.

  7. #17
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  8. #18
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    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'.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheryl5211 View Post
    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'.

  10. #20
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    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 Ė 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 donít feel youíre 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 epťe fencing.) Iíve 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 Iíve 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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