Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
17 Oct

Vibram FiveFingers

If you are a regular reader of Mark’s Daily Apple you are probably well aware of those funny looking Vibram FiveFingers by now. They’ve been mentioned in our barefoot running post, featured in a Top 10 Ultimate Fitness Gadgets post and showcased in Mark’s sprinting video. What can we say? We’re huge fans! The only thing FiveFingers hasn’t got is its own post. It is high time this performance footwear we love oh so much got the attention it well deserves, so here goes nothing.

How can these foot protecting oddities be described? I suppose if Toe Socks met Combat Boots, fell in love and had a shoe baby you would have Vibram FiveFingers.

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Or maybe if Bunny Slippers wooed Climbing Shoes with her undying charm, and also somehow managed to birth unconventional hybrid foot-protection offspring you would end up with Vibram FiveFingers.

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Flip flops and waters sock?

Ballet slippers and cross trainers?

You get the picture. They are the best of both worlds. They provide the physiological benefits of going barefoot with the advantage of having some level of armor against the elements. You don’t have to worry about stubbing your toe, or cutting your feet on glass or other sharp objects you are bound to come across in your travels. And you also don’t have to fret over the damage years of sneaker wearing would invariably do to your feet.

They take some getting use to, and Vibram warns you as much. Most people’s feet have been wrapped in leather, supported by padding, constrained by laces, and pampered since the day they were born. Since when was the double-stitched, steel-toed, double-buckled, laser, orthotic boot a prerequisite to human locomotion? (I just threw in the laser for fun. Though, if you know of a shoe with lasers please comment below. I am very interested.) Not long it turns out. Our feet developed without all this stuff, and they are better off without all this stuff save for minimal and basic defense.

You are bound to get some looks and see some heads turn if you walk around town in these. This probably isn’t of much interest to all of our trend-setting and trailblazing Mark’s Daily Apple readers. Besides, I am sure they are looks of envy rather than utter confusion or concern anyway.

Seriously, though. FiveFingers are light and malleable, yet durable. It’s as if Dr. Scholl went crazy and let his foot gels creep up around the heel and toes like a mutant foot-protecting demon. That’s it. FiveFingers are like a mutant demon that protects your feet. Yet also like your grandma, soft and protective.

Sorry. Back to serious. It should be clear at this point that Vibram FiveFingers are multifaceted, and a perfect gadget to help live the Primal lifestyle. If there is any criticism I can offer it is that they are a bit difficult to get the right size via post. They are adjustable and Vibram does offer pretty detailed guidelines on picking the right size, but best case scenario would entail you trying them on in-shop before purchasing. Also, if you have webbed feet these aren’t for you.

Do you have FiveFingers? How do you like ‘em? Hit us up with a comment!

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve been wearing my KSOs since late summer but in all honesty, it’s just gotten too damn cold here in New England! Does anyone have any experience with the KSO Treks? Are they even available yet? With or without Injinjis? Snow?

    Happy primal new year!

    elbohead wrote on December 30th, 2009
  2. I have had a pair of the classics since last summer. Mostly wore them for water sports activities, but recently planned to start wearing them at the gym for cardio (treadmill and elliptical) sessions over the winter. The first time I wore them at the gym (national chain), one of the staff came over and said they were not allowed – something to do with a safety issue, if weights or were dropped on your foot or something. As if a normal running shoe would protect your feet from a dumbbell impact…

    Sachem wrote on January 19th, 2010
  3. I own the sprints and the flows – and REALLY wish they made the kso treks for women!
    I’ve worn the sprints around NYC and for crossfit – BIG fan! I’ve gotten them wet several times.
    I’ve worn the flows around in cold weather (though 20F with severe windchill is not recommended – I’ve done it, and my ankles were cold!), and I used them for the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge.. I had to go up a size for these, and even so, it’s harder to get my feet in and feel comfortable.

    I did try on both the classic and KSO, and found my high arches to be a problem… with the classic, my arches were above the top of the shoe, and with the KSO, it was really hard to get the shoe on without my calf cramping up.

    My friend has the treks and loves them – she (large feet = mens size) wears them everywhere in NYC during winter, but has yet to get them wet.

    I totally didn’t ease into them like the manufacturer suggests (I spend a lot of time barefoot – dancing, around the home, etc., walked on gravel and rough pavement barefoot as a kid – even walked around the Stanford campus barefoot for a day as a teenager), but I had no problems other than feeling the muscles work after a LOOONG (longer than intended) day in them.

    Judy wrote on January 24th, 2010
  4. Absolutely love my Vibram Sprint. I wear a 43 and after a week of wearing them, it felt like a second skin.
    Never had a better shoe for trail running and climbing. Make sure to keep your toenails short to prevent soreness. I would highly recommend them.

    Jason wrote on February 8th, 2010
  5. Just got a pair of these funny shoes… im not sure if they fit right. How tight are they supposed to be? I wore the shoe thingys around the house for about 3hrs and when i took them off i had the markings of the elastic on the tops of my feet. Is that too tight??

    Thanks

    raygazzman wrote on March 10th, 2010
  6. Howdy! I’ve got a pair of the sprints and have been wearing them on and off, building up to trail running. They’re pretty comfortable, but walking around town I’ve noticed that on my left foot, the joint of the middle toe that attaches to the ball of my foot is getting quite sore. Not sure what to do about this. My left foot is also a tad bigger than my right, and all of the toes on my left foot feel just a smidge cramped in vibrams, but don’t appear to be forced into a non-natural position.

    Has anybody else experienced that same type of pain in the ball of their foot/metatarsal joint?

    Julie wrote on March 18th, 2010
    • Hi,

      I just bought a pair of sprints, and I have the same soreness on my right foot, at the metatarsal/2nd toe joint. Has yours improved at all?

      Aylin wrote on July 7th, 2010
  7. I’ve had a pair of Classics for about a month and love mine. I workout in them, wear them around the house, and even out and about. If I need to wear “shoes” I put on my Chucks. But that usually only happens about once a month.

    I’d like to get a few more pairs. I want to try the KSOs or sprints I think.

    How often do you all wash yours? Mine get kind of smelly after about 2 or 3 days.

    Russ Hutto wrote on April 16th, 2010
  8. I have a pair of KSOs. Love them. Will probably get a pair of flows for colder weather though.

    And I always wear mine with toe socks, so much less smelliness.

    Pliauga wrote on April 17th, 2010
  9. I have a pair of Kso’s I’ve had them for about 3 months now. I run about 3 -4 times a week in them took me a while to get up to 4+ miles without my calves wanting to die. You can wear them if you have a morton’s toe (your second toe is longer than your big toe) they do stretch a bit in the toes.

    My friend has a webbed toe and he owns a par, he just cut out part of the toe and restitched them. I thought they looked hideous before but with his webbed toe he just looks hysterical.

    Adam Gainer wrote on May 10th, 2010
  10. I love getting close to nature, but not too close. Toe shoes are great, but Gistwear has one with a zipper; keeps the dirt of my feet. All the benefits without the drawbacks! It’s not Fivefingers though but I love my Gists.

    Tara wrote on May 11th, 2010
  11. Great minds must think alike.

    I started using Vibrams a few months before I even knew about MDA or the Primal Blueprint.

    I wear them everywhere, and, yes, people look at you.
    But they also ask you about them.

    Charles wrote on May 11th, 2010
  12. Actually, I have a 2-3 syndactyly (second toe webbed to the third). Any relief?

    freddy wrote on May 17th, 2010
  13. OK, will check out FeelMax.

    freddy wrote on May 17th, 2010
  14. My Favorite Five-Fingers moment to date:

    Walking into a local coffee shop in my Five-Fingers as a mother and her son (about 4 yrs old) were walking out. The boy notices my shoes and says quite loudly: “Mom, that lady has FUNNY shoes!” The poor mother (who had not seen my shoes) was obviously MORTIFIED and hustled her child off before I could laugh and clarify – it’s ok, they are funny shoes! :)

    Needless to say, I wear my five-fingers all over the place and love them.

    Laura wrote on May 25th, 2010
  15. My second and third toes are webbed on both feet. I got a pair of Fivefinger Sprints, and I just took a scissor to the cloth in between the corresponding “toes” on the shoes. It worked great and I wear them now everyday. This is especially fortunate, as I live in China and, while Fivefingers are available here, Feelmaxs seem not to be.

    Nico wrote on June 15th, 2010
  16. I’ve had the KSOs for about 2, maybe 3 months now. I’m having trouble getting my form down.

    I’ve had a problem with blisters on my big toes and on the balls of my big toes. I got iniji socks which helped a bit, and after consciously experimenting with different running forms, I can run 7 miles without blisters. But afterward, they still feel more tender than I’d like as I want to match the mileage I get in normal running shoes.

    I’ve also noticed pain in my left little toe, like maybe I’m impacting too hard on it.

    Lastly, and this may be what contributes to blistering, but I have a VERY hard time running downhill. In normal shoes downhill is liberating, easy. While high-impact, I can ride my momentum. In Vibrams I feel like I’m constantly breaking. I have to run slower because I can’t absorb the impact, and my toes start rubbing much more.

    Any advice? I’ve looked online for proper forefoot form, but I really need details. Should my feet be pointed out? straight? In? Should I be leaning forward like I’ve heard? Do I land on the balls of my outer toes and sort of roll in? Can too severe of a roll be the cause of my problems?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Jeff

    Jeff wrote on June 17th, 2010
    • Jeff,

      Maybe you need to slow down your progression with VFFs. First, it sounds like you’re not so confident about your ability to control your run downhill. Why are you breaking?

      How about gently running down a soft, grassy downhill, incrementally increasing the distance as well as the grade?

      There is a gentleman in the UK who runs pilatesrunning.org that has instructional videos on how to run better barefoot and in VFF. I cannot find the link to his videos done with a journalist … maybe you’ll have more luck in your Google search.

      Cheryl wrote on June 27th, 2010
  17. I use the KSO’s and they are friggin’ awesome. I train MMA and the calf workout I get just from running during the first few weeks was more intense than even doing calf raises and lunges.

    Definitely a worthwhile investment.

    Romeo wrote on June 27th, 2010
  18. I just got some KSO’s. I ordered them directly online from Vibram’s web site. I’m not really sure if they are too tight or not yet, I think they’ll be okay. I don’t like how short the strap is though, it isn’t long enough and leaves a lot of exposed scratchy velcro. I think I should have gotten the basic ones, but I was worried about running. Vibram’s site sucks for contacting them, as they have a 160 character limit on messages!

    On another note… Running seems intuitive. However, how do you train your body how to WALK in them? I feel SO weird just trying to walk, that I almost want to just run everywhere instead.

    Wish I Were Riding wrote on June 30th, 2010
    • Hopefully you had the right website! There ARE fake websites for vibrams that are very convincing, but the shoes they sell are lower quality and don’t fit right and can rip or tear easily, or even hurt the wearer! Go to birthdayshoes.com for a list of counterfeit sites and real ones too! I believe the real Vibram site has a map at the beginning that you have to click on your country, if the home page of the site isn’t that one, then it’s a fake.. Just go to rockcreek.com and compare your websites photos to theirs.. Assuming they didn’t copy and last the real thing onto their site, thats one way to spot fakes. Not saying yours are or anything, but it’s certainly possible.. They almost got me! Rule of thumb, I they’re cheaper than the usual 100 bucks, (with exception of occasional online sales), then they’re fake!

      Matt wrote on June 13th, 2011
  19. Wish I Were Riding,
    It does feel strange trying to walk in them at first. If you are accustomed to the heal strike then this will make for an uncomfortable jarring pattern. Try shortening your stride and allowing the foot to gently land more all at once.

    Focus on relaxing the foot and not pulling the toes up so hard before planting the foot.

    Walking barefoot or in fivefingers also lets one quickly discern whether or not one has adequate movement in the pelvis/hips/back.

    Explore slight movement of the pelvis side to side. This takes much of the impact out of the spine. If this is difficult, you may want to look at ways of opening up your abductors.

    Next explore a gentle rocking front to back movement of the pelvis. As a leg swings forward a balanced pelvis will exhibit a gentle lengthening down the lumbars, then as the leg goes back, an arching of the lumbars occurs.

    Finally play with counter rotations of legs and arms. If all of this is a little challenging to comprehend, you may want to contact a local Rolfer or Structural Integrator. They can help you with this.

    Paul wrote on June 30th, 2010
  20. The Vibram size measurer indicated I needed a size 39. When that size became available, I tried it on but both little toes felt very scrunched. I purchased a size 40 Classic but now when I walk on forest trails up and down hills, my left little toe hurts horribly. I am so disappointed because I have so many foot problems and really wanted these to work.

    jalgal66 wrote on July 19th, 2010
    • Get them snug… They will stretch… That’s my experience anyway. Started with a treksport 41, cuz they felt better than a 40… Now I wear them less than my others, cuz they stretched and the heel has a sort of folded in spot.. I now buy size 40 since I know how they fit… :)

      Matt wrote on June 13th, 2011
  21. Both REIs in my area are chronically out of these (they claim they sell out in 1 hour when they get a shipment), so I stood on their officially Vibram Fivefinger foot-shaped size-measurer and it told me I was a 42/43. I went ahead and order the 43 and when it arrived several weeks later it was comically small. I could barely get it on, and when I did, my feet were bunched and my toes were curled up. It was like trying on a little kid’s shoe for laughs. So I sent them back and ordered 45s. I just got these and I’m worried that they’re too small too. They seem just about long enough, but they are VERY snug in the toes. I wore them around the house for about 15 minutes and then took them off and my toes were beet red.

    I’m afraid if I go up another size they’ll be took loose in the heel. How much will the toes stretch out?

    Eli wrote on July 22nd, 2010
  22. I would absolutely go for a bigger size if they are hurting your toes. I had the same problem when I got mine and just thought they needed to stretch out a bit, which they did, but never quite enough. I eventually ended up having to stop wearing them because they were giving me pretty bad blisters after about 3 miles when I ran because of being too tight. I plan on getting a new, bigger pair at the end of the summer though

    Danika wrote on July 23rd, 2010
  23. I’m pretty sure Nike makes these “natural” fitting shoes now.. I forget what they’re called tho. My buddy bought a pair though and he said he loved them.

    Bill wrote on July 25th, 2010
  24. I just got my fivefingers in the mail (of course our REIs didn’t have them in stock) and was able to run 3 miles with some speed work, no problem. I was already landing on my midfoot — the Vibram shoes forced me to shorten and increase my strides per minute. The Nike Free might also be OK, but I tried the Terra Plana shoes when I was in London and it was extremely difficult to find the right size and they were very expensive. I would stick with the fivefingers.

    Terri wrote on August 4th, 2010
  25. i ordered a pair of the sprint’s, and can’t seem to get them on! my toes seems to be too stubby and curved under. any suggestions?
    susan

    susan wrote on August 8th, 2010
  26. Susan,
    I had difficulties at first too. You may want to try this approach:
    Start with getting the toes in first.Don’t pull the heel on until all the toes are in each pocket. I start with the big toe getting it in line, and only partially inserted, then the next, all the way down to the pinky toe. Once all toes are lined up, I spread the toes and pull the the mesh (just above the toes) back towards the heel. Then I grasp the bottom of the toes and pull gently back. Finally I put the heel on. The better one is at spreading their toes, the easier this becomes.Good luck!

    Paul wrote on August 9th, 2010
    • thanks paul, i will try your suggestions. my left foot seems to be easier than the right for some reason!

      susan wrote on August 10th, 2010
  27. Are these shoes good for high arches? because I am a cross country runner in high school so if someone could answer my question through my email I would appreciate it.
    a7twin@yahoo.com

    Alonso wrote on August 19th, 2010
  28. a7twin,
    Going to the official website may get you more information about appropriate wear for runners with high arches. One of the chief concerns for high arches is that there may be a shortness and rigidity to the feet (plantar fascia) that does not allow for a natural springiness in the feet/arches. If this is the case, it may create certain challenges. You will want to look into making sure the feet and calves (the calves create much of the integrity of the feet) become more supple and very gradually work your way into wearing five fingers. I have a fairly neutral gait with medium supple arches and after my first run in 5 fingers (only 15 minutes long at a moderate pace) my calves were sore for two days.

    Paul wrote on August 21st, 2010
  29. I am very interested in trying some fivefingers but am not sure if they will work for me. 8 yrs ago I tore my plantar fascia due to repetitive stress from soccer mostly. It took over a year to heal (lots of casts but no surgery) and my feet have been coddled with orthotics since then. My PF finally seemed completely gone until last year when I was teaching on a hard tile floor. My foot pain recurred and one ortho doc said that the fat pad on my heel has become too thin and I must wear even more cushioning. Now, when I teach, I actually wear these cumbersome anit-fatigue mat strap-on shoes on the bottom of my boots. So, can anyone advise this gal with a supposedly thin fat pad if 5fingers would be a good idea?
    Thanks!

    Cat wrote on August 28th, 2010
  30. I just picked up a pair of the classics and the trek sports.
    Broke my ankle (trimalleolar fracture) May 2nd, and have been wanting to get the ole’ calf muscles back. The classics wear a bit tighter than the kso treks do, and I’m not certain I’ve got the right size, as my big toes come all the way up to the end of the toe bed. I figure I’ll see if they stretch a bit before I take them back though.

    Joe wrote on August 31st, 2010
  31. Hi Mark, Thanks so much for your comments and all the comments after. I have been wearing orthotics now for the past 4 years and recently got a pair of the Vibram Sprints. In the last 4 years with the orthotics, that supposedly are correcting my foot biomechanics I ended up with plantar fasciitis in my right for about a year and then eventually a stress fracture in the left for all the compensation with the first injury. In the year I had the P.F. I did everything they told me to do- no running, jumping, exercises on the toes, wear supportive shoes with orthotics all the time, etc. Needless to say it took forever to heal and now I am starting to feel that foot begin to ache again. So I taking a different approach this time. I have not work the FF’s too much since I got them, but now I am wearing them as much as I can and my feet can handle. My foot feels better in them then shoes with the orthotics. Ceasing the running for now, but still throwing in some plyometrics with my interval training and continuing with spin a couple of days of week. I agree that my feet are now as strong as they should be as they are always being supported by shoes/orthotics. For years I never wore orthotics and was just as active with no injury. Hope this new approach works!

    Kendra wrote on September 6th, 2010
  32. I ran Tabata sprints in mine today after doing a hard and fast P90X legs and back yesterday…I’m guessing my calves will hurt tomorrow, but I haven’t worked out wearing shoes of any kind in years (except running and biking) so we’ll see. In any event, they were a blast to run in and I felt a lot faster in them than I do in shoes (I’m quite slow either way).

    Dan wrote on September 26th, 2010
  33. I just got some.. the flow model. I am trying to break them in by wearing them around the house and such. After two hours of them on (day two) my little toes are RIDICULOUSLY sore to touch and perhaps bruised.
    My little toe tends to curl into the toe next to it, my bones probably veer inward instead of straight forward. The 5fingers are forcing them to align and spread, its killin me!
    Slowly I will break them in!!
    I am a dancer and and I dance barefoot all the time, so I am fine everywhere else.

    Lauren wrote on October 18th, 2010
    • I have the treksports which are mostly mesh, but I also have the flows as well and theory are EXTREMELY tighter than the treksport. I think it has to do with the neoprene that they are made out of… It seems to be tighter than the other, because they have sort of a wetsuit type fit to them… I am hoping mine will stretch just a bit in the toes to relieve some of the pressure, because I love how the flows are made AND I cant return them since they are worn now, obviously. I bought my treksports in a size 41 and they are a bit loose in the heels, but i was not aware of the fact that you are supposed to “nestle your heel all the way into the heel cup”, so i was pusing my foot forward into the toe pockets when i tried on the treksports… And they felt fine… But after a week of wear, the part that runs up the back of the heel just under the pull loop, started to sort of fold down because it wasn’t against my foot, I suppose… I really need a 40 in the treksport because of that so I went to rock creek outfitters and tried a 40 in the flow but they were so insanely tight that I couldn’t stand it! So I had to get a 41 in the flow also… Mainly because of the tightness of the neoprene toes… Honestly even in the 41 they are still a little tight, but its only been two days, and I’m hoping it gets better because i love the style and the fact that they don’t get water in them… I have walked through snow (i live in tennessee so its not 3 feet of snow or anything haha) in the treksports and because of the mesh they get wet pretty quick, but it just snowed about an inch today and I was wearing them outside walking the dog and with the exception of the bottom of my feet being pretty cold after a few minutes, my feet actually stayed dry, which is great! If you want a pair that doesn’t squeeze your toes much and has even more grip than the bottoms of most V5F’s the treksport is certainly worth looking into! Once they are broken in, they are super easy to get on and very comfy! Just make sure they fit to the heel so they don’t fold in the back like mine did. Also the Injinji socks helped with making my treksports fit a little better, but I tried them with my flows and it makes them even tighter…. My problem is that the flows rub on the backs of my heels, right in the middle,very badly and it’s extremely painful…ANYONE ELSE HAVE THAT PROBLEM WITH THE FLOWS?? I had to put band aids on the back of my heels to relieve the pain, that’s why I tried my socks with them, but they awfully tight now… I’m trying to find some super thin toe socks if anyone knows a place or a website that would be awesome! Until then I guess I’m just gonna stick with band aids!! I love em too much not to wear!!

      Matt wrote on February 10th, 2011
      • Oops! “they”‘are extremely tighter than the treksports.. Stupid spell corrector!

        Matt wrote on February 10th, 2011
  34. I just bought my first pair of VFF yesterday in the hopes that I would be able to start running again. I have bad PF and when I tried to run last year ended up crippled for weeks. I am a cyclist and wonder if you have a reference site on cycling causing or exacerbating PF. I use top of the line SIDI shoes and Look cleats (under the belief that look would distribute the pressure point more evenly). Appreciate any feedback you can offer – I just want to run again!

    Rob G wrote on November 12th, 2010
  35. I love my VFFs and they have helped me correct my running form so my own bad cases of PF have vanished. I hope you have the same success. I’ve read that cycling is recommended for runners down and out with PF, I haven’t read anything on it making it worse. Just remember to start slow and only run a few miles with the VFFs, its easy to strain your achilles when first starting out :-)

    Sarah wrote on November 12th, 2010
    • I got a the VFF Trek, which is the trail model. So excited that I over did it the first time out (4m) Now, I am paying for it. First I had pain on the outside of my foot a few days and now it’s on the inside and feeling like the PF I had years ago. I’ve read that wearing VFF helps PF, but it doesn’t going “barefoot” actually put more stress on the fascia?

      Pam wrote on November 21st, 2010
  36. Last May I ran the slowest 1/2 marathon of my life. When I finally crossed the line in 2:33, knees sore, back sore and ankles ready to explode, I was ready to call my running career over. The following month, a friend of mine turned me onto VFFs.

    I decided to give them try. After about 6 weeks of different types of pain (Calf muscles, achilles tendon soreness, etc.), I noticed I was starting to enjoy running again. The new pains were subsiding, and the old pains were gone.

    Since August, I have run 4 more half marathons, all under 2 hours with a PR of 1:51 and a sub 48-minute 10k. These are times I hadn’t seen in almost 15 years. The only difference in my life was the shoes I was wearing. VFFs deserve 100% of the credit for any improvements. VFFs Rock!!!

    Eric wrote on December 9th, 2010
    • got a pair last summer and went out and pounded out weeks of off trail backcountry, rock climbing, 14er summiting, technical climbing,winderness trekking, etc around Summit county and it was great and rather intense. Yes, it feels like you are walking the wilderness barefoot. Some heel pain, but proper preparation and acclamation is in order before doing what I did. Although I spend all my time up there. Only problem…. the space between toes is fabric and pricklies poke into the side of the toe. Would be perfect if the sole wrapped up between toes , even if thinner material, to avoid this…. also, watch out for rusty nails etc, around old mining sites etc…Not for everybody, but if you are typically more adventurous than most…. buy em !

      Colorado High Country wrote on February 6th, 2011
  37. Used mine for the first time. I ran for 3 miles. Got blisters on the side of my feet and under my big toes… Will it get better? Should I still try to use them? Feel my knee a little bit and my calves a really tight!

    Carla wrote on February 20th, 2011
    • Sounds like a bit too much to be running when you’ve just got them… I think walking around in them for a few days to get used to it would be easier on your feet… Then slowly start using them more… But everyones feet are different so some people may be able to just put them on and go with no problem…. I wore mine a lot for the first few weeks, like everywhere I went but no running in them really… My feet did ok but it’s definitely an adjustment, and I think they say if you go too hard in them right off the bat, then you can injure yourself… Basically after wearing thick sole shoes your entire life and then changing to V5F’s, take some adjustment in how you walk, like landing more on the ball of your foot… So I was told, not sure. I know when I was wearin the flows I had to walk more on the ball of my foot, because it was hurting a bit… That made it better but u have to always think about how ur walking until u start doing it without thinking…. If u want a pair that may bother u less, get the trek sport… I didn’t think it was that big a difference but when I got the flows it was totally different… You can feel WAAAY more in the ones that have a smooth bottom… That’s been my experience anyway…

      Matt wrote on February 20th, 2011
  38. I got a pair of the bikilas at Christmas. I eased into running in them and had been running 2 miles routinely throughout the week. I have done 3 miles in them the last 2 Saturdays, with no problems.

    However, this week I did 4 miles and the last 1/4 of a mile I starting having pain in the outer portion of my left foot. It goes from the very bottom of my little toe to the heel and runs along the outer edge of my foot. 2 days later, it has gotten better but not completely.

    I am training to do a half-marathon at the end of April and was really looking forward to running in my VFFs. I have loved every minute of them until this week. Now I’m wondering if my feet will able to take running that long in them? Has anyone else had this problem?

    Jessie wrote on February 21st, 2011
    • I had some pain when I first bought my Vibrams. I would wear them while doing rounds (I’m an RA on a small College campus), and thought it was due to Vibram not making the small toe box long enough. Eventually it went away.

      After having had them for over a year now, I have done a 5k race in them (with lots of trail running) and had several hot spots at the end of the race. If you’re planning to run a marathon I would suggest a different minimalist shoe, like the RunAmoc’s made by Soft Star Shoes, a US based company. Or there’s the INOV-8 f-lite 195s, which are less barefoot feeling but still more minimalist and would correct form.

      Neither of them will give you the exact same feel as the Vibrams, but the RunAmocs (I’ve heard, I don’t own a pair) are supposed to mimic that free feel since it’s basically a perforated leather bootie with a thin vibram sole. That way you won’t have to worry about constricted toes or hot spots! Good luck!

      Aleksis wrote on February 21st, 2011
      • Thanks. I think I’m going to get a pair of the Nike Free’s to run in while I get better broke into with the VFFs. I probably won’t try to run the half in the VFFs for fear of not being able to finish due to the pain. It was almost unbearable the other day and I limped around for several hours yesterday.

        Jessie wrote on February 21st, 2011
    • I’m not a trainer nor PT, but it is my understanding that it is important to increase the distance by no more than %10 per week. From the sounds of things, you jumped up the increase too quickly. Gradual increase is so important to allow the body to adjust and respond to the strain. We crawled first (hopefully) before we walked. This is the same principal.Good luck and be gentle with yourself.

      Paul wrote on February 21st, 2011
  39. I had that pain after 4 miles too! It did go away, but I had to lay off running. When I did start running again, the pain shifted to my posterior tibial tendon. I now know I had very weak ankles and needed to break the shoes in slower. I’ve been doing ankle exercises since to strengthen the area,

    Pam wrote on February 21st, 2011
  40. I use Vibrams to lift, I find that I get more of a range of motion when I deadlift with them on.

    Romeo wrote on March 3rd, 2011

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