Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Two Feet & Five Fingers

You've seen them.  Probably took a double take.  You wonder how they feel.  They're kinda cool and you want a pair.  Your friends and family will think that you are the cat's meow if you show up prancing around in these. NO! Vibram's Five Fingers are not for fashion, the are for function.  After reading several positive reviews from people with plantar fasciitis, I decided to give them a try myself.  

There are supposed to be several benefits from wearing these and you can visit Vibram's website to learn more.  I'm going to tell you about my experiences with them.  First, you can't find these everywhere, but they are somewhere.  I advise you to try them on rather than guessing your size.  I was fitted for a 38, but had to get a 40 because my big toe on one foot kept hitting the edge.  Yet, in the 40 there is a lot of space in the heel.  (Which brings me to the fact that my left of right Achilles heel was irritated by the fabric.  Putting a cotton round in the shoe kept it from rubbing.  Then eventually, it stopped. I'm not sure if that was before or after I washed them.) I also have a lot of room in the toe space, except the big toes.  Getting the shoe on was a bit of a task since the pinky toe does not want to go into its little slot.  Once all the toes are lined up in their sleeves all is good, get to walking.  
My first steps in these were at the store.  The clerk was very knowledgeable and gave me lots of advice much of which I'm stating here.  I could feel the hardness of the floor and I didn't like it.  What I liked was my feet didn't feel cramped, they felt free to move and flex.  My toes were gripping and feet were rolling heel to toe.  I wore them for a few hours as instructed (treat them like training shoes) and I was starting to dig them.

As the weather got colder, I put my little shoes away.  I also got a cortisone shot and my foot felt better. After having the flu, I stopped going to the gym.  When I started back, I wore my Brooks.  I noticed during the workouts my right foot would start cramping and my toes would go numb.  Later, I would have those walking on nails pains, but not as bad as before.  My foot needed flexibility: it needed Five Fingers.  With the Vibrams I was able to workout longer on the Arc.  The cramping and toe numbness did not occur and the next morning pain ceased. 

Would I wear these to work or all day?  I have worn them to work and the answer is NO!.  Concrete and tile are too hard for eight hours in these shoes for me.  I do wear other minimalist shoes to work, but they have more cushion and protection than these.  I wouldn't wear these all day either.  I can feel rocks and the such which is not comfortable in this style.  There are styles made for running and the such and I have not tried those.  Would I buy these online?  I would buy this particular style online, but would get fitted for other styles and then buy online.  Being that I'm not wearing socks with these and yes they have socks for them, they do get funky.  I've washed mine twice in a front loader and allowed them to air dry and they still hold up.

Would I buy another pair?  Yeah!  I think I'll go for the Entrada or Alitza.  Plus, I feel like Kitty SoftPaws in these!