Vibram Fivefingers - Don't Knock 'Em Till You've Tried 'Em
It started as a joke...then it became a lifestyle.
My husband has bad knees, but somehow also a love for running. The two do not go hand-in-hand and so often a leisurely run was followed by pain and swelling and an afternoon in bed. Then we read a book called Born to Run and were inspired by a simple concept - running in bare feet is better for you than running in shoes. Now, the problem with that is obvious - roads, sidewalks, and trails are full of obstacles that could tear apart your feet. You just can't run barefoot - it isn't safe. But we had heard of (and made fun of) "toe sneakers" and decided to take a deeper look at what they offered.
The research points to one brand - Vibram. Everything you read says these shoes are high quality and life-changing. We were intrigued, but still skeptical. Maybe it was superficial, but we still thought the shoes looked weird and just couldn't believe they'd make that much of a difference. None-the-less, on the next birthday, my husband asked for the shoes and received them as a gift.
That was the last time he experienced any knee pain after a run - for real!
The shoes really were life-changing. So much so that the look of them wasn't an issue. In fact, it was quite the contrary. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when you love something enough, it appears beautiful no matter what it looks like to others.
The shoes go everywhere now - grocery shopping, family gatherings, business trips, and vacations. Everything we heard was true, and the shoes really have become life-changing.
Alongside the shoes, a collection of toe socks as grown so they don't have to be worn with bare feet. You might think these feel weird, but after a few trial runs you can't imagine wearing anything else!
One of the reasons Vibrams are so good for your knees is because they force you to work out your calves the way your body intended you to. These socks will relieve any calf cramps you might get and also help with circulation.
This is the book that inspired it all. If you have a love for reading, this needs to be added to your list. It is very well-written and a definite page turner.