My Vibram Fivefingers Shoes (ongoing story for potential users)

From purchase to end of product life

1 to 20 of 49 messages
06/02/2013 at 13:15
For anyone thinking of going the barefoot route now or in the future I am going to outline my story from pre purchase through hopefully to use in a marathon. It's my opinion and my story so if yours is different, note I have no axe to grind, I don't nor have I ever had any affiliation to any sports manufacturer and if you have any tips for me then great chip in. A couple of years ago I was doing a weekly park run of 5k with a PB of around 24 minutes when a friend invited me to do a half Marathon in Dallas. I ran in Asics Gel Kayano 18's but found them a little cumbersome and had a couple of persistent toe blisters with the shoes, but I finished in 2/10 in awful weather. Nearly a year later and with six months using the Hal Higdon Marathon app on my IPhone I ran a marathon in 4/17. My shoes of choice had become the Newton Motion and they were actually really good but after about 350 miles use I suddenly had a sore ball of my left foot. I put this down to old shoes and decided to try Newton Gravity shoes next but this did not go at all well. I went back to Newton Motions returning the Gravities under the 60 returns policy. Unfortunately the injury appears to need a slow return over about six weeks (or more) so I decided to incorporate that with another change of shoe to Vibram Fivefingers. I did a bit of research and decided I wanted to try before I buy so headed for a retail outlet. Yesterday I tried and purchased a pair of Komodo 2 shoes. THE BUYING EXPERIENCE The salesperson had a templates for measuring foot length but did make the mistake of only measuring one foot, and despite the fact some shoes come as broad fitting this was not measured. I checked my second foot when he went to get some shoes, and I decided I would probably know if the shoe was too tight width ways. I queried the need to get a half size bigger to avoid black toe nails and he assured me this was not required. The shoes were comfortable but snug, and there is no doubt they feel strange to wear. Separating your toes is certainly not natural at first but you don't feel any pain. I bought the Vibram socks but I have to say they will be temporary as the quality is poor and they don't stay up very well. I have already been on the Internet for something better. More to follow...........
06/02/2013 at 13:30
With my purchase I was given a transition tips leaflet. If I had seen it before purchase I might have not bothered as it seems I will be a long process but I have time and I want to do it right.
The points relevant to barefoot running and not runners in general (common sense) are 1, Take your time to transition, months rather than weeks. 2, Start at 10% of your normal distance and add 10% per week/ fortnight. 3, Never run in the shoes until you have worn them daily for 2 weeks.
Yesterday, I wore my shoes for about 2 hours and so far today I have been wearing them for about 4 hours. So far so good, I think.
06/02/2013 at 13:45
I decided to walk to the gym which is about 2 miles, do some rowing, some barefoot running stationary drills and walk back. I thought this would be a good bedding in exercise and to see if they were suited to gym use.
Firstly the stroll to the gym highlighted the fact that the Vibram socks do the unforgivable namely creeping down into the shoe. I also noticed that with the cold weather and snug fit I had very cold toes in fact I think maybe slightly numb. Perhaps they will give a bit over the next 2 weeks before I run in them. I also felt like maybe I will get a heel blister though I might blame the riding socks for this.
Part of my route is along an unmade pavement and I walked on a couple of stones that quickly reminded me there is little between my foot and the ground.
For me these shoes won't be in the gym any time soon as it was impossible to row in them, and any stretching where the top of my toes were in contact with any hard surface was very painful. If its not an all rounder I am not changing my gym routine to suit the shoe. So back at home now still wearing the shoes and thinking am I really comfortable in these shoes, and is this going to be worth the hassle in the end. Watch this space............
Edited: 06/02/2013 at 13:49
07/02/2013 at 07:53
Straight into my shoes for a couple of hours this morning as I can't wear them later. My heels feel a little tender though no broken skin or blisters showing. I wasn't expecting this at all from such supple footwear so hope this will soon pass. Shoes still feeling very snug but only about 7 hours wear clocked up so far. Despite hundreds of miles in my Newton "barefoot" shoes these are totally different and I am far from ready to run in them so the 2 weeks pre run use and plenty of barefoot drills in the interim are probably a must for anyone making the changeover.
07/02/2013 at 12:28
Just received a couple of pairs of Injinji Mini Crew Lightweight Toesocks and whilst they cost another ??2.50 more than the Vibram socks (??7.50) they are worlds apart in quality. The new socks actually fit better, have a heal and are much better suited to the barefoot experience as you hardly notice you are wearing them. I was already noticing a hotspot on my little toe also which appeared to be sock related so it will be interesting to see if these resolve both or one of my problems. For reference free delivery was within 48 hours of ordering online. Well done Freedom Footwear for prompt service.
07/02/2013 at 12:54
I think the butler did it
07/02/2013 at 13:01

Mars bars

07/02/2013 at 13:05
The trolls have arrived, now there's a forum novelty
07/02/2013 at 13:09

I'm not sure how you would know it's a novelty based on your 8 posts ?

07/02/2013 at 13:34

too many words! Can't compute!

07/02/2013 at 15:30

This is pretty dull though, isn't it?  Guy buys Vibrams, guy buys some socks, guy wears them around house, guy goes to the gym in them and desn't like it, guy wears them around the house again without injury, guy buys some more socks... 

Can we at least fast-forward to the bit where you run 10miles in them and you get a nasty tendon injury?

07/02/2013 at 15:56

Keep going Howard.  I'd be interested to hear where if anywhere you develop blisters. I started getting them under all the toes except the big one.

07/02/2013 at 16:22

I'm still gob smacked that having paid a fortune for "fancy footware"  he has spent £20 on 2 pairs of fancier socks !!!

For a tenner a pair I'd expect my socks to go out training themselves

07/02/2013 at 17:04
Thanks T Rex, if the trolls can't afford the products I don't know why they bother to read the thread.

Shoes and socks are "gear" unless I have missed the point.
07/02/2013 at 17:08

Tenner a pair.. They're not just socks they must be  M&S socks !!!

We read the thread for amusement and to see what the adverts have suckered people into now

07/02/2013 at 17:18
Just because the products are expensive it doesn't mean you will become a better runnner.
Yes I can't afford 2 pairs of Newtons and some Vibrams but my 2 of my best performances have been in shoes that cost less than 40 quid a pair.
07/02/2013 at 17:29

loving the term 'trolls' HowardS

i dont know many people who cannot afford the socks but may choose not to buy them.

looking more like a blog of your day to day routine, your telling us too early in the stage like the ally said, why not leave it for a few weeks so you can tell us of the experience after running in them


Edited: 07/02/2013 at 17:30
07/02/2013 at 17:37
I knocked 1 minute per mile off my PB wearing Newtons so if I want to spend my money why shouldn't I.

This is just a review on Vibram shoes not a discussion on amounts of money that to me are unimportant, I never brought cost onto the discussion at all, the troll did.
07/02/2013 at 17:41
It pure jealousy
07/02/2013 at 19:57

Brooks Beast. Now there's a shoe.

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