Check Out My Shoes!

Sunni's picture

Bet most of y’all never expected me to channel Imelda Marcos. Truth be told, I’m not—this is the first pair of new shoes I’ve bought in at least five years. And they aren’t pretty. Still, I adore them.

Behold! These are Vibram FiveFingers shoes—one of a number of “barefoot” shoes on the market today:
Vibram FiveFingers Treksport shoes for women
These are Treksport shoes, designed to handle a range of outdoor activities, including running and hiking. For those unfamiliar with the barefoot shoe concept, the theory underlying them is that shoes actually weaken our foot and leg muscles, alter the way we walk and run, and can contribute to injuries and/or chronic problems ranging from the foot up through the back. Barefoot shoes have minimal soles (just enough to provide protection), a wide toe box or individual toe slots, and little or no heel elevation, in order to closely simulate barefoot movement, but with protection for the toes and soles of the feet.

They take some getting used to, especially if one is accustomed to always wearing regular shoes. For women, I would think that frequently wearing heels would make the transition even more challenging, as fashionable heels typically would be diametrically opposite barefoot shoes (high heels and narrow toe box). I’m still easing my way in to mine, in part because the weather has remained so wet and cool that it doesn’t feel good to wear them outside for long walks. (Vibram does offer warmer models, as well as ones better suited for casual wear.) I do think they’re helping my feet get stronger; but so far I’ve yet to settle in to a better posture. I went for a longish walk in them over the weekend and my back was a bit stiff the next day; I expect this will resolve as I wear them more.

I honestly didn’t expect the one thing that should have been most obvious: when wearing these, I invariably have to field comments and questions about the shoes. For someone who’s long been shy about her feet, it’s a real adjustment. Still, I am hoping to be able to get a second pair someday soon.

Posture

That's fascinating about the barefoot shoes. I know a guy who wears those but I haven't asked him about 'em.

I too have been trying to improve my posture (it doesn't help that I work at a computer 14+ hours a day). One good book I've found on the topic is by Esther Gokhale, see her website at egwellness.com if you're curious.


[Edited by Sunni to make link hot]

Thanks.

I recognize her name, but haven’t visited her site yet, that I can recall. Thanks for the suggestion.

One other very nice feature of the shoes, that I’ve not yet needed to test: they’re very easy to clean. Toss ‘em in the washer and then let ‘em air-dry.

Very Interesting Shoes

Sort of a 'shoe version' of toe socks, only the shoes seem far more practical and beneficial.

Yep.

Toe socks that fit into these shoes are available—as one would expect, they are quite fine. (I looked in to knitting a pair, but I don’t think my sanity would withstand knitting toe socks with laceweight yarn.) I’ve read about runners and hikers occasionally “snagging” a pinky toe in these shoes ... sometimes even breaking it in the process. I can see how easily that could happen; and a Vibram competitor has tried to minimize that risk by putting the last two toes together in a slot.

Zander has a similar pair and loves them.

He says they are the most comfortable shoe he's ever worn. I get the giggles when he wears them, though, because his are bright yellow, like duck feet =)

Yeah ...

They are very comfortable. I had no choice as to color, though; not in that style anyway. Truth be told, I’m not sure that was a bad thing, as several of the women’s styles feature garish pinks or purples.

Amazing :)

Those certainly look like conversation starters! Hope they work out the way you anticipate.

Machine washable shoes! Way to go!! I love my washable canvas summer shoes.

Alternative

OR - you could move to the beach (by me), and go barefoot on the white sand without shoes.
-SRS

Love to!

But only if your beach is sunnier than ours. These days that isn’t difficult to achieve ...