Now, first things first, I don’t like advertisements. In fact, I loathe advertisers and their brainwashing with false images. But, sometimes there’s a product that’s so good that you can’t do anything but recommend it to others. Also, I like to think grassroots advertising is the way to go instead of throwing masses of money at things. This year I discovered these great shoes, Vibram Fivefingers. They’re like nothing before. I thought to use them mainly for running only, but when I started wearing them, I quickly noticed that my old shoes feel like weights in my feet.
Particularly, I purchased the KSO (Keeps Stuff Out, I guess) models which have this layer over the table of the feet, so no stuff should get in. Although some stuff still gets in, especially when running over fine sand at the beach or like the stone gravel roads somewhere. Also, in the beginning stepping over sharp stones or roots will hurt you, but you learn to develop your running so that you wont step on these anymore like you could with your old shoes. Which makes sense, right? Don’t step on sharp things :)
These are probably the best shoes I’ve ever owned, and I’ve ran for like 7 years so I’ve owned a couple. Considering this, it’s sad that at least my models had problems with keeping their stitches. After of about 2 months of running with these, I ran over the beach and noticed afterwards that the right toe had an opened stitch and a there was a clear opening. Fortunately the place where I got them, 4Runners, agreed to repair the shoe for no fees, but still I had to be without them for a week and a half, which was painful ..
And now after using about 3 months almost exclusively, a week ago the other side popped too, at the same place but just left toe. I guess I have to go to the tailor, as today I manged to open up the little other hole that was in my right toe. This little hole was an accident by me, but now I came down a bunker and managed to open it up even more. Or maybe I just like to run, jump, tumble and in the same process damage my shoes too much :P
The only problem besides that is that you don’t want to wear your old shoes anymore :-D And the fact that your feet get pretty cold when the temperature drops.
But! There exists if not a solution, then at least an improvement to that. Injinji makes these awesome toesocks, and you can get them even in rainbow colors! I’ve wore them for a day, and went running with the Vibrams too, and they are a perfect fit. You lose a bit of the sense of the ground, but you gain with warmth and general softness. Also you won’t get blisters so easily, because the material is made that way. It dries fast too. I ordered mine from ZombieRunner. Be sure to google for a discount coupon.
Anyway, thats about it. Running with the Fivefingers is just so much more natural than with traditional shoes. You really get a feeling for the environment you are in. And what’s cool is, you can sit in a lotus position with the shoes still on! I like to run intuitively through the city, forests, rocks and generally everywhere where I feel like going. Then I like to stop for a while and meditate, observer the environment and feel the ease of getting into the zone. Totally recommended. Just try them out first in the shop, jump around, try different things :)
P.S. people constantly wonder about the shoes, I’ve got glances, questions, laughs, laughs out loud, hellos and conversation openers always when I go somewhere where people gather.. which is a plus too :)