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Are Vibram FiveFingers comfortable? A review

Updated on September 4, 2015

Vibram FiveFingers Review for men, women, children, and teens.

Vibram FiveFingers shoes are available for men, women, children, and teens. Yes, Vibram Fivefingers are very comfortable, but take a little while to get adjusted to properly, especially when putting them on.

Vibram Fivefingers, along with Skeletoes and other barefoot running shoes are sometimes referred to as toe shoes, because each toe is separated from the others, very similar to how a glove for your hand fits.

I've taken to jogging somewhat these last few weeks, working on general fitness and conditioning. I have successfully lost quite a bit of weight, and feel great. Jogging with Vibram Fivefingers has helped me succeed.

I've attempted this before using normal running shoes and ended up with horrible shin splints and a promise to never again set foot to pavement with speed greater than a fast walk. I have since retracted that promise and have started running longer and longer distances, and with fewer breaks.

This is all thanks to Vibram FiveFingers running shoes.

Below are 5 things I learned while using them.

Update: I have found that the weakest point of these seems to be the pinky toe on both sides. The sole that covers the front of the small toe is peeling away a bit, but hasn't created any sort of hole yet.

Otherwise, they are holding together well. The colors are starting to appear dirty, so I would recommend getting a black pair like the KSO so that they look sharper for a longer period of time.

I ended up getting the Komodo Sport in a bright green color because they were cheaper, and I am overall very happy with them, except for the aforementioned pinky toe problem.

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1. How not to run

Having one before tried my hand(foot?) at jogging, I was skeptical that these would enable me to jog comfortably. I read up on the FiveFingers phenomenon, and found that I have been running...well...wrong.

Fore, Mid, or Hindfoot?

In the past, I had been hindfoot running. Hindfoot running is a good way to run slower, and with more impact on your joints. My strides were too long, causing a slight deceleration every time my foot landed. Like tapping the brakes while accelerating.

Normal running should be mid-foot(between 4 and 5), or even forefoot(Point 4 to toes). Additionally, your feet should pretty much land right below you, or a little in front. Longer strides are NOT the way to go. Quicker strides are the goal.

2. Sensing through the foot

The amount of foot sense you get from Vibram FiveFingers is amazing. I've worn them jogging, sprinting, walking around daily, and even to Disney's Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. The sheer amount of feeling you can get out of them is amazing.

For a lot of people, this won't make sense. A lot of the time, you might not even realize it. Rocks and irregularities in pavement are a lot more obvious. I feel this makes me less likely to trip and fall due to terrain.

Sometimes, this isn't really a good thing. Every time I walk into a restroom, I cringe a little bit while wearing my FiveFingers. Every sticky surface is only 2 mm away from my barefoot. Gross!

3. They feel funky

When you first put Vibram FiveFingers on, they will feel really really odd. But you grow into and get used to them quickly.

The first time putting them on, I think it took me a good 5 minutes to get my toes aligned correctly. You will develop little tricks to get them on quicker. I tend to shove my foot in first and get my toes in place, then pull the back of the shoe around my heel.

Not quite as quick as slipping on a pair of shoes without lacing, but pretty quick. If you lace and tie your shoes, about the same speed.

Of note, the sizing for Vibram FiveFingers is different than standard US and EU sizing. You'll have to do a bit of work to figure out what size you need.

Sizing Chart

Sizing Chart
Sizing Chart

4. What's that on your foot?!

People will ask.

Is it comfortable? Yes.

What about glass? Never stepped on any.

How do you like them? I no longer get shin splints and run regularly now.

Be prepared to answer questions about your footwear.

5. You will get sore.

This is a totally different shoe than you have ever used before. Your body will not be adapted to it just yet. I develop some slight discomfort in my calves, but nothing compared to the shin splints I used to get with traditional shoes.

It is recommended to start slow, even just walking around a bit in your new FiveFingers. Then slowly increase mileage. It takes a bit, but it is worth it! Some exercises with flexibility and even picking up and moving small stones with your feet are recommended.

6. Your normal shoe running improves.

Okay, I said 5, but here is a sixth.

After using FiveFingers almost exclusively, I tried my old shoes. I found I could run better in them after my experiences with FiveFingers. Not enough to go back to them permanently, but there definitely was a spring in my step that wasn't there before.

Enjoy your Vibram FiveFingers!

What do you think?

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