My Barefoot Shoe Review
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
You choose your own style for the type of walking/running you do. There are almost 20 different styles to choose from.
I'll be getting these for when I am canoeing...
A special soap that you can use to wash your minimalist shoes without damaging them.
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
As always I found a book for further reading and research on the subject.
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.
- Vibram Homepage
More information and training tips as well as store location and other information of the variety of types of finger shoes.