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My Barefoot Shoe Review

Updated on August 8, 2013

Why I Choose A Minimalist Running Shoe

I first saw a pair of these shoes in a new spotlight feature of some tech magazine and I laughed. I remembered the rainbow colored toe socks of the seventies; just a novelty item. But I read the article about how the minimalist shoes are designed to strengthen you feet naturally.

I, myself, have noticed a change in the structure of my foot from having them bound up in heavy work boots all day. My toes are crushed together all day and after 10 hours stuffed in boots I can no longer wiggle my toes freely. My arches were falling and my feet couldn't last a full day without pain. I tried going to a pediotrist and got custum orthotics but they didn't solve the problem.

The clincher was when I was at my yearly visit to my physiotherapist and found her wearing these shoes in her practice. Just watching how the muscles work as the foot flexes naturally, I could see the benefits of these shoes. She talked about some exersizes to do before even considering these shoes and the learning curve your feet go through to ber comfortable. I just wanted to be free like I was a a kid, running barefoot through the summer.

Online Shopping Gets The Best Price

Vibram Fivefingers Treksport Sandal - Men's Grey/Yellow/Black 41 M EU
Vibram Fivefingers Treksport Sandal - Men's Grey/Yellow/Black 41 M EU

You choose your own style for the type of walking/running you do. There are almost 20 different styles to choose from.

 
Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, Black, 43 EU/9.5-10 M US
Vibram Men's KSO Trail Running Shoe, Black, 43 EU/9.5-10 M US

I'll be getting these for when I am canoeing...

 
Sports Wash Detergent for Washing Workout Clothes
Sports Wash Detergent for Washing Workout Clothes

A special soap that you can use to wash your minimalist shoes without damaging them.

 
Injinji Men's Sport Original Weight Micro Performance Toe Socks
Injinji Men's Sport Original Weight Micro Performance Toe Socks

These are cool. I have to check out whether you have to size up before wearing these socks. An idea to check out before buying

 

Use this interactive sizing chart to get the best fit for your foot - them order online for the best price. I've been looking at the prices on Amazon and they are cheaper than in store prices - even Sales prices.

Getting Ready For Your New Five Finger Shoes

- Retrain Your Feet - They've been bound too long

Putting on these shoes the first time is a bit of a struggle. It just goes to show the different concept in shoes. Don't let it deter you. Make sure you get a proper fit by talking to a qualified salesperson. If they have never worn them I would ask for a different salesperson. These shoes really off the wall.

I took me almost half an hour to work my cramped and bound feet into the right size shoes the first time. Just standing flat foot my baby toes fold under the the next toe. It's a struggle for me to even wiggle my toes without shoes or socks on. I can lift them up or curl them under as a group but I can't separate them or move one at a time. I need to seriously retrain them.

My wife who can still move her toes all independently slipped her shoes on quite readily. She still struggles with her baby toe though so even her feet need retraining.

It takes time to retrain your feet - some a couple of day, some a few weeks, a few - like me - may expect a full year worth of retraining before being able to wear the shoes comfortably. I am willing to make that commitment.

Barefoot Retraining Training

I started with checking out the Vibram FiveFinger website and got some tips. I found out it will not be an easy task for me to be fully comfortable in these new concept in footwear. I just have to hold the vision of me running barefoot like I did when I was a kid.

Here's a run-through of exercises I picked up. My physiotherapist mentioned most of these to me as well so I suppose it is good advice. Oh well more exercise.

Start with knowing your feet. Walk on different surfaces to see how your foot and your body reacts. Massage them and bend and separate the toes. Use your elbow and get deep into the pads of your feet. Pass your fingers through the toes, separating each toe from the neighbor. Do this at least once a day for the first week.

Next add some exercises. Raise up on your toes and hold. Flex your foot over so your weight is on the outside of your foot and hold. Pull your toes towards your knee and hold. Point your toes away and hold. Use your toes and pick up a towel and pass it from foot to foot. Walk around and pick up small objects with your toes. Try to spread your toes and raise and lower each digit separately.

Once you are comfortable doing these things, you are ready for five-finger shoes.

OOOoooo - durrrrrr

One thing I did find after wearing my fivefinger shoes awhile is that the odor they develop. Being so tightly fixed to your feet is the possible reason. I am using Crystal Deodorant Stone on my feet to eliminate odor causing bacteria. I am also ordering a bottle of cleanser for the shoes to see what develops from that.

What Are Your Feet Telling You?

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    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @E Andrew Brandon: It's great . You can feel everything but it doesn't hurt to walk across

      gravel. You feel everything so you are more conscious of where you place

      your feet. My calf muscles hurt more than my feet still. Still in training.

    • E Andrew Brandon profile image

      Ean Brandon 4 years ago from United States

      I wonder how these would be for hiking? Once you are comfortable in them, go hiking and let me know how they do!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nice product. i like it very much

      zopy.in

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @lewisgirl: Your feet will love you for it.

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      I bought my daughter a pair, maybe I should buy me a pair. Great lens!

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @myspace9: Atmosphere or MEC or any good sports store. You get better prices online.

      Go to the store get fitted then price check with online.

    • profile image

      myspace9 4 years ago

      Wow! I never heard of these shoes and have never seen anybody wearing these shoes. I have the same problem with my feet, I want to buy, Where I can get from Canada. Whcih Store?

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @PriscillaPWood LM: It does take getting used to but they fit like a glove so there is no movement between ,,, everything moves and flexes with the foot.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @Torrs13: Sometimes it sucks being special. Thanks for visiting.

    • PriscillaPWood LM profile image

      PriscillaPWood LM 4 years ago

      I've seen people wearing these and they look cool and all but isn't having stuff in between your toes uncomfortable? mmm, I'll have to think some more about these before buying anything...

    • profile image

      Torrs13 4 years ago

      I've seen tons of people wearing these. Unfortunately, my second toe is longer than my big toe so the shoes don't really work for me. I hear that they are great though!

    • tobydavis profile image

      tobydavis 4 years ago

      Wow! Never seen these before - very funky! I love walking around my home barefoot - never wear shoes or socks indoors anymore.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @katiecolette: You have a smart friend...

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      A friend of mine has these. They look a little odd, but she says they are sooo comfortable.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @kswat07: Instead of having to break in your shoes - you have to take the time to strengthen and adjust to natural foot movements. Take it easy and get the right fit and you should not have a worry about blisters. The shoes move with you not against you so blisters are not your concern - unless you over do it or try too much too fast or have the wrong size. Same reasons you get blisters in other footware.

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @favored: Take your time and listen to your feet. You'd be surprised at what they tell you.

    • kswat07 profile image

      kswat07 4 years ago

      I've been thinking about getting a pair of these for awhile now. If someone isn't used to wearing anything between the toes, what are the chances of blisters?

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      These would take getting used to I'm sure.

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @Rhonda Lytle: There are close to 20 different styles. Pick one you like from full coverage to barely there. Barefoot is in...

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      After years of heels, these look like just what the doctor ordered for tooling around the house and yard in comfort. They look kind of ventilated. Do they get hot?

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @Arod17: Very. There are styles with a thicker sole and some so thin you feel like you don't have anything on. If you love going barefoot - these are for you.

    • Arod17 profile image

      Arod17 4 years ago

      Are those shoes comfortable?

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @Scott A McCray: Everyone is different... my wife took to them right away with very little problems. Me , I am still working on getting them on in under 10 minutes. My feet need serious re-training. Take your time.

    • Northerntrials profile image
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      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @paynui: Yes - the colors are a bit wild but they still seem to go well with things....

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 4 years ago

      I've always wanted a pair of those, thanks for the review.

    • Northerntrials profile image
      Author

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      @shewins: Me too , from the first time I saw them. :)

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 4 years ago

      I have a neighbor that wears them and swears by 'em - how's the transition to and from these and say work boots or sneakers?

    • profile image

      paynui 4 years ago

      Hi, I have seen people wearing them and I think they are very cool.