Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vibram Fivefingers Review

A while back Vibram sent me some Fivefingers to try out and review. I got a pair of the Bikilas and a pair of the Spyridon LS's. Of course, like many others, I was really excited to try them out so I put them on first thing and started wearing them around the house. It took FOREVER to get them on the first time, but they fit nice and snug once they were on (and after wearing them a couple of time, they slip on a lot easier, it is just a matter of figuring it out).

I decided to go out on a run around town to see how the Bikilas felt. Almost immediately I realized how different they are than any other shoe I have ever worn, but after about a half mile, they bottom outside edge of both feet started to hurt pretty bad. I figured it would probably go away, but it didn't, so I finished the run barefoot with the shoes in my hands. I decided to try the Spyridon LS's the next day but the same thing happened. I contacted the guy at Vibram asking his advice to see if maybe this is something that happens a lot and will go away, or what was going on. He suggested trying the next size up.

After about 2 days the new shoes arrived in the mail and again I threw them on immediately and went out for a run. I tried out the Bikilas again first. The larger size made a world of difference. The pain in my foot was no longer there and the run went great.

If you are thinking about getting a pair, make a few laps around the store and make sure they fit right. Make sure your toes are not tight up against the front of the shoe and that your foot feels snug but not too snug in the shoes.

One thing that I really love about Fivefingers so far is the freedom that it allows your toes. While running your toes can spread out and feel the ground, whereas in a normal running shoe, you cannot do that. These shoes allow your feet to be close to the ground, as close as they can be without being barefoot, and still allow your feet to work like they should.

Honestly I usually go out running in them and have them off by about the halfway point in my run, not because I don't like them, just because I enjoy running barefoot a lot, but they really are awesome. They are especially nice when I run later in the afternoon when the asphalt is extremely hot, or when I run on a gravely road or trail.

The Spyridon LS's are incredible for hiking. The bottom of the shoe has a very sharp treads and is extremely grippy. I find that it is better than a hiking shoe (for me) because you can feel where you are stepping still and feel how good of a grip you have on whatever you are stepping on, but they are not heavy and hot like a big boot. Now obviously you won't get the protection you get from a hiking boot, but this is a great alternative. They are awesome for trail running, you won't feel unstable at all. Ever.

The Bikilas are a really good road running shoe. They have a really smooth sole that is extremely thin allowing you to feel the road, but not really be affected by gravel, glass and other obstacles. The tops of the shoes breathe fairly well allowing your feet to cool and not get too hot. I think personally I would like something even a little thinner to try out like the SeeYas or the KSO's, but these are great road running shoes. They are incredibly comfortable and a lot of fun to run in.

I will still always prefer barefoot running to minimalist, but if I am going to run in anything, it is going to be my Huaraches or my Fivefingers. If you are looking for something more minimalist but don't quite want to go 100% barefoot yet, then I really recommend getting a pair of Vibram Fivefingers, You will love them and you will love the attention they bring you as you run.

Also, it is fun when you look down and see what you have been able to pick up on the way like this...
Let me know if you have any questions!!

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