vibrams 5 fingers

a last thought

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24/09/2012 at 14:09

Stupid question alert! - How do I find out what the heel- toe drop on my current shoe type is, and is the implication earlier correct- that a lower drop will help ITBS?

24/09/2012 at 15:35
tricialitt wrote (see)

Stupid question alert! - How do I find out what the heel- toe drop on my current shoe type is, and is the implication earlier correct- that a lower drop will help ITBS?

nobody can say for certain they will but i used to get a nagging itb and it went away since i started running in minimalist shoes. So it can in some people i suppose. 

24/09/2012 at 20:08

I have a friend who weard VFF's and he swears by them for weight lifting!, He can't run to save his life so that didn't play a part in his shoe choice, but the low profile of the shoe really helps him with lifts like deadlifts, where you have to be in contact with the ground. 

He has told me though, that if he had worn them before he bought them (online purchase) then he would probably have gone to Primark and got some plimsoles. 

I say, buy them if they are suitable for what you want if you really want them. If not look around and try some others, why do you wan't VFF specifically? No harm in looking elsewhere

25/09/2012 at 20:38

Thanks everyone for all the advice. i was originally just looking for trainers with toes. Been playing with some toe separators for the last couple of weeks (CorrectToes) to see whether it could help realign my toes and whether this would help stengthen my feet/ankles... my toes dislocate sometimes when I excercise on them or put pressure on them sometimes... the seperators seem to be working so far. The whole thing about running in minimalist shoes seems to make sense (akin to riding a bike without stabilisers), but I wouldn't want to run on my forefoot without letting my poor toes spread out, that has to be like clipping a birds wings! Will def check all the options and try instore before I buy. 

28/09/2012 at 17:22

I've been wearing VFFs almost exclusively* for the last year.  I started by just wearing them to walk around in, wearing them to work and so on, then started running in them for short distances, gradually building up to being able to do 10K races in them about 9 months later.  Whether they've really changed my form or not, I don't know — I think I've always been a mid-foot striker, but I do know that my recurring ITB injury doesn't flare up when I'm wearing them.  

Incidentally, if you're going to the US any time soon, buy them there — they're way cheaper and more readily available to try on!  Also bear in mind that sizing can vary between different styles.

As for the comments about "you weren't designed to run on concrete" - as someone else mentioned earlier, sun-baked dry, compacted earth is pretty damn hard and there is no reason why, with optimal running form, your body can't absorb the impact.

For what it's worth, I think there are a few reasons why VFFs might not be worn (at least publicly) by professional athletes.  First, I doubt Vibram can offer as much sponsorship money as Nike and Adidas and second, switching to minimal shoes requires a long transition period if you're going to do it without injury and I don't think they'd want to risk that in their training schedule.

* I switched back to my 'normal' running shoes for longer distance training/racing while I was building up the mileage in VFFs. 

30/09/2012 at 15:04

I've been running with Vibram KSO shoes all this year. I have completed a fair amount of races in them including various 10k's (including one this morning) Eccup 10 mile, Glasgow Half Marathon and a load of Parkruns.

I also have Brooks T7 Racers which I wear now and again when the Vibrams are getting cleaned and also have trail shoes for boggy races.

Here's my analysis anyway:


  • They have removed all of my ITB problems on longer runs by improving my form and stopping me striking on the backfoot when fatigued.
  • I am a more efficient and quicker runner on any running shoe due to the improved form.
  • Light and comfortable
  • You get some interesting looks and shouts from crowds
  • As above, great conversation starter although this may be a con if I'm being referred to as "the barefoot weirdo" who knows
  • Uphill running is far more efficient, I took over so many people this morning on the steep hills
  • The rubber sole is very strong and will stop you getting sole punctures from glass & other rubbish


  • They are expensive, I will be shopping around for my next pair. In fact I clicked this thread in the hope to find a decent alternative
  • ITB problems have been replaced by blisters and calf strains
  • Downhills after 8 miles of long races especially in the heat are painful due to rubbing, although this may be that mine are slightly too big
  • Resistance to rain, especially cold rain is very poor
  • They stink, especially after a run in the rain


  • If you're considering buying a pair I would try before you buy, do not order online. You need to get a good fit or else you may encounter blister or calf problems.  
  • Before buying I would try adding a mile or so of pure barefoot running into the end of your runs, just to get used to the feeling and the shorter stride. This may also be an alternative to buying them if you're just looking to improve your gait.  
  • Build up your calf strength beforehand, you will need it.  
  • Buy some compeed rub or anti chafing gel, you'll need that too.  
  • Leave a month of solitary training and treat that month as if you've just returned from a long serious injury. You will have to build up the mileage and speed slowly as you adapt. After that you'll be ready to compete just as you did before.
  • I wouldn't say they are faster shoes, but they have made me faster, if that makes any sense. I ran the same Parkrun with the VFFs one week and Brooks T7s the next and my times were 3 seconds apart. I have knocked a minute off my 5k time and 3 mins off my 10k & half marathon times since training with VFF.   

Think that covers it  and if anyone could recommend a cheaper, blister free alternative then I'm all ears.

Edited: 30/09/2012 at 15:05
30/09/2012 at 16:19

I prefer my New Balance Minimus to VFFs for running. I use my VFFs for casual stuff and yoga now


01/10/2012 at 08:07
Shanko wrote (see)
  • They stink, especially after a run in the rain

You can just throw them in the washing machine, though.  

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