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Thread: Vibram Five Finger shoes page

  1. #1
    Primal Parrothead's Avatar
    Primal Parrothead is offline Junior Member
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    Vibram Five Finger shoes

    I went to a local sporting goods store to buy a pair of Vibrams Five Finger toe shoes this past week. I wore them around the house for about an hour and they started killing my big toe. My toe was all the way to the end of the toe pocket, just the way the sales clerk said it should be.

    I went online to the Vibrams site, saw how to measure my foot for the correct size and soon realized that the clerk had advised me to buy a size too small for my foot. When I went back to the store to return them and to get the correct size, the supervisor of the shoe department was there and offered to help me. When I explained the problem, he said that I shouldn't buy Vibrams because he said I had bunions on both of my big toes, I didn't know that, because I've never had problems with pain there and because I'm flat footed, he said these shoes would further aggravate that condition and that I shouldn't buy them.

    One of the reasons I decided to buy them was because after reading all the online posts about these shoes, I thought they would help correct problems with my feet, straighten out toes that point inward and strengthen muscles. I was told by this shoe department supervisor that this isn't true and that these shoes will exacerbate these problems and he also said that podiatrists are saying that these shoes should NEVER be worn for more than an hour or two at a time. Now I'm all confused!

    They refunded my money with no questions asked, but I left there feeling like all the Hoopla about these shoes might be a bunch of BS?? This shoe guy REALLY made me feel like these shoes are bad for your feet. He said they were unstable and are made for running on the ball of the foot which would also cause problems with pain and irritation between the big toe and second toe on the ball of your foot. Have those shoe guys been taught something that we aren't hearing about online?

    Has anyone here that have bought these shoes had any problems with them??

  2. #2
    Jett Airliner's Avatar
    Jett Airliner is offline Junior Member
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    Conventional wisdom dictates that we have to surround our feet with as much protecting fluff as possible. Many podiatrists follow this train of thought, with all the expensive inserts and wads of plastic and rubber costing hundreds of dollars.

    Just go buy some Vibrams. Maybe at a new store.

  3. #3
    cori93437's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jett Airliner View Post
    Conventional wisdom dictates that we have to surround our feet with as much protecting fluff as possible. Many podiatrists follow this train of thought, with all the expensive inserts and wads of plastic and rubber costing hundreds of dollars.

    Just go buy some Vibrams. Maybe at a new store.
    I agree...

    I have nerve issues in my right foot/leg (etc.) and for YEARS was advised to wear custom fit shoes with custom otrhotics. The only thing those shoes ever did was make me miserable! They increased my pain levels and decreased the amount of use my foot got to the point that I was dragging it and it was turning in from atrophy.

    Then I got some VFFs. I knew nothing abut them and this was before the "hype", but I had read an older study comparing the feet of indigenous peoples who lived shoeless with modernly shod feet... feet of people in cultures where they wear shoes from a young age look shockingly different. It's almost like looking at pictures of footbinding when you compare natural feet to modern shoe shaped feet.

    Yes, there was an adjustment period where my foot muscles hurt, and my tendons were sore form stretching and being used again. But even I knew that it wasn't the same as my nerve pain. My feet were healing. Within a couple of weeks I informed my husband and everyone else that I didn't care if they thought they were funny looking, I wasn't wearing anything else. I have worn ONLY Vffs in the two years since, and will not go back to conventional shoes... ever. I walk almost 100% normally now, wit only a very slight limp because those nerves are still messed up, but, ans I can't express this strongly enough, it really is amazing what VFFs have done for me!

    I say buy a pair and try them. Everyone's feet are different. CW says "support support support"... however your foot was really made of all those intricate bones, muscles, and tendons to support itself! If you have bunions, those are CAUSED by CW shoes; from what I understand many of today's flat feet are also a CW issue ( Flat Feet Treatment - How to Strengthen Flat Feet | Mark's Daily Apple ).

    Will they work for you... there is no guarantee, but I would give it a shot. If you know what size you need... order online. You can probably get a pair on sale for abut half price to try out.
    Please remember to ease into them slowly. If you are not a barefooter already then there are a ton of muscles and tendons that will complain to some degree... like working a new area of your body at the gym!

    I don't run.... but there are MANY articles and credible studies that state that "barefoot" running is actually less stressful on feet and legs. (After yu have built up the stabilizing muscles of course. I imagine if a person who has never even walked around much barefoot went running barefoot they might injure their self.)
    http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercis...ealth-benefits
    http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm
    http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/

    Not a cure all.... but not to be dismissed either as at least one of your issues (bunions) is directly related to modern CW shoe fitting. And the other issue (flat feet) can be strengthened via natural full foot use.
    Last edited by cori93437; 01-21-2012 at 08:14 AM.
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  4. #4
    whitebear's Avatar
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    I want to try a pair of these but they only come in medium width. Do they have some give to them? My foot is a size 10 EEEE.

  5. #5
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    See above posts but I would like to add there are other choices other than the VFF. Because of the sweep from my big toe so baby toe I don't fit five fingers so I am looking to get Merrell Trail Glove but there are other options out there.
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  6. #6
    ChefGrok's Avatar
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    I ordered a pair from Campmor, because they don't sell them around here. I followed the sizing chart and even got one size to large and they were still small for me. So I got the next size up. I lift, run, sprint, and just walk around in them, and haven't had one problem. Try a size up from what you measured and you might be pleased.

    Dirlot is right, VFF's might not be for you, try something else maybe?

  7. #7
    cori93437's Avatar
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    As far as fit... I'm a female with a 9 EEE CW shoe size. VFFs that translates for ME to a womens 41. In some styles, any full coverage style with a strap, I need to wear a mens 40, and they still might be snug over my arch for maybe a week until they fit to my feet.

    My brother wears a mens 7.5EEEE and loves vibrams... you gotta go try on some styles and see what works for you.

    And I agree... any brand/style "barefoot" or minimal type shoe is better than big CW shoes.

    I have tried to wear an older custom fit pair of shoes/orthotics once or twice... it feels like walking with 2x4s strapped to the bottom of my feet!
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
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  8. #8
    Owly's Avatar
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    I have somewhat flat feet and a tailor's bunion (on the outside of the foot rather than by the big toe), and VFFs have been one of the best things ever for my feet. My arches are stronger and less flat after wearing them for the last 16 months fairly regularly, and the protrusion of the bunion is less because the lack of constriction has allowed my little toe to move out more. Overall, my feet feel much stronger and healthier. I wear mine for walking, hiking, lifting, box jumping, running...pretty much anything you'd do in a regular shoe I've done in my VFFs. My partner is training for a marathon and wears his even for 20+ km runs. Once you adapt to them (key point!) they are great. You do need to take the time to adjust to minimalist shoes, though, or you can risk injury because your body is not used to the movement.

    VFFs and other minimalist shoes are "less stable" in that they do not have a massive sole. However, they allow you to recruit all of your stabilizers and properly make contact and sort of grip the ground. I now find I feel far less steady in a thick shoe than I do in my VFFs because I can't feel the ground in the thicker sole.

    Anyhow, the shoe guy is spouting CW crap. Even many runners in more traditional shoes are adopting some techniques from the barefooters, including the forefoot stride. The running coaches I've spoken with in the last while are big on pose-style running, which is an efficient, forefoot style that puts a lot less strain on the body. And really, if running without shoes was so awful for us, how on earth did we ever run until the development of the modern running shoe?

    Honestly, I worked in a store that sold athletic shoes once upon a time, and the grand total of my fitting training was an afternoon session teaching how to judge a person's gait and then sell them a "pronation control", "stability", or "neutral" shoe, but really, it was pretty much guesswork and nonsense. Research shows that the different shoe types make absolutely zero difference and that orthotics are next to useless. The sales dude at the sporting goods shop is not a foot expert or medical professional, and he's far more interested in selling you $200 runners than in the health of your feet.
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  9. #9
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    I am betting that the guy in the store saw your bunion and decided you would probably keep returning the shoes so he told you all that stuff to purposefully lose you as a customer.

    I found a pair at the thrift store. I think they are about a size too big but I have no problems with them, plus I can wear socks with them a little larger. I have EEEE width. It's hard to get them on, but once on they feel fine.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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  10. #10
    Cave Woman's Avatar
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    Definitely get them a bit larger. My first pair pinches my little toe. The store where I bought them advised that they should be very snug. Not so.

    As for width, they are flexible and mold to the width of your feet. I have super wide feet with very high arches and insteps. My foot pain was due to constricting inflexible shoes. I got all of my regular shoes stretched way out and they no longer cause me pain.
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