OMG – Toe Shoes!!!!

April 28, 2011

Barefoot running… it’s all the rage right now.  And I’m nothing if not all about cool fads that set me ahead of the curve with everyone else (you know, as I type this on my 1st gen iPad :)…)

In all seriousness… I did catch the barefoot running bug.  And not because I think it’s the cool ‘in’ thing, or it’s something that’s so overwhelmingly beneficial to ensure the human race stays intact it needs to be done.  No… as I stated in an earlier blog post I decided to wear Vibram Five Fingers when I run the Tough Mudder in October because, in my mind, they are the perfect footwear for the kind of completely varied conditions you encounter while doing it (submerged in water, running on asphalt, trudging through mud, etc.)

This has brought quite the mixed reaction; laughter bordering on tears when O-Dogg explained to our boss what they were… my friend Leah betting me that I wouldn’t wear them out to a bar… sheer excitement from a couple of (very) young ladies when they saw I had them on… my brother calling them Aqua Socks… like I said, a bunch.

But the biggest reaction I get, BY FAR, is questions.  I get a ton of questions about them.  So, I figured the best thing for me to do is answer them… here.  This way, I don’t have to keep answering them all the time – I can just send people here and have ’em read away!

OK, so here we go… a regular guys answers to some of your barefoot running questions:

(oh, and if my lame answers are just too low-brow for you… try this on and see if it’s more to your liking!)

ARE THEY COMFORTABLE?  This is an impossible question for me to answer for someone.  I have absolutely no idea what you define as ‘comfortable’ so how can I say if they will be for you?  Here’s what I can tell you – I HATE SHOES.  I walk around barefoot as much as humanly possible.  I also have very wide (4E) feet, so finding shoes that I consider comfy is no easy task.  Take those two factors into consideration and I LOVE MY FIVE FINGERS.  I wear them all day… when I put them on, I leave them on… and, for me, that is something that never happens. 

Getting used to them while running, however, is a whole different task.  This isn’t buying a new pair of kicks and breaking them in.  You use a whole different set of muscles when running in these… and you have NO idea what a calf workout is until you run in these.


My calves hurt SO bad the day after I ran in them the first time, and that was only after running in them for about 15 minutes – and after a week of walking in them.  So, if this is something you look into – you absolutely need to make sure you a) give it time (my suggestion would be at least 2 straight weeks or working out in them), and b) read up on the right ways to get started in this type of running.

WHY DO THEY LOOK SO WEIRD? I don’t know what YOU’RE looking at, but mine look AWESOME.  Now these over here on the left?  THESE look weird…

ARE THEY EXPENSIVE?  This is one of the biggest surprises of them all, because there isn’t some crazy new kinda technology behind this phenomenon.  No – they are not expensive at all.  The Five Fingers are a very minimal shoe (not a ton of padding, bells and whistles, etc.) and will run you $80-$100 which isn’t exactly chump change but, for a running shoe, would be considered middle-of-the-pack price wise compared the full line of running shoes available.

OK, SERIOUSLY… WHY DO THEY LOOK SO WEIRD?  Well… for those of you who don’t want to have awesome-looking ninja shoes like me, most of the major brands have come out with their versions of barefoot running shoes that look like regular shoes.  However, I would argue that I’m not really sure you get the same out of them that you do the Five Fingers… and and that’s simply by looking at them and the amount of sole (padding) they have on them.  Prices are also reasonable, but do vary by brand.


 Uhhhh… next question.

I’M NEW TO RUNNING LIKE YOU – CAN I BAREFOOT RUN?  Here’s what I’ll say about that – EVERYONE is technically a novice when it comes to this kind of running, so it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been running or how many marathons/ triathlons you have run… this is brand new to A LOT of people.  So don’t worry about your skill level – just get started.  Yeah, it’s gonna be weird, and sore, for a bit… but once you get through it it actually feels pretty great.

That is the vast majority of questions I get, so I hope this helped you out a little.  I personally love my Five Fingers and would suggest them to anyone – as long as they understand why they are really trying to use them.  If you have any more questions for me… hit me up here, on Facebook or the Tweet Tweet machine (BTW – get on Twitter… it’s way better than Facebook) and I’ll be happy to help.

Catch yas next week!

One comment

  1. Oh, I can see you wearing them to a bar!!! If I could run, I'd never manage barefoot, I'd step on a nail or something within 2 min. Cause that's how my luck works lol.

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