So what's the word on these shoes? Just a fad or what? Any input?
I love mine. I wear them for a lot of shorter runs/interval work and am still building up the distance. I want to avoid any overuse injuries, so I wear them around the house a lot and do my CrossFit workouts in them. Doing so has helped strengthen my feet (arches) and lover legs (calves). Jumping rope in them is a good workout - cardio wise and for the feet and calves.
Fad? Well, they're certainly no Air Jodan's and won't take over the shoe industry. They are finding their niche.
Comfy thus far, tho they raise eyebrows in the subway and at office meetings, and time will tell for this guinea pig.
The funny, informative, opinionated book on the roots of the craze:
I think the camoflage ones are pretty cool. I dunno i may wait a bit.
From talking to a lot of people who work at Fleet Feet and other places that know shoes the 5 Finger shoes are great for strengthening your lower legs but not necessarily a good idea for longer runs unless you have a very efficient stride. I what really I wonder if they are worth it are the stability shoes that everyone is coming out with such as the Reebok easytones.
I have a pair and agree w/ Jen. For a flat footed heel striker, I noticed immediate posture changes when I started using the 5 fingers when running on the treadmill or track. I did have to get the the 5 finger socks since I had a hard time getting use to the rubbing between the toes. Since then, no problems.
Brent - if you decide on a pair, try on difference sizes and styles. The sizes vary across the different styles. You might find you need to wear Injinji toe socks because of too much rubbing, which might cause you to size up. Be thorough.
As for the Easytones.. wow. Based off of the balance ball, the pods are supposed to create micro instability so you 'tone up' x% of your glutes, hamstrings, and calves more. Last time I looked, people don't walk around on balance balls. People should rely on their own ability to contract/relax muscles to 'tone' those 'trouble spots' while walking walking around in their underwear. Better yet, get to a gym and learn to squat and deadlift to get stronger all over.
Toning is a gimick, as are those shoes and the Sketchers shape-ups. My feet are stronger and more stable from wearing VFF and walking around barefoot, not from a more 'stable' shoe. Rant off.
thanks for the Rant. I wear boots (9 inches from heel to calve, and steel toe...pretty heavy) about 75% of my day. 6 or sometimes 7 days a week. Im not sure what this does to my posture, but I am sure it does something to strenthen my calves. Your thoughts.
Only if you wear your boots and walk around in skivies like this chick in the Easytone promo.
I roll my eyes at the commercials for the toning shoes. And I'm along with you on the rant Jen. I'm been considering getting a pair of the VFF for working out in the gym. They are great when you're lifting heavy weights because you don't haev the instability caused by the gel or air pockets or whatever they put in just about every shoe to make them more comfortable these days. And the staff can't complain about you not wearing "close toed" shoes!
jen,, thanks for the link. wow is all i can say.
I've had a different experience w/ my vibrams -- calf and achilles trouble from the start. I thought I was starting out conservatively (walk around plenty before running, then just 1/4-1/2 mile, build slowly, etc.) and tried to follow all the recommendations, but it was apparently still too aggressive for me and I broke down quickly.
However, I still like wearing them around the house or walking outside a bit b/c they feel pretty good otherwise and don't cause problems there.
I really cannot bash the shoes themselves, b/c I still like them in many ways, and it's I who trained poorly; but I would strongly caution anyone starting out with them to take it very very easy and maybe wait until the offseason.
I've had my KSOs for about a month now. LOVE THEM. Strongly recommend building up on the mileage though. Calves and feet are screaming after working out -- in a good way. I use them to run, strength/cross train and they've become a staple for conditioning. I'm not throwing away the Saunconys just yet (esp. for longer runs) but, I have noticed I'm running more efficiently in the Vibrams. They're definitely little conversation starters when folks see them.
I did MCM in a pair of the VFF sprints last year. Definitely requires some adjusting to get up to speed in them.
I had knee/ITB issues and this fixed my form/stride almost immediately and my soleus muscles had to catch up.
My take on them are that if regular running shoes work for you then don't switch, but if you are having running issues they are worth checking out.
Inside Triathlon magazine has a good article on barefoot/minimalist running this month and a great site for more Vibram info is: www.birthdayshoes.com
I love my five fingers shoes. Very comfortable and light. I always use it when running. Good for muscle strength stimulation. :)
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
WillTan brooks running shoes
i'm curious as to what a licensed podiatrist thinks of FFS and barefoot running, etc.
anyone here talk about this with their podiatrist or other medical professional?
any foot docs in the club care to weigh in on the topic? Even if you opinion is against the trend it would be good to hear positive or negative views from doctors on this stuff.
Docs generally support using good cushioned shoes and orthotics to fix foot problems. I tend to agree with the theory that that approach weakens the foot over time.
I did notice a lot of positive changes from running in the Five Fingers: better posture and form, quicker shorter strides, no more IT band trouble or knee pain....but ultimately I ended up with a stress fracture in the middle of my left foot. I still love the shoes for lots of other things, but if you're going to use them for distance running START SLOWLY. The minute you feel you muscles are getting a little tired and your feet start hitting the ground a little harder -- it's time to stop. You really have to build up your mileage with those. I would recommend training on a track with them at first and using them to learn proper form and posture, then mimicking that feeling using a simple cushioned running shoe when you run on the road or concrete.
An odd thing I've noticed is they've made my calves bigger and stronger.