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Vibram Five Fingers For Barefoot Running

Updated on December 10, 2012
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What Are Vibram Five Fingers?

Vibram Five Fingers are the most recent product from Vibram who have specialized in special footwear for mountaineers in the last 75 years. The actual Vibram Five Fingers are designed to be very light and protect your feet from the wear and tear of roads with a thin rubber sole approximately 4mm thick depending on the style you go for.

Getting used to the Vibram Five Fingers may take a little bit of time because they are not like your everyday shoe. Each toe has its own compartment so getting your toes used to that separation is going to feel a little weird to start with.

Another aspect you will need to be aware of is that your feet will probably ache initially as you get used to using more of the muscles in your feet. As your feet get stronger you will have better balance and the body will start to correct imbalances in your legs and back. Taking this on board you'll need to break in the Vibrams as you would any other pair of shoes; get your feet used to them by wearing them a little bit longer each time until you can wear them comfortably.

Vibram Tutorial

Why Should You Buy Vibram Fingers For Barefoot Running

By switching to Vibram Five Fingers you will make your running stride a lot more natural. When you run with trainers you may have a tendency to strike with your heel first rather than the middle of your foot toes. However, if you've ever had to walk around or run barefoot you'll notice that if you put your heel first it hurts so you quickly change to toes or the arch. This process is exactly what Vibram Five Fingers will do for you except that you can also run outside without the risk of cutting your feet open on the rough ground.

By switching to the barefoot method and using Vibrams outside you'll also allow your body to do another important thing: spread your toes. When you run your toes spread out to help distribute the weight of the stride and correct any imbalances from your muscles or to stabilize your body on uneven ground. When your toes are restricted in a traditional trainer they are stuck in the constricted area and cannot do what they need to to prevent injuries. The toes, arches and ankles are all designed to work together to stabilize the lower body when moving and if you take out one factor that puts undue stress on the others and over time that leads to long term damage and countless injuries.

Finding Your Size

Importance Of Finding The Right Vibram For Your Activity

How To Get The Right Size And Style

The best way to get the right size for you Vibram Five Fingers will be to get a ruler and put it against the wall. Next, put your heel against the wall and measure up to your longest toe (not necessarily your big toe). Do the same for your other foot and then use the largest reading to compare the measurement with the table HERE to find the right size Vibrams for you.

It is also important to consider the style of Vibrams that you need. There are plenty to choose from and you'll need to consult the style guide of the shoe to see what it is designed for. If you take a look at the video on the right you'll see the dramatic differences between two pairs. You'll see that the Vibram Sprints are a lot more flexible and are a great choice for sprinting or casual running whereas the Bikila are perhaps more suited to climbing, parkour, or runners who naturally don't have flexible toes.

Getting the right pair of Vibrams will take a lot of research on the buyers behalf but as long as you get the right size in your initial pair you will start to feel a lot of the benefits as soon as your muscles have adapted to the way they are supposed to be used. Once you're used to the whole barefoot concept you can then go on to try out different styles depending on what your preferences are and what type of sports you do the majority of the time.

Summary: Pros and Cons

After reviewing this footwear I would have to recommend them but just to show that I'm not biased I'll give you the pros and cons clear as day.

Pros

  • They help you to correct heel-striking and other imbalances when walking or running
  • Your muscles will become stronger as the smaller muscles become more stable
  • They protect your feet from injury when walking or running "barefoot"
  • They are really comfy
  • There is a really good grip
  • There's a vast pricing range to suit any budget
  • Even if you wear them frequently they will still last a long time

Cons

  • Your feet will ache initially
  • You might need to go through a couple of pairs to find the best fit for your feet

As you can see I'm struggling to find enough cons to make it a stale mate, hence my recommendation.

Best Places To Buy Vibram Fingers

There are plenty of places to buy Vibram Five Fingers but the two major supplies would be Amazon and eBay. Amazon is great for buying in bulk or getting specialist reviews on products but if you're looking for a quick bargain or rare item then eBay is for you.

Take a look at what's on over with Amazon and eBay now for Vibram Five Fingers. You'd better find your size and buy now otherwise they might not be there later.

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