Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Vibram Five Fingers Replace the Gooey Stuff Between Your Toes

My wife got me a pair of Vibfam Five Fingers for Christmas at a local Frugal Backpacker for only $30 bucks! Typically you can find these online anywhere from $60 to $100 bucks. Check them out at Amazon

Vibram FiveFingers shoes are similar to those cutesy toe socks your girlfriend wore in college. The difference being that these shoes actually have a purpose (but still look ridiculous). According to the manufacturer, they are intended to increase the strength in your toes, feet and leg muscles. This is accomplished by removing the dependency on shoes which inhibit the muscles in your feet and legs.

So How Do They Feel?

The first time I tried them on was on a lower body day. After getting used to the stares and the strange feeling between my toes, I got down to business. At first, I kept wondering why I felt shorter and lacked a spring in my step. Of course, when you're a half inch lower than normal without shoes and your heels are at the same level as your forefoot, that'll make you feel a little different.

I immediately felt a weak link on my right leg's peroneal muscles. No big deal. Later, on reverse lunges, I felt it even more, especially since I had a harder time keeping my balance. Not that big a deal. Then the next day, whoa, my right leg was on fire! I was a little concerned for a few days because the pain didn't subside for a while. After about a week or so of wearing the new shoes, my leg was back to normal. Presumably after my leg and feet muscles had gotten used to this and not being so dependent on shoes.

Are They for You?

The company recommends the shoes for practically anybody, except if you are completely flat-footed. If you're going to buy a pair, I'd recommend trying them in your intended environment immediately after buying so you don't miss your window for returning them.

These shoes are great to wear on most exercises despite how ridiculous you look (and believe me, there's no way to dress it up to compensate for them). I haven't tried them out running (I don't do pointless running) but playing around with them on the basketball court felt a bit limiting. Still, they're one of the best shoes I've ever had.  As for the style (or lack of style),  I don't worry about it too much, I just tell people that I have some horrible toe gunk and the only way to heal it is to saran-wrap each toe and separate them with these shoes. They typically don't use the bench after I use them for step-ups. Give them a try.


  1. Hey Jason; I was wondering about the footwear, so thanks for the post and comments. I think I originally came across your blog through a PN thread on post work out HIIT nutrition. I'm wondering if you split your HIIT and weight days and if so is your PWO drink different?

    Cheers Greg

  2. The guidelines I'm following for the next few weeks have me doing HIIT on non-workout days. Because of that, I currently take in a lower amount of protein/carb drink post-workout. Over the next few weeks I'll be increasing it slightly and see how it goes.