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The Vibram 5 Fingers Shoes

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  • The Vibram 5 Fingers Shoes

    When I got my 5 Fingers, my feet hurt to wear them very long. After I had them a couple months, my toes started getting in the right positions to where I didn't have to help my feet into them very much. Then after having them a few months, my hubby and I went hiking, about a 20 mile hike through some really rocky terrain, and after that my feet just haven't been the same. My feet hurt so badly during and after the hike that I haven't worn them much since. I found out from my podiatrist that my pinky toes and toes next to the pinky both turn outward, so this is why they are so uncomfortable. There's nothing I can do about these toes, they've been this way all my life and only surgery would help (breaking and resetting the toes) and not even guaranteed to stay "fixed." Apparently this is a pretty common malady, according to my doc. He's suggesting I get orthotics from New Balance for "motion control."

    So, I love my 5 fingers, I just wish I wasn't deformed!! Is there a second better alternative I could wear? I find that wide shoes help alot, my feet don't twist to the side as much with wider shoes. I just hate spending so much money on shoes just to see that they aren't what my "special" feet need.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    April in Texas
    Now and then it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

  • #2
    Maybe you just need to give your feet more time in them? I have 3 pairs and love them, and only wear "regular" heels to work (and most times I switch into my Vibrams anyway!). I'm either barefoot or in Vibrams for the rest of my day and all weekend long. I took a long time getting used to them though, and only walked in them or did short hikes (an hour or less) for the first 6 months. Only after being really comfortable in them (as in, my feet were more comfortable in Vibrams or barefoot than in any other shoe) did I start running in them. That was in January, and I took it slowly when I did.

    All that is to say that it takes a long time to build the small muscles in your feet and legs that have been coddled your whole life! Doing something very strenuous so soon after switching to barefooting causes problems for a lot of people (as we can tell here since we've had so many bad stories on the forum about people switching to Vibrams too quickly lately). If you can ease back into them, or even just go barefoot whenever possible, you might be able to wear them again.

    Another alternative that I've considered for work are Vivo barefoot shoes. They're definitely more "shoe-like," but still have little support and a wide toe box. A lot of people like them anyway, maybe they'd be worth a shot!
    You are what you eat,
    and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


    • #3
      A 20 mile hike in rocky terrain is in my opinion something you do in VFF's after a lot of use, many people get battered feet in boots on such a hike, difficult terrain, additional weight with pack, I use Vivo and VFF's all day everyday, a 20 mile hike in the mountains batters my feet too. and I've been in these shoes for 2 years!

      Chiropractors and Podiatrists always reach for the supports, control shoes, etc. simple reason profit margin! About 8 years ago I trashed 2 disks in my lower back in a kitesurfing accident, was advised I would need inserts, to correct posture, and would never wear Converse boots again, etc. After years of misery, I started going barefoot, and after the initial shock to the system, really bad legs, I damaged ligaments, it all settled down, now zero back pain! It just takes time, feet never get the exercise they need, muscle atrophy is chronic, ever noticed how stiff baby shoes are! I only wear stiff footwear now for mountaineering and padded trainers for long distance running, and I like Innov 8 shoes as they are simple and bendy, look at their logic on design, very pro barefoot!

      I wouldn't write off the Fives, but I would go easy with them. I imagine almost all VFF users have stories of pushing it too far too soon
      Give them nothing! But, take from them everything!


      • #4
        I got my VFFs two months ago. I've been using them a lot, but I doubt that I could do an extended run in them without serious problems. My guess is that you have to give your feet more time to get adjusted than you would for example give your muscles to recover from strength training, since the changes required are more complex and involve bones and connective tissue. I have my hopes that those changes are possible, and people like Barefoot Ted are examples to that effect.
        MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)


        • #5
          I have had my VFF's for about 4 months, I am just now comfortable in them all day long. I think you need to give you feet more time.
          Strive for healthy today.

          Satisfaction is the death of desire.


          • #6
            Thanks for the input. I do still worry that I won't be able to wear them long term because of my deformed baby toes but I also hope with time and not wearing heals any longer, that maybe my little deformities will straighten out some. And yeah I have been known to overdo things way too soon so 20 miles after only having them a few months was probably not the wisest choice!
            Now and then it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.


            • #7
              April, any progress on the Vibrams front?

              I figured I would put in my 2 cents: I love my Vibrams, but they are really hard on my pinkie toes, even with socks. I suspect that the source is a lifetime of wearing my beloved high heels coupled with my love of pedicures...and the fact that Vibrams encourage toes to splay more for balance. After many years of being pushed the opposite way my my conventional footwear, my pinkie toes are essentially saying, "WTF?!" As I wear them more often, the discomfort seems to be diminishing. I am not planning to totally abandon my fancy shoes, though I am wearing them less and less.

              No haters about my girlie tendencies please- I actually abandoned my awful acrylic nails, so I am making progress, one step at a time!
              With Mark's help, I've conquered depression, acne, rosacea, scale obsession, migraines, and lethargy. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?


              My Journal:


              • #8
                Love my Vibrams and fortunately I never have had any issues; must be 8 years of combat boots. You have to work your way into them and a 20 mile hike is pretty extreme. Take your time and keep breaking them in. My advice on the toe situation would be to wrap those puppies up in some duct tape and keep rolling. I know it sounds weird but I've been on 25 mile ruck marches and I know how hamburger feet look and feel. Not fun but a little Duct tape will go a long way.
                Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

                Mary Pickford


                • #9
                  I don't know Ivo or Greg but they are so out of place I ignore them. Vibram Five fingers are made to run on any surface. It has nothing to do with the running style, cement, etc. It forces you to change the way to run a more natural way. If you are a heel striker will soon come out of it. The Bikala is good for distance running. Some people can not adapt to running barefoot.