My Take on the Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes

After I finished reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, I bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes. I have been running in them now for five weeks. I am loving them. The only negative is that I am continuously having to explain them to curious strangers. In fact, three people stopped me today in the space of three miles.

Vibram FiveFingers KSO

As a result, I thought it would be helpful to share my responses to the nine most common questions I get. If you’re thinking about buying a pair, maybe this will help you.

  1. Why do you run in those things? Because I like running barefoot. However, I can’t always run on safe terrain. Running in the Vibram FiveFingers is as close as you can get to running barefoot and still have some protection. They provide a thin layer of rubber than keeps you from getting cut or bruised on sharp rocks or glass.
  2. Why would you want to run barefoot? Twenty-five percent of all your bones are in your feet. Your feet are a marvel of biological engineering. They are designed to adjust your stride, distribute your weight, and minimize the impact on your joints—on the fly. Unfortunately, when you encase them in modern running shoes, your feet lose contact with the ground. They don’t adjust. They aren’t free to do what they were made to do.
  3. But aren’t running shoes designed to provide cushion and prevent injuries? Yes, but according to McDougall, despite supposedly huge improvement in shoe technology, 70 percent of all runners get injured every year. This number has not decreased in decades. Interestingly, running injuries were very rare until the invention of the modern running shoe in 1972. McDougall claims, there is a direct correlation between running shoes and running injuries. In fact, the more expensive the shoe, the more likely you are to be injured and the more severe your injury will be.
  4. But all the running magazines advocate the super expensive, super advanced shoes. Why? Follow the money. Running shoes are a $15 billion industry. The companies that make these shoes are not going to admit that their product is the problem rather than the solution. These same companies advertise in the running magazines. The magazines can rate the various shoes and write reviews, but they can’t challenge the whole premise behind the shoes without flushing the bulk of their revenue stream.
  5. But they look so bizarre. Aren’t you embarrassed to wear them? Yes, they look weird. My kids say they look like “gorilla feet.” I was initially embarrassed, but I got over it. When people make fun of me now, I tell them, “ridicule is the last stage you go through before you order a pair!” I have several friends now running in them who initially laughed.
  6. Can you run as far in your FiveFingers as you can with traditional running shoes? Not yet. So far, the longest I have run in them is 3.5 miles. Regardless, even if you are a seasoned runner, you must start slowly. Your feet have essentially been encased in casts for years. You will be using muscles you never knew you had. Some of your muscles have atrophied. I recommend that you run no more than half a mile at first and gradually increase. However, I am on-track to run a full half marathon in them in November.
  7. Which model of the FiveFingers do you like best? I initially bought the Classic. They are the easiest to get on and off. However, after my son-in-law bought the KSOs, I decided to go with those. “KSO” stands for “keep stuff out.” They just feel better to me. This is totally subjective and “your mileage may vary.”
  8. Do you really think you will stick with them? Only time will tell. I am admittedly an early adopter. I love new stuff. I try things for a while, and then I discard them. That’s just my personality. That’s why I haven’t blogged about the Vibrams until now. I wanted to give them a month and see if I still liked them. I do, but that could change. Caveat emptor.
  9. Where did you buy your Vibrams? I bought mine on the Vibram FiveFingers web site. It was totally self-service. I got them in about three days. However, they do distribute them through some retail outlets. For example, Cumberland Transit in Nashville carries them. You can check their store locator for a local retailer in your area.

If you are a runner, I think the FiveFingers merit serious consideration, particularly if you have been prone to injuries and tried everything else. If you are still not convinced, I would urge to read Born to Run. Even if you don’t buy into running barefoot, it is still one of the best running books I have read.

Question: Do you have the Vibrams? Are you running in them? What has been your experience? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chrisdat chrisdat

    15 years ago I started barefoot running as a cure to my Planter Fascitis. It took 6 mo. to a year to be able to run the same distances. My PF was/is cured after years of orthotics, expensive shoes and Dr. visits.

    I've been using Nike Frees. But I really want Vibrams I think they are the best. As soon as the snow starts I'll be ordering my pair. Thanks for a great review.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I had a long bout with Plantar, too. I wondered if I would ever run again. Custom Orthotics cured me, but the FiveFingers would have been a lot cheaper!

      • Anonymous

        Two years later I chime… I learned from a physical therapist friend to simply stretch my bicep femoris when my PF would flair. Worked like a charm and continues to. 

    • Anthea Goodman

      I’m suffering terribly with PF at the moment. My FiveFingers only seem to have made the problem worse. How do I fix this? My doctor is worse than useless.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Ultimately, I had to get custom-made orthotics made by a physical therapist. It cost $200 but was worth every penny. I haven’t had a lick of trouble since.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chrisdat chrisdat

    15 years ago I started barefoot running as a cure to my Planter Fascitis. It took 6 mo. to a year to be able to run the same distances. My PF was/is cured after years of orthotics, expensive shoes and Dr. visits.

    I've been using Nike Frees. But I really want Vibrams I think they are the best. As soon as the snow starts I'll be ordering my pair. Thanks for a great review.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I had a long bout with Plantar, too. I wondered if I would ever run again. Custom Orthotics cured me, but the FiveFingers would have been a lot cheaper!

  • http://twitter.com/knittingrunner @knittingrunner

    I've considered them but I live in Maine, how do you keep your feet warm? Currently I run in racing flats…next I plan to try Nike Free because I can wear smart wools with them.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's a very good question. I'm sorry, but I don't have answer. I have yet to run in them in cold weather. I may have to check ot the Nike Frees myself for that. Thanks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jasondtaylor Jason Taylor

      Only two downsides I've found from using them all year so far. #1, they can be fairly slippery on rock that's got even the slightest amount of water and #2, if it's cold out, my toes get cold. When running I don't notice it as much but hiking or walking, if the outside temps are chilly my toes will get cold.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

        I don't know about the cold; I have yet to experience that. I have run a couple of times in the rain, and they were fine. I didn't slip—but I wasn't running on rock either.

        • Gary Chalfont

          http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/product

          Vibram has an "insulated" model called the flow that's supposed to do well in cold temps.

          Enjoy! I actually am considering a pair of these as well. I'm currently running in Nike Reacts, which are VERY comfortable for me, however, I am always open to new ideas and suggestions since I'm a novice runner.

          • Anonymous

            They run small…I have wide feet and I can’t get my foot into a Flow.

            Also, check out Injinji toe socks.  Controls sweat, chaffing, stinkiness, and they make cold-weather socks, too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/christiancolonny Christian Colon

          I used them during a very brutal winter in New York with the toe socks and they did the job. Kept my feet warm all winter.

    • http://www.omarhamada.com/ OmarHamada

      The Vibram five fingers flow are made precisely for cold and wet weather running. They are made of 1.2 mm neoprene.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

        This is good to know. Somehow I missed that! Now all we need is FiveFingers dress shoes. ;-)

        • ESimms5555

          I work at the U. S. Census Bureau and I wear black KSOs with my business casual outfit. People at the Bureau are constantly asking me about them, and quite a number have said they were going to order a pair.

          • PC

            Would it be possible for you to show a pic of your entire outfit to work, including the KSOs? I really can’t see them as being something worn to work with business casual attire, so that’s why I’m really curious and hoping it does look somewhat normal!! :)

        • Anonymous

          Vibram make KSO Treks with a leather upper in brown and black.  A little tight if you have a high instep. 

          Also check out VivoBarefoot brand and Merrell Barefoot Tough Glove.  Niether have toes, but have ultra-thin soles; the Merrells use Vibram-made outsoles/footbeds.  My wife has a pair and she loves them.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Yes, I have the Merrell’s, too. I alternate.

        • Ncawrites

          They DO have dress shoes. Leather uppers. I saw them at REI retail store in Huntington ?beach. I am a walker, not runner, but I wear mine to help free my bunion from its tiny-toe box prison.

    • Hasanhusain94

      smartwool has made a new toe sock that can be worn with fivefingers. i  love smartwools and fivfingers too

    • Kristin

      There are 5 ‘finger’ socks you can get on Amazon…

    • Guest

      They have some socks from Vibram to wear with your shoes : ) 

    • Grantbrophy

      get merrells, you can wear swiftwick wool performance socks with them!!!!

    • kevin

      OK, five years later…. :-)

      A few years after you wrote the above, Vibram came out with the Lontra model. It won’t keep your feet warm at really cold temps, standing around. But for running, you’d be ok down to -20 Celsius. Using Smartwool toe-socks would extend the range and also allow comfort (at higher still-cold temps) when just standing around casually. But they’ll never be toasty mukluks.

      A big reason I like Lontra VFFs is that they’re waterproof.. therefore slush-proof in spring.

  • http://twitter.com/knittingrunner @knittingrunner

    I've considered them but I live in Maine, how do you keep your feet warm? Currently I run in racing flats…next I plan to try Nike Free because I can wear smart wools with them.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's a very good question. I'm sorry, but I don't have answer. I have yet to run in them in cold weather. I may have to check ot the Nike Frees myself for that. Thanks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/jasondtaylor Jason Taylor

      Only two downsides I've found from using them all year so far. #1, they can be fairly slippery on rock that's got even the slightest amount of water and #2, if it's cold out, my toes get cold. When running I don't notice it as much but hiking or walking, if the outside temps are chilly my toes will get cold.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

        I don't know about the cold; I have yet to experience that. I have run a couple of times in the rain, and they were fine. I didn't slip—but I wasn't running on rock either.

        • Gary Chalfont

          http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/product

          Vibram has an "insulated" model called the flow that's supposed to do well in cold temps.

          Enjoy! I actually am considering a pair of these as well. I'm currently running in Nike Reacts, which are VERY comfortable for me, however, I am always open to new ideas and suggestions since I'm a novice runner.

    • http://www.omarhamada.com OmarHamada

      The Vibram five fingers flow are made precisely for cold and wet weather running. They are made of 1.2 mm neoprene.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

        This is good to know. Somehow I missed that! Now all we need is FiveFingers dress shoes. ;-)

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/pauldwatson pauldwatson

    I have a pair of the KSOs. I use them during step aerobics and they are great! I have much more control and balance than I did with traditional shoes. I'm on my way to Finland today and I look forward to testing my KSOs out on the hotel treadmill.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I haven't tried them on a treadmill yet. I]m sure they'll be fine, but I always prefer running outdoors as long as I can.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/pauldwatson pauldwatson

    I have a pair of the KSOs. I use them during step aerobics and they are great! I have much more control and balance than I did with traditional shoes. I'm on my way to Finland today and I look forward to testing my KSOs out on the hotel treadmill.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I haven't tried them on a treadmill yet. I]m sure they'll be fine, but I always prefer running outdoors as long as I can.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention My Take on the Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes -- Topsy.com()

  • http://www.jessiwhitt.wordpress.com/ Jessica Whitt

    My husband and I bought them several weeks ago, and I wear mine everywhere. They are so comfortable! At first it was weird walking in them, and I did feel weird looking in them, but now I proudly wear my Vibrams, especially if they improve the way I run and walk. My first big test with them was this past weekend on a hiking trip with some friends. My only negative (which is my own fault) is that I didn't choose the KSO's. I have the Classics which are great, but I do wish I would've went with the ones that are made to Keep Stuff Out.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I should have mentioned this when I discussed the Classics. I did occasionally get a pebble in them. The KSOs eliminate that.

  • http://www.jessiwhitt.wordpress.com Jessica Whitt

    My husband and I bought them several weeks ago, and I wear mine everywhere. They are so comfortable! At first it was weird walking in them, and I did feel weird looking in them, but now I proudly wear my Vibrams, especially if they improve the way I run and walk. My first big test with them was this past weekend on a hiking trip with some friends. My only negative (which is my own fault) is that I didn't choose the KSO's. I have the Classics which are great, but I do wish I would've went with the ones that are made to Keep Stuff Out.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I should have mentioned this when I discussed the Classics. I did occasionally get a pebble in them. The KSOs eliminate that.

  • http://twitter.com/RichTatum @RichTatum

    Man, I don't even run, and I want a pair!

    I only wonder how bad they are with flat arches like I have….

    Rich
    BlogRodent

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      McDougall actually talks about that in the book. He maintains that traditional shoes create the flat arches. Once you free the foot up from the unnatural suport, the arches return to their normal design. I'm no expert, so I don't know if that's true or not. It might be worth testing.

    • Jeff

      McDougall also sites in the book if I remember correctly that the guy with a flat arch was something like a shoe size 12. He started running barefooted and let the muscles in his foot develop, he got an arch back in his foot and went down to a size 10 shoe.

    • sweeps

      I have pretty flat feet, and I like them a lot. It took me a few weeks to get "comfortable" running in them; my feet were sore after running ~ 2 miles…as were my calves, but now, they feel fine. I have been running in them for about a month straight.

      • Scott

        I don't have arch problems, but running on the balls of your feet essentially takes arch support out of the equation. There is no need for arch support because your heal is barely brushing the ground, all the impact and weight distribution is handled by the foot, not your arch and shoe.

      • Scott

        I don't have arch problems, but running on the balls of your feet essentially takes arch support out of the equation. There is no need for arch support because your heal is barely brushing the ground, all the impact and weight distribution is handled by the foot, not your arch and shoe.

    • sweeps

      I have pretty flat feet, and I like them a lot. It took me a few weeks to get "comfortable" running in them; my feet were sore after running ~ 2 miles…as were my calves, but now, they feel fine. I have been running in them for about a month straight.

  • http://twitter.com/RichTatum @RichTatum

    Man, I don't even run, and I want a pair!

    I only wonder how bad they are with flat arches like I have….

    Rich
    BlogRodent

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      McDougall actually talks about that in the book. He maintains that traditional shoes create the flat arches. Once you free the foot up from the unnatural suport, the arches return to their normal design. I'm no expert, so I don't know if that's true or not. It might be worth testing.

    • Jeff

      McDougall also sites in the book if I remember correctly that the guy with a flat arch was something like a shoe size 12. He started running barefooted and let the muscles in his foot develop, he got an arch back in his foot and went down to a size 10 shoe.

    • sweeps

      I have pretty flat feet, and I like them a lot. It took me a few weeks to get "comfortable" running in them; my feet were sore after running ~ 2 miles…as were my calves, but now, they feel fine. I have been running in them for about a month straight.

      • Scott

        I don't have arch problems, but running on the balls of your feet essentially takes arch support out of the equation. There is no need for arch support because your heal is barely brushing the ground, all the impact and weight distribution is handled by the foot, not your arch and shoe.

  • Karin

    I bought mine a week ago after reading Born to Run (Thanks for the copy Mike) and have been wearing them every waking minute to acclimate my feet to them. I have done some short walks and am going to build up to run in them. I haven't even been able to take walks for the last 6 months or so because of achilles pain which I now attribute to my $100 walking shoes. I have not worn them for the last 3 weeks and the pain has gone away (except the one day that I put them on for a few hours and woke up the next morning with pain again). So my walking shoes are now gone. I did get the KSO's and I LOVE THEM! My kids are horrified, but they will adapt. Thanks again for the Born to Run book, I am going to be passing it around to many people who need to read it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great report. Thanks!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great report. Thanks!

  • Karin

    I bought mine a week ago after reading Born to Run (Thanks for the copy Mike) and have been wearing them every waking minute to acclimate my feet to them. I have done some short walks and am going to build up to run in them. I haven't even been able to take walks for the last 6 months or so because of achilles pain which I now attribute to my $100 walking shoes. I have not worn them for the last 3 weeks and the pain has gone away (except the one day that I put them on for a few hours and woke up the next morning with pain again). So my walking shoes are now gone. I did get the KSO's and I LOVE THEM! My kids are horrified, but they will adapt. Thanks again for the Born to Run book, I am going to be passing it around to many people who need to read it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great report. Thanks!

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel D

    I must be like your kids. Every time I see a picture of them I think "gorilla feet." :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Your comment only means one thing: you are a VERY close to ordering a pair for yourself. ;-)

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel D

        Haha. I don't have an issue with the gorilla feet. I think they are cool. I like new, funky things… especially if they work. My issue is that I'd probably have to be a runner to actually enjoy them. Just started running (short distances) last week. Working my way into it.

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel D

        Haha. I don't have an issue with the gorilla feet. I think they are cool. I like new, funky things… especially if they work. My issue is that I'd probably have to be a runner to actually enjoy them. Just started running (short distances) last week. Working my way into it.

  • http://www.CarasWeightLossJournal.com/ Cara

    What if you have a really long middle tow that sticks way above the rest of the tows? The picture shows that the big tow is the biggest and the rest go down in size from there? How do you make sure my toes are going to fit in them?

    • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

      Ahh, Morton's Toe. My 2nd toe has 2-3mm on my "big" toe. The VFFs will stretch little, I wear mine without issue. I would highly suggest you find a retail store where you can try them on. Of course, I'm sure Vibram would let you return them as well.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree with @nmabry. You should find a retail store and try them.

    • Dearon

      The Vibram website says, "If your second toe is 1/6" longer than your big toe it may be difficult to get a precise fit." I agree with the others: go to a store to make sure.

    • Dearon

      The Vibram website says, "If your second toe is 1/6" longer than your big toe it may be difficult to get a precise fit." I agree with the others: go to a store to make sure.

    • cmp

      I was afraid of the same thing!  I have a longer second toe than big toe.  I tried them on and they are just fine.  I think you’re safe!  :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel D

    I must be like your kids. Every time I see a picture of them I think "gorilla feet." :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Your comment only means one thing: you are a VERY close to ordering a pair for yourself. ;-)

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel D

        Haha. I don't have an issue with the gorilla feet. I think they are cool. I like new, funky things… especially if they work. My issue is that I'd probably have to be a runner to actually enjoy them. Just started running (short distances) last week. Working my way into it.

  • http://www.CarasWeightLossJournal.com Cara

    What if you have a really long middle tow that sticks way above the rest of the tows? The picture shows that the big tow is the biggest and the rest go down in size from there? How do you make sure my toes are going to fit in them?

    • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

      Ahh, Morton's Toe. My 2nd toe has 2-3mm on my "big" toe. The VFFs will stretch little, I wear mine without issue. I would highly suggest you find a retail store where you can try them on. Of course, I'm sure Vibram would let you return them as well.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree with @nmabry. You should find a retail store and try them.

    • Dearon

      The Vibram website says, "If your second toe is 1/6" longer than your big toe it may be difficult to get a precise fit." I agree with the others: go to a store to make sure.

    • Alex

      My middle toe is a full 1/4 inch longer than my big toe and my KSOs are great. You size to the length from the back of your heel to the tip of the longest toe. I have a tiny bit of free space in the big toe pocket, but it isn't noticeable in the least. When i take them off, the middle toe is a bit longer than the big toe now. My KSOs are the kangaroo leather ones, so I can't vouch for the adaptability of the other materials. My retail store can't keep them in stock so I ordered mine from the site.

  • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

    I'd been curious about the VFFs for more than a year, and then I saw Tim Ferris's take on them. I finally got my KSOs for Father's Day. I've been using them all summer. My longest distance is 10 miles. I'm running a marathon in November, but I think I'm going to resort to shod for that.

  • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

    I'd been curious about the VFFs for more than a year, and then I saw Tim Ferris's take on them. I finally got my KSOs for Father's Day. I've been using them all summer. My longest distance is 10 miles. I'm running a marathon in November, but I think I'm going to resort to shod for that.

  • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

    I'd been curious about the VFFs for more than a year, and then I saw Tim Ferris's take on them. I finally got my KSOs for Father's Day. I've been using them all summer. My longest distance is 10 miles. I'm running a marathon in November, but I think I'm going to resort to shod for that.

  • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

    I'd been curious about the VFFs for more than a year, and then I saw Tim Ferris's take on them. I finally got my KSOs for Father's Day. I've been using them all summer. My longest distance is 10 miles. I'm running a marathon in November, but I think I'm going to resort to shod for that.

  • http://twitter.com/nmabry @nmabry

    I'd been curious about the VFFs for more than a year, and then I saw Tim Ferris's take on them. I finally got my KSOs for Father's Day. I've been using them all summer. My longest distance is 10 miles. I'm running a marathon in November, but I think I'm going to resort to shod for that.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MichaelSGray MichaelSGray

    I'm amused at the idea of someone interrupting a runner to ask about his shoes. They must have to do some running themselves just to catch up to you.

    Are these recommended for non-runners as well? My mom has Plantar Fasciitis, but isn't a big runner. I mentioned them to her last week because I have read your posts on them.

    • nordicnitwit

      Yes, they are great for non-runners too. I'm getting my 82 year old aunt a pair. She is worried about support though. People have it in their minds that they need an arch support – it's just not true. She likes to walk and these will give her much better balance and less risk of falling. She fell last spring, and didn't realize it at the time, but actually broke her pelvis! I'm no doctor, but based on my own experience with these – I know that they will help her.

      I threw out my orthotics (that I've had for 15 yrs) because my plantar fasciitis is gone now. My experience wearing VFF's then switching back to shoes, taught me that it will come back if I spend a couple of days in a row wearing shoes. I'm planning a 3 day backpacking trip in Oct and will wear my KSO's!

    • nordicnitwit

      Yes, they are great for non-runners too. I'm getting my 82 year old aunt a pair. She is worried about support though. People have it in their minds that they need an arch support – it's just not true. She likes to walk and these will give her much better balance and less risk of falling. She fell last spring, and didn't realize it at the time, but actually broke her pelvis! I'm no doctor, but based on my own experience with these – I know that they will help her.

      I threw out my orthotics (that I've had for 15 yrs) because my plantar fasciitis is gone now. My experience wearing VFF's then switching back to shoes, taught me that it will come back if I spend a couple of days in a row wearing shoes. I'm planning a 3 day backpacking trip in Oct and will wear my KSO's!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MichaelSGray MichaelSGray

    I'm amused at the idea of someone interrupting a runner to ask about his shoes. They must have to do some running themselves just to catch up to you.

    Are these recommended for non-runners as well? My mom has Plantar Fasciitis, but isn't a big runner. I mentioned them to her last week because I have read your posts on them.

    • nordicnitwit

      Yes, they are great for non-runners too. I'm getting my 82 year old aunt a pair. She is worried about support though. People have it in their minds that they need an arch support – it's just not true. She likes to walk and these will give her much better balance and less risk of falling. She fell last spring, and didn't realize it at the time, but actually broke her pelvis! I'm no doctor, but based on my own experience with these – I know that they will help her.

      I threw out my orthotics (that I've had for 15 yrs) because my plantar fasciitis is gone now. My experience wearing VFF's then switching back to shoes, taught me that it will come back if I spend a couple of days in a row wearing shoes. I'm planning a 3 day backpacking trip in Oct and will wear my KSO's!

  • Jeff

    My question is can you run on pavement with the Vibrams or are you suppose to stick to trails?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I run on pavement, asphalt, trails—you name it. I did 3.5 miles yesterday on asphalt.

      • nordicnitwit

        I ran a 5k race on Labor Day, and I found myself looking for grass on the side of the road, as it felt like I could have really hurt my feet. Prior to that, I had only run twice in them, about a half mile each time. I was really sore for 3 days that week, which started about 2 days after the race Ouch!. Now, my lower legs are used to running in them. I'll try a 5 mile trail run in them later today, and will go backpacking in them in October. I think wearing them for every day footwear helps. I have 3 pair, 2 KSO's and a Classic.

      • nordicnitwit

        I ran a 5k race on Labor Day, and I found myself looking for grass on the side of the road, as it felt like I could have really hurt my feet. Prior to that, I had only run twice in them, about a half mile each time. I was really sore for 3 days that week, which started about 2 days after the race Ouch!. Now, my lower legs are used to running in them. I'll try a 5 mile trail run in them later today, and will go backpacking in them in October. I think wearing them for every day footwear helps. I have 3 pair, 2 KSO's and a Classic.

  • Jeff

    My question is can you run on pavement with the Vibrams or are you suppose to stick to trails?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I run on pavement, asphalt, trails—you name it. I did 3.5 miles yesterday on asphalt.

      • nordicnitwit

        I ran a 5k race on Labor Day, and I found myself looking for grass on the side of the road, as it felt like I could have really hurt my feet. Prior to that, I had only run twice in them, about a half mile each time. I was really sore for 3 days that week, which started about 2 days after the race Ouch!. Now, my lower legs are used to running in them. I'll try a 5 mile trail run in them later today, and will go backpacking in them in October. I think wearing them for every day footwear helps. I have 3 pair, 2 KSO's and a Classic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pfnikolai Pete Nikolai

    It seems obvious, but do you need toe socks too?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      No. Evidently, if it gets too cold, you can use the FiveFingers Flow model, which are insulated. However, I haven't tried those yet.

    • http://palimpsest.typepad.com/frogsandravens Rana

      Adding toe socks does add a layer of warmth, though the fit's snug that way. You can also find toe-less Japanese socks, though they may rub a bit.

    • http://palimpsest.typepad.com/frogsandravens Rana

      Adding toe socks does add a layer of warmth, though the fit's snug that way. You can also find toe-less Japanese socks, though they may rub a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pfnikolai Pete Nikolai

    It seems obvious, but do you need toe socks too?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      No. Evidently, if it gets too cold, you can use the FiveFingers Flow model, which are insulated. However, I haven't tried those yet.

    • http://sungazer.zenfolio.com Rana

      Adding toe socks does add a layer of warmth, though the fit's snug that way. You can also find toe-less Japanese socks, though they may rub a bit.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MaurilioAmorim MaurilioAmorim

    Mike,
    I have been running on my vibrams for the past 3 weeks and I'm up to 2 miles on mine. I usually run on pavement but have seen people running trails with them. I have the KSO and cannot go anywhere in them where there's a small crowd gathered asking questions.

    I first tell people that's part of my gorilla costume and I'm waiting for the rest to show up, and then go on the discourse about bones, muscles, weakened feet, etc.

    My running partner has a bad case of Achilles Tendinitis and just got her Vibrams last weekend. I hope it cures her. I'll keep you posted

    Maurilio

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, please do keep us posted. I am really hoping that these keep me running injury free.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MaurilioAmorim MaurilioAmorim

    Mike,
    I have been running on my vibrams for the past 3 weeks and I'm up to 2 miles on mine. I usually run on pavement but have seen people running trails with them. I have the KSO and cannot go anywhere in them where there's a small crowd gathered asking questions.

    I first tell people that's part of my gorilla costume and I'm waiting for the rest to show up, and then go on the discourse about bones, muscles, weakened feet, etc.

    My running partner has a bad case of Achilles Tendinitis and just got her Vibrams last weekend. I hope it cures her. I'll keep you posted

    Maurilio

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, please do keep us posted. I am really hoping that these keep me running injury free.

  • http://www.selectedpixels.com/ Bob Redding

    I've had my KSOs for about 3 months. I run mostly in Manhattan on pavement. I'm up to about 20 miles a week. I LOVE them! I used to have trouble with one knee and the other hamstring. No more.

    It took a few weeks to ease into the mileage. Your calves get really sore but stick with it. As your calves and feet adjust you feel stronger and stronger. Some research indicates that running barefoot is about 4% more efficient than with shoes. I believe it. I'm building mileage and maintaining a pace that I haven't experienced in many years. (I'm 50)

    You don't need socks at all.

    As for keeping your feet warm, there is a company called Injinji that makes socks that have "toe comparments". I plan to wear them in my Five Fingers in the winter here in the northeast.

    Go Vibram! I'm on twitter at @downtownrunnder

  • http://www.selectedpixels.com Bob Redding

    I've had my KSOs for about 3 months. I run mostly in Manhattan on pavement. I'm up to about 20 miles a week. I LOVE them! I used to have trouble with one knee and the other hamstring. No more.

    It took a few weeks to ease into the mileage. Your calves get really sore but stick with it. As your calves and feet adjust you feel stronger and stronger. Some research indicates that running barefoot is about 4% more efficient than with shoes. I believe it. I'm building mileage and maintaining a pace that I haven't experienced in many years. (I'm 50)

    You don't need socks at all.

    As for keeping your feet warm, there is a company called Injinji that makes socks that have "toe comparments". I plan to wear them in my Five Fingers in the winter here in the northeast.

    Go Vibram! I'm on twitter at @downtownrunnder

  • http://www.dcjacobson.com/ Jenni Burke

    Hi 'Barefoot Mike', it was great to meet you yesterday and talki about running–after reading Born to Run I've been curious to go barefoot, so I was happy to see this post! Good comments from all your readers here…I think I'll be investing in a pair of Vibram KSOs this fall since I run mostly trails.
    Enjoy the rest of your time in Oregon!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jenni. It was good to meet you, too. Thanks for coming out to the event!

  • http://www.dcjacobson.com Jenni Burke

    Hi 'Barefoot Mike', it was great to meet you yesterday and talki about running–after reading Born to Run I've been curious to go barefoot, so I was happy to see this post! Good comments from all your readers here…I think I'll be investing in a pair of Vibram KSOs this fall since I run mostly trails.
    Enjoy the rest of your time in Oregon!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jenni. It was good to meet you, too. Thanks for coming out to the event!

  • Pingback: My Take on the Vibram FiveFingers Running Shoes | Finland today()

  • Curtis

    SOLD! I'm going to get some to try today.

  • Curtis

    SOLD! I'm going to get some to try today.

  • http://twitter.com/cpartridge @cpartridge

    Michael, I finally gave in and bought a pair of Sprints on Labor Day weekend. I ended up buying a size smaller than usual due to the snug fit required.
    I'm happy to report that I love them and haven't reached for my trainers since. I love the feel and the better sense of balance you get. I must admit though that I did take the advice to take it slowly as you find new muscles in your feet that hadn't been used for years.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      "Balance" is a good way to describe it. It's almost like you have had your "gyroscopes" reactivated.

      • http://twitter.com/cpartridge @cpartridge

        Exactly that feeling, I'm experiencing less mis-steps when I'm running.

      • http://twitter.com/cpartridge @cpartridge

        Exactly that feeling, I'm experiencing less mis-steps when I'm running.

  • http://twitter.com/cpartridge @cpartridge

    Michael, I finally gave in and bought a pair of Sprints on Labor Day weekend. I ended up buying a size smaller than usual due to the snug fit required.
    I'm happy to report that I love them and haven't reached for my trainers since. I love the feel and the better sense of balance you get. I must admit though that I did take the advice to take it slowly as you find new muscles in your feet that hadn't been used for years.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      "Balance" is a good way to describe it. It's almost like you have had your "gyroscopes" reactivated.

      • http://twitter.com/cpartridge @cpartridge

        Exactly that feeling, I'm experiencing less mis-steps when I'm running.

  • http://www.billwhitt.com/blog Bill Whitt

    I have black KSO’s like those pictured above, and I love them. I’ve only had them less than a week but am already feeling comfortable running in them. I ordered them online and had to send them back to get a different size (exchanged 40 for 41). But other than that, it’s been great!

    By the way, I just finished “Born to Run,” and that it a phenomenal book. What a fascinating look into the world of ultra-marathoning!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I loved the book, too. I can't say I have any desire to run an ultra-marathon, but I still found the book incredibly inspiring. Another book that I found equally inspiring is Ultra-Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes.

  • http://www.billwhitt.com/blog Bill Whitt

    I have black KSO’s like those pictured above, and I love them. I’ve only had them less than a week but am already feeling comfortable running in them. I ordered them online and had to send them back to get a different size (exchanged 40 for 41). But other than that, it’s been great!

    By the way, I just finished “Born to Run,” and that it a phenomenal book. What a fascinating look into the world of ultra-marathoning!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I loved the book, too. I can't say I have any desire to run an ultra-marathon, but I still found the book incredibly inspiring. Another book that I found equally inspiring is Ultra-Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes.

  • David Frey

    If you think the vibram’s are cool for running, check this guy out http://www.RunTellmanRun.com

  • David Frey

    If you think the vibram’s are cool for running, check this guy out http://www.RunTellmanRun.com

  • http://www.selectedpixels.com/ Bob Redding

    I’ve had my Vibrams for a while now. I started out slow, but not slow enough. Injured my Soleum (calf) muscle. Had to wait a couple weeks and start again, even slower. And I’m SO glad I did. Now I’m running 20 miles a week, mostly on pavement (in Manhattan). I haven’t run in my Asics for over a month.

    For those that want to keep warm you could try “toe socks” by a company called Injinji. I’m going to get a pair of Five Fingers a little larger so I can get my Injinjis and FFs on at the same time.

    I used to have hamstring and knee problems. No more. I’m running happier, smoother, and a little faster. I’m looking forward to my first 5K race in my KSOs in a couple weeks. I’m sure I’ll get lots of looks and questions.

    Bob @downtownrunner

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      This is a great reminder to start slowly. Most people think they are the exception. It feels great to run in the FiveFingers the first time, and it is easy to go too far. But you will feel it the next day!

    • briank

      hey bob, have you did the 5k yet, and was it on tough concrete? I'm curious, I love the shoes too but not sure if they can go too long in straight hard concrete. Maybe the new ones will help, any word on them?

      http://barefootrunningshoes.org/new-fall-2009-vib

    • briank

      hey bob, have you did the 5k yet, and was it on tough concrete? I'm curious, I love the shoes too but not sure if they can go too long in straight hard concrete. Maybe the new ones will help, any word on them?

      http://barefootrunningshoes.org/new-fall-2009-vib

  • http://www.selectedpixels.com Bob Redding

    I’ve had my Vibrams for a while now. I started out slow, but not slow enough. Injured my Soleum (calf) muscle. Had to wait a couple weeks and start again, even slower. And I’m SO glad I did. Now I’m running 20 miles a week, mostly on pavement (in Manhattan). I haven’t run in my Asics for over a month.

    For those that want to keep warm you could try “toe socks” by a company called Injinji. I’m going to get a pair of Five Fingers a little larger so I can get my Injinjis and FFs on at the same time.

    I used to have hamstring and knee problems. No more. I’m running happier, smoother, and a little faster. I’m looking forward to my first 5K race in my KSOs in a couple weeks. I’m sure I’ll get lots of looks and questions.

    Bob @downtownrunner

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      This is a great reminder to start slowly. Most people think they are the exception. It feels great to run in the FiveFingers the first time, and it is easy to go too far. But you will feel it the next day!

    • briank

      hey bob, have you did the 5k yet, and was it on tough concrete? I'm curious, I love the shoes too but not sure if they can go too long in straight hard concrete. Maybe the new ones will help, any word on them?

      http://barefootrunningshoes.org/new-fall-2009-vib

  • Byron Yount

    I started wearing Vibrams about 4 months ago when my return to running was thwarted due to a previous knee injury that resurfaced under the extra strain of running. I had gone to rehab for the injury, but I didn't know I still had the problem until I started running again. I was really upset about it as I was trying to finish my PhD and I needed the stress relief. If you're a runner, nothing else seems to compare. So after a break to let my knee settle down, I decided to give the Vibrams a try. My research in the interim gave me enough hope that I could try this before surgery. I can't promise the same results for everyone, but my return to running appears to be correlated with my use of the Vibrams, though I'm a one man sample. I'll still have the knee checked out as it is not perfect, but in the meantime I get my stress relief. If I do need surgery for the long-term prognosis, at least I'll go in strong and conditioned for a nice rehab stint. This isn't exactly my area of research, but I'd be interested in reading studies that consider the use of Vibrams in rehabilitation and preoperative preparation.

    As Mike mentioned, go slow. I believe I benefited from completing various stability exercise in the Vibrams before my first runs, which I continue in progressive fashion. Get use to the Gorilla feet comment. The expression on people's faces is worth any embarrassment.

  • Byron Yount

    I started wearing Vibrams about 4 months ago when my return to running was thwarted due to a previous knee injury that resurfaced under the extra strain of running. I had gone to rehab for the injury, but I didn't know I still had the problem until I started running again. I was really upset about it as I was trying to finish my PhD and I needed the stress relief. If you're a runner, nothing else seems to compare. So after a break to let my knee settle down, I decided to give the Vibrams a try. My research in the interim gave me enough hope that I could try this before surgery. I can't promise the same results for everyone, but my return to running appears to be correlated with my use of the Vibrams, though I'm a one man sample. I'll still have the knee checked out as it is not perfect, but in the meantime I get my stress relief. If I do need surgery for the long-term prognosis, at least I'll go in strong and conditioned for a nice rehab stint. This isn't exactly my area of research, but I'd be interested in reading studies that consider the use of Vibrams in rehabilitation and preoperative preparation.

    As Mike mentioned, go slow. I believe I benefited from completing various stability exercise in the Vibrams before my first runs, which I continue in progressive fashion. Get use to the Gorilla feet comment. The expression on people's faces is worth any embarrassment.

  • Byron Yount

    I started wearing Vibrams about 4 months ago when my return to running was thwarted due to a previous knee injury that resurfaced under the extra strain of running. I had gone to rehab for the injury, but I didn't know I still had the problem until I started running again. I was really upset about it as I was trying to finish my PhD and I needed the stress relief. If you're a runner, nothing else seems to compare. So after a break to let my knee settle down, I decided to give the Vibrams a try. My research in the interim gave me enough hope that I could try this before surgery. I can't promise the same results for everyone, but my return to running appears to be correlated with my use of the Vibrams, though I'm a one man sample. I'll still have the knee checked out as it is not perfect, but in the meantime I get my stress relief. If I do need surgery for the long-term prognosis, at least I'll go in strong and conditioned for a nice rehab stint. This isn't exactly my area of research, but I'd be interested in reading studies that consider the use of Vibrams in rehabilitation and preoperative preparation.

    As Mike mentioned, go slow. I believe I benefited from completing various stability exercise in the Vibrams before my first runs, which I continue in progressive fashion. Get use to the Gorilla feet comment. The expression on people's faces is worth any embarrassment.

  • Marysol

    Thank you for writing this article! I have several runner friends that I’ve casually mentioned this to and they all want more infomation but there wasn’t one place on your site to point them too. Will besending this link.

  • Marysol

    Thank you for writing this article! I have several runner friends that I’ve casually mentioned this to and they all want more infomation but there wasn’t one place on your site to point them too. Will besending this link.

    • http://www.raykeller.blogspot.com/ Raymond Keller

      I love the Vibram Five Fingers. I just got mine about two weeks ago. I have had "micro tears" and "bakers cysts" in my knees for 5 years. The doctors recommended PT and such. Did it and tried alllll different kinds of shoes. Nothing worked. Now today I ran 4.5 miles. My knees would have quaked at the thought of running 4.5 miles just three weeks ago. I strongly encourage them, but do suggest moderation while adapting. My calves are KILLING me today because I got a little over-zealous in my run.

    • http://www.raykeller.blogspot.com/ Raymond Keller

      I love the Vibram Five Fingers. I just got mine about two weeks ago. I have had "micro tears" and "bakers cysts" in my knees for 5 years. The doctors recommended PT and such. Did it and tried alllll different kinds of shoes. Nothing worked. Now today I ran 4.5 miles. My knees would have quaked at the thought of running 4.5 miles just three weeks ago. I strongly encourage them, but do suggest moderation while adapting. My calves are KILLING me today because I got a little over-zealous in my run.

  • Marysol

    Thank you for writing this article! I have several runner friends that I’ve casually mentioned this to and they all want more infomation but there wasn’t one place on your site to point them too. Will besending this link.

    • http://www.raykeller.blogspot.com/ Raymond Keller

      I love the Vibram Five Fingers. I just got mine about two weeks ago. I have had "micro tears" and "bakers cysts" in my knees for 5 years. The doctors recommended PT and such. Did it and tried alllll different kinds of shoes. Nothing worked. Now today I ran 4.5 miles. My knees would have quaked at the thought of running 4.5 miles just three weeks ago. I strongly encourage them, but do suggest moderation while adapting. My calves are KILLING me today because I got a little over-zealous in my run.

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  • http://www.raincitypastor.blogspot.com/ richard dahlstrom

    I’m wearing them now, wearing them to a party tonight, wore them shopping today, and have worn them on three hikes this summer. I think they’re incredible. I hope they come out with a dress version so that I can preach in them.

  • http://www.raincitypastor.blogspot.com/ richard dahlstrom

    I’m wearing them now, wearing them to a party tonight, wore them shopping today, and have worn them on three hikes this summer. I think they’re incredible. I hope they come out with a dress version so that I can preach in them.

  • http://www.raincitypastor.blogspot.com richard dahlstrom

    I’m wearing them now, wearing them to a party tonight, wore them shopping today, and have worn them on three hikes this summer. I think they’re incredible. I hope they come out with a dress version so that I can preach in them.

  • Diane

    They are fantastic – I have run in them on my treadmill as well as outside. The longest outside is a couple of miles. I do get stopped by several people while I am out shopping – wondering what they are and do I like them? I love them. I have the KSO version. The only issue I have had with them – there was a stitch inside the foot area that would rub a place on my foot when I ran. So I would suggest trying them on and even feeling inside the shoe prior to purchase. I was not able to cut the stitch as it is too tiny and too far inside the "shoe". So my remedy when I run is either a band aid on the stitch or wearing the Toe Socks. But I love the shoes. Be ready for questions if you buy a pair.

  • Diane

    They are fantastic – I have run in them on my treadmill as well as outside. The longest outside is a couple of miles. I do get stopped by several people while I am out shopping – wondering what they are and do I like them? I love them. I have the KSO version. The only issue I have had with them – there was a stitch inside the foot area that would rub a place on my foot when I ran. So I would suggest trying them on and even feeling inside the shoe prior to purchase. I was not able to cut the stitch as it is too tiny and too far inside the "shoe". So my remedy when I run is either a band aid on the stitch or wearing the Toe Socks. But I love the shoes. Be ready for questions if you buy a pair.

  • Diane

    They are fantastic – I have run in them on my treadmill as well as outside. The longest outside is a couple of miles. I do get stopped by several people while I am out shopping – wondering what they are and do I like them? I love them. I have the KSO version. The only issue I have had with them – there was a stitch inside the foot area that would rub a place on my foot when I ran. So I would suggest trying them on and even feeling inside the shoe prior to purchase. I was not able to cut the stitch as it is too tiny and too far inside the "shoe". So my remedy when I run is either a band aid on the stitch or wearing the Toe Socks. But I love the shoes. Be ready for questions if you buy a pair.

  • http://www.kathleenmaciver.com/ Kathleen MacIver

    I'm not a runner…but I found this VERY interesting because I'm a barefoot girl! I went barefoot 98% of the year in FL, and now that I live in Ohio, I hate having to wear shoes to keep my feet warm around the house! I've never understood why people said they had to wear shoes for the support, because my feet tire out if I wear shoes, but they never do when I'm barefoot.

    Anyway, my current keep-my-feet-warm-but-not-hurting solution is wearing simple ballet slippers and socks. They don't have the toes, but they feel almost exactly like barefeet. But I'm seriously tempted to get a pair of these, just for those days when I know I'll be out all day in stores (where you can't go barefoot), and I know my feet will be aching after an entire day of wearing shoes.

    So thanks for bringing these to my attention!

  • http://www.kathleenmaciver.com Kathleen MacIver

    I'm not a runner…but I found this VERY interesting because I'm a barefoot girl! I went barefoot 98% of the year in FL, and now that I live in Ohio, I hate having to wear shoes to keep my feet warm around the house! I've never understood why people said they had to wear shoes for the support, because my feet tire out if I wear shoes, but they never do when I'm barefoot.

    Anyway, my current keep-my-feet-warm-but-not-hurting solution is wearing simple ballet slippers and socks. They don't have the toes, but they feel almost exactly like barefeet. But I'm seriously tempted to get a pair of these, just for those days when I know I'll be out all day in stores (where you can't go barefoot), and I know my feet will be aching after an entire day of wearing shoes.

    So thanks for bringing these to my attention!

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.c.snyder James C Snyder

    wanna avoid running injury? DONT RUN duh

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.c.snyder James C Snyder

    wanna avoid running injury? DONT RUN duh

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.c.snyder James C Snyder

    wanna avoid running injury? DONT RUN duh

  • Pat

    Thanks for the review. Just finished the book (read it due to my growing interest in barefoot running not the other way around), and am going to give these a try this winter. Interested to see what it is like running in them in the cold.

    Nice to see another convert giving them (and barefoot running in general) glowing reviews.

  • Pat

    Thanks for the review. Just finished the book (read it due to my growing interest in barefoot running not the other way around), and am going to give these a try this winter. Interested to see what it is like running in them in the cold.

    Nice to see another convert giving them (and barefoot running in general) glowing reviews.

  • elaisha

    hey guys, I really want to get one, but was wondering how long they last if you do run about 20 miles a week like Bob Redding. Also, which one of the new vibrams would you recommend:

    http://vibramfivefingersshoes.com/new-fall-2009-v

  • elaisha

    hey guys, I really want to get one, but was wondering how long they last if you do run about 20 miles a week like Bob Redding. Also, which one of the new vibrams would you recommend:

    http://vibramfivefingersshoes.com/new-fall-2009-v

  • http://www.dineenmiller.com/ Dineen Miller

    My husband has a pair of these for playing disc golf. He loves them. He did have an issue with a couple seams opening up and took pictures and sent them to Vibrams. Meanwhile I repaired them for his next tournament. Vibrams never replied but so far the shoes have been fine.

  • http://www.dineenmiller.com Dineen Miller

    My husband has a pair of these for playing disc golf. He loves them. He did have an issue with a couple seams opening up and took pictures and sent them to Vibrams. Meanwhile I repaired them for his next tournament. Vibrams never replied but so far the shoes have been fine.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SynapticLight Phillip Gibb

    wow, talk about a paradigm shift.
    my first thought was (after the gosh) do they cushion enough? But I think u answered that.

    also, won't they have to be molded to each individual's toe 'profile'? I mean, it looks like such a snug fit that even slight differences in toe length can cause discomfort in a general fit.

    • http://palimpsest.typepad.com/frogsandravens Rana

      The material is somewhat stretchy, so they can accommodate wide toes, thin toes, etc. Length and height (for the closed-top versions like the KSOs) are trickier, but it seems to work out for most folks.

    • http://palimpsest.typepad.com/frogsandravens Rana

      The material is somewhat stretchy, so they can accommodate wide toes, thin toes, etc. Length and height (for the closed-top versions like the KSOs) are trickier, but it seems to work out for most folks.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SynapticLight Phillip Gibb

    wow, talk about a paradigm shift.
    my first thought was (after the gosh) do they cushion enough? But I think u answered that.

    also, won't they have to be molded to each individual's toe 'profile'? I mean, it looks like such a snug fit that even slight differences in toe length can cause discomfort in a general fit.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SynapticLight Phillip Gibb

    wow, talk about a paradigm shift.
    my first thought was (after the gosh) do they cushion enough? But I think u answered that.

    also, won't they have to be molded to each individual's toe 'profile'? I mean, it looks like such a snug fit that even slight differences in toe length can cause discomfort in a general fit.

    • http://sungazer.zenfolio.com Rana

      The material is somewhat stretchy, so they can accommodate wide toes, thin toes, etc. Length and height (for the closed-top versions like the KSOs) are trickier, but it seems to work out for most folks.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Florin Florin

    Thank you Michael for sharing your experience with Vibram shoes. I would most likely have not known about this had it not been for reading your blog. Thanks, I love the idea.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Florin Florin

    Thank you Michael for sharing your experience with Vibram shoes. I would most likely have not known about this had it not been for reading your blog. Thanks, I love the idea.

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

    the link is here : http://barefootrunningshoes.org/vibram-fivefinger

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

    the link is here : http://barefootrunningshoes.org/vibram-fivefinger

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

    the link is here : http://barefootrunningshoes.org/vibram-fivefinger

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

    the link is here : http://barefootrunningshoes.org/vibram-fivefinger

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

  • bfrunrun

    I have to say out of all the reviews that I've seen about vibram, this one was laid out very clearly and answers many common questions people have about them.. especially 2 main points.. how it can reduce injury and what to say to people who think they look "weird" haha. Great review. There's also a lot of great information on the shoes and other kind of shoes like it at BarefootRunningShoes.org

  • Mark

    I've been walking/running in vibrams for about 3 months. Today I got a black pair of KSO's for Sunday and other formal occastions.

  • Mark

    I've been walking/running in vibrams for about 3 months. Today I got a black pair of KSO's for Sunday and other formal occastions.

  • Mark

    I've been walking/running in vibrams for about 3 months. Today I got a black pair of KSO's for Sunday and other formal occastions.

  • http://www.walktall.co.uk/footwear-c-26.html Large shoes

    It was really nice reading it. I am really happy reading this article. Very nice.

  • http://www.walktall.co.uk/footwear-c-26.html Large shoes

    It was really nice reading it. I am really happy reading this article. Very nice.

  • sweeps

    Hi there! Both me and my boyfriend have a pair of the sprint five fingers. He just finished listening to Born to Run on CD, and I listened in a few times. He also runs in them religiously, and I have started to run in them a lot more frequently. I was hesitant at first, but have grown to love them. They give you a much better calf work out than my Nike's and make youre feet sore for a week or two, but in a good way as long as you don't over do it; I initially had to keep my distance down to about 2 miles per run in the Vibram's. I have been running in them 3-4 times a week now for about a month straight, and I have no desire to go back to my Nike's. I am also running greater distances now.

    I should note that I have the benefit of working next to an indoor soccer field, and do run on turf field since it has been getting cold out. I have run outdoors on the grass and gravel in the Five Fingers, but I have not run long distances on pavement. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Our feet may be designed to adjust to natural terrain and the cushy earth, but what about man-made asphalt?

    Thanks!

  • sweeps

    Hi there! Both me and my boyfriend have a pair of the sprint five fingers. He just finished listening to Born to Run on CD, and I listened in a few times. He also runs in them religiously, and I have started to run in them a lot more frequently. I was hesitant at first, but have grown to love them. They give you a much better calf work out than my Nike's and make youre feet sore for a week or two, but in a good way as long as you don't over do it; I initially had to keep my distance down to about 2 miles per run in the Vibram's. I have been running in them 3-4 times a week now for about a month straight, and I have no desire to go back to my Nike's. I am also running greater distances now.

    I should note that I have the benefit of working next to an indoor soccer field, and do run on turf field since it has been getting cold out. I have run outdoors on the grass and gravel in the Five Fingers, but I have not run long distances on pavement. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Our feet may be designed to adjust to natural terrain and the cushy earth, but what about man-made asphalt?

    Thanks!

  • sweeps

    Hi there! Both me and my boyfriend have a pair of the sprint five fingers. He just finished listening to Born to Run on CD, and I listened in a few times. He also runs in them religiously, and I have started to run in them a lot more frequently. I was hesitant at first, but have grown to love them. They give you a much better calf work out than my Nike's and make youre feet sore for a week or two, but in a good way as long as you don't over do it; I initially had to keep my distance down to about 2 miles per run in the Vibram's. I have been running in them 3-4 times a week now for about a month straight, and I have no desire to go back to my Nike's. I am also running greater distances now.

    I should note that I have the benefit of working next to an indoor soccer field, and do run on turf field since it has been getting cold out. I have run outdoors on the grass and gravel in the Five Fingers, but I have not run long distances on pavement. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Our feet may be designed to adjust to natural terrain and the cushy earth, but what about man-made asphalt?

    Thanks!

  • Morgan

    My mom sent me an email from your website about your blog post on the Vibram Five Finger shoes. I did a lot of research on them and decided to buy a pair. I have been running for 5 years now, but for the last year not so much because I had problems with shin splints and my knees. I have always wanted to run a half marathon, but the doctors and my parents discouraged me, saying that it would be better if i didn't. After reading your post and the comments along with it, I was encouraged to start running again. I just got a pair of Sprints and I am loving them. It doesn't hurt my knees and I am not having a problems with shin splints. Thank you so much for your post!

  • Morgan

    My mom sent me an email from your website about your blog post on the Vibram Five Finger shoes. I did a lot of research on them and decided to buy a pair. I have been running for 5 years now, but for the last year not so much because I had problems with shin splints and my knees. I have always wanted to run a half marathon, but the doctors and my parents discouraged me, saying that it would be better if i didn't. After reading your post and the comments along with it, I was encouraged to start running again. I just got a pair of Sprints and I am loving them. It doesn't hurt my knees and I am not having a problems with shin splints. Thank you so much for your post!

  • Morgan

    My mom sent me an email from your website about your blog post on the Vibram Five Finger shoes. I did a lot of research on them and decided to buy a pair. I have been running for 5 years now, but for the last year not so much because I had problems with shin splints and my knees. I have always wanted to run a half marathon, but the doctors and my parents discouraged me, saying that it would be better if i didn't. After reading your post and the comments along with it, I was encouraged to start running again. I just got a pair of Sprints and I am loving them. It doesn't hurt my knees and I am not having a problems with shin splints. Thank you so much for your post!

  • Nikki

    Just wondering if anyone's tried these shoes that suffers from a Morton's Neuroma?

    Since this year began I started having hip problems, found out that was Snapping Hip Syndrome which that caused me to dislocate my patella. And in August I started having this foot issue (its a irritated/inflammed nerve between my 3rd and 4th metatarsal). I've had an injection done and it didn't do me any good at all. Now my MD suggested surgery. I decided to visit my chiropractor to hopefully avoid the surgery, but I don't know what I'm going to do because I have to stand on my feet for 8 hours a day at work.

    I would love it if just changing my shoes could help. I currently wear Nike View 2 because I have to wear mostly black shoes and I heard these had good support and were wide (have to have wide shoes due to toe/foot issue) if anyone's curious about what I'm wearing now. Would love to hear from you if you have any ideas?

    • Steph

      I've had two neuromas, both of which were basically killed through sclerosing injections (exceedingly painful series of shots). I think the VFFs would actually help, once your arches and calves are strengthened enough to handle standing that long essentially barefoot. Because each toe goes in its own little compartment, it should really ease the pressure on the neuroma, spreading those metatarsals apart.

      I have worn orthotics for almost 9 years but a couple months ago started working at home and now rarely wear shoes unless I leave the house or go for a run – and about a month ago realized shoes are uncomfortable! I finally got to a store that sells VFFs last Friday and it was wonderful. I'd walked about 5 miles that morning and my feet were sore, and stepping into those was like heaven – barefoot, but with protection!

    • Steph

      I've had two neuromas, both of which were basically killed through sclerosing injections (exceedingly painful series of shots). I think the VFFs would actually help, once your arches and calves are strengthened enough to handle standing that long essentially barefoot. Because each toe goes in its own little compartment, it should really ease the pressure on the neuroma, spreading those metatarsals apart.

      I have worn orthotics for almost 9 years but a couple months ago started working at home and now rarely wear shoes unless I leave the house or go for a run – and about a month ago realized shoes are uncomfortable! I finally got to a store that sells VFFs last Friday and it was wonderful. I'd walked about 5 miles that morning and my feet were sore, and stepping into those was like heaven – barefoot, but with protection!

  • Nikki

    Just wondering if anyone's tried these shoes that suffers from a Morton's Neuroma?

    Since this year began I started having hip problems, found out that was Snapping Hip Syndrome which that caused me to dislocate my patella. And in August I started having this foot issue (its a irritated/inflammed nerve between my 3rd and 4th metatarsal). I've had an injection done and it didn't do me any good at all. Now my MD suggested surgery. I decided to visit my chiropractor to hopefully avoid the surgery, but I don't know what I'm going to do because I have to stand on my feet for 8 hours a day at work.

    I would love it if just changing my shoes could help. I currently wear Nike View 2 because I have to wear mostly black shoes and I heard these had good support and were wide (have to have wide shoes due to toe/foot issue) if anyone's curious about what I'm wearing now. Would love to hear from you if you have any ideas?

  • Nikki

    Just wondering if anyone's tried these shoes that suffers from a Morton's Neuroma?

    Since this year began I started having hip problems, found out that was Snapping Hip Syndrome which that caused me to dislocate my patella. And in August I started having this foot issue (its a irritated/inflammed nerve between my 3rd and 4th metatarsal). I've had an injection done and it didn't do me any good at all. Now my MD suggested surgery. I decided to visit my chiropractor to hopefully avoid the surgery, but I don't know what I'm going to do because I have to stand on my feet for 8 hours a day at work.

    I would love it if just changing my shoes could help. I currently wear Nike View 2 because I have to wear mostly black shoes and I heard these had good support and were wide (have to have wide shoes due to toe/foot issue) if anyone's curious about what I'm wearing now. Would love to hear from you if you have any ideas?

    • Steph

      I've had two neuromas, both of which were basically killed through sclerosing injections (exceedingly painful series of shots). I think the VFFs would actually help, once your arches and calves are strengthened enough to handle standing that long essentially barefoot. Because each toe goes in its own little compartment, it should really ease the pressure on the neuroma, spreading those metatarsals apart.

      I have worn orthotics for almost 9 years but a couple months ago started working at home and now rarely wear shoes unless I leave the house or go for a run – and about a month ago realized shoes are uncomfortable! I finally got to a store that sells VFFs last Friday and it was wonderful. I'd walked about 5 miles that morning and my feet were sore, and stepping into those was like heaven – barefoot, but with protection!

  • Pingback: October’s Top Ten Posts()

  • Darryl

    Got my pair of VFF KSO’s about 2 weeks ago now. The girlfriend and I debate over which looks worse, the KSO’s or the Crocs..(the Crocs are hideous hands down). But since the day I got them, aside from having to switch up to boots for riding a motorcycle, I have them on constantly. Granted I haven’t had to do much walking of length until this past weekend, so I hadn’t gotten to fully vet them. My thighs ache, my calves are sore, and my gluts have a little tenderness to them too. Call me a masochist but I enjoy all the pain! It means I’m doing something right and the weakness is leaving my body. I only just yesterday came upon your blog though. Prior to this I was introduced to VFFs from the Inside CNET Labs podcast. Glad to know other people are above being vain to try these out!

  • Darryl

    Got my pair of VFF KSO’s about 2 weeks ago now. The girlfriend and I debate over which looks worse, the KSO’s or the Crocs..(the Crocs are hideous hands down). But since the day I got them, aside from having to switch up to boots for riding a motorcycle, I have them on constantly. Granted I haven’t had to do much walking of length until this past weekend, so I hadn’t gotten to fully vet them. My thighs ache, my calves are sore, and my gluts have a little tenderness to them too. Call me a masochist but I enjoy all the pain! It means I’m doing something right and the weakness is leaving my body. I only just yesterday came upon your blog though. Prior to this I was introduced to VFFs from the Inside CNET Labs podcast. Glad to know other people are above being vain to try these out!

  • Darryl

    Got my pair of VFF KSO’s about 2 weeks ago now. The girlfriend and I debate over which looks worse, the KSO’s or the Crocs..(the Crocs are hideous hands down). But since the day I got them, aside from having to switch up to boots for riding a motorcycle, I have them on constantly. Granted I haven’t had to do much walking of length until this past weekend, so I hadn’t gotten to fully vet them. My thighs ache, my calves are sore, and my gluts have a little tenderness to them too. Call me a masochist but I enjoy all the pain! It means I’m doing something right and the weakness is leaving my body. I only just yesterday came upon your blog though. Prior to this I was introduced to VFFs from the Inside CNET Labs podcast. Glad to know other people are above being vain to try these out!

  • Justin

    I really like how the five fingers feel to wear, but I’ve made the mistake of doing too much too soon. I was anxious to get good use out of them, and now I’m dealing with stress fractures. VERY FRUSTRATING! I felt okay during a 4 mile run the other day on concrete, but now I have pain. It’s worse in my left foot than my right by a considerable margin, and now I’m forced to rest for several weeks so I don’t make it any worse than it already is. It’s a huge downer! I’m really pretty ticked off, but hopefully they’ll heal quickly and when I start again, I’ll just have to do like a mile or less to build up strength. I do like the product, it’s just that I really have to watch the mileage until my feet adapt properly to the change from traditional running shoes.

  • Justin

    I really like how the five fingers feel to wear, but I’ve made the mistake of doing too much too soon. I was anxious to get good use out of them, and now I’m dealing with stress fractures. VERY FRUSTRATING! I felt okay during a 4 mile run the other day on concrete, but now I have pain. It’s worse in my left foot than my right by a considerable margin, and now I’m forced to rest for several weeks so I don’t make it any worse than it already is. It’s a huge downer! I’m really pretty ticked off, but hopefully they’ll heal quickly and when I start again, I’ll just have to do like a mile or less to build up strength. I do like the product, it’s just that I really have to watch the mileage until my feet adapt properly to the change from traditional running shoes.

  • Justin

    I really like how the five fingers feel to wear, but I’ve made the mistake of doing too much too soon. I was anxious to get good use out of them, and now I’m dealing with stress fractures. VERY FRUSTRATING! I felt okay during a 4 mile run the other day on concrete, but now I have pain. It’s worse in my left foot than my right by a considerable margin, and now I’m forced to rest for several weeks so I don’t make it any worse than it already is. It’s a huge downer! I’m really pretty ticked off, but hopefully they’ll heal quickly and when I start again, I’ll just have to do like a mile or less to build up strength. I do like the product, it’s just that I really have to watch the mileage until my feet adapt properly to the change from traditional running shoes.

  • April

    I just got my first KSOs last week. Killed my calfs the first time I jogged in them on the treadmill. But I had done a lot of research and expected it and tried to start off small. So far no one has asked me about them (I've seen another guy in my gym wearing them), but my husband and children think they are funny looking. But I have Crocs and Uggs which I think are also pretty funny looking so I don't think too much about it. Heck, I go to the gym at 5am with no makeup and my hair in a ponytail, so the way I look is not my first concern. But so far like them and just ordered a pair of Classics so I can wear them around the house. I think I'm hooked!

  • April

    I just got my first KSOs last week. Killed my calfs the first time I jogged in them on the treadmill. But I had done a lot of research and expected it and tried to start off small. So far no one has asked me about them (I've seen another guy in my gym wearing them), but my husband and children think they are funny looking. But I have Crocs and Uggs which I think are also pretty funny looking so I don't think too much about it. Heck, I go to the gym at 5am with no makeup and my hair in a ponytail, so the way I look is not my first concern. But so far like them and just ordered a pair of Classics so I can wear them around the house. I think I'm hooked!

  • Amy

    Love my five fingers!!!!

  • Amy

    Love my five fingers!!!!

  • Amy

    Love my five fingers!!!!

  • Alvin

    Are you still running in the KSOs? Do you still like them?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I haven't been this Winter because of the cold, but I plan to this spring. I still love them. They are very comfortable.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I haven't been this Winter because of the cold, but I plan to this spring. I still love them. They are very comfortable.

    • MyGrandpasGarden

      I would love to have a pair of these shoes but I have twin toes (where the two next to the big toe don’t split all the way).  So far I’ve gotten no answer from anyone about the possibility of ever being able to have these shoes made for those like myself, it’s actually fairly common. I’ve even wondered if there were a way to reconstruct the shoes if I were to buy a pair?

  • Alvin

    Are you still running in the KSOs? Do you still like them?

  • Alvin

    Are you still running in the KSOs? Do you still like them?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I haven't been this Winter because of the cold, but I plan to this spring. I still love them. They are very comfortable.

  • http://www.readchris.com/ Chris Nordyke

    I love my VFF's, and now, with much commentary and ridicule, I where them virtually everywhere shirt and tie are not required.
    They get stinky though. Have you found a way to deal with this, apart from washing every few wears?
    My recent post What in the world is an insurance guy doing at CES? And what is CES??

  • http://www.readchris.com/ Chris Nordyke

    I love my VFF's, and now, with much commentary and ridicule, I where them virtually everywhere shirt and tie are not required.
    They get stinky though. Have you found a way to deal with this, apart from washing every few wears?
    My recent post What in the world is an insurance guy doing at CES? And what is CES??

  • http://www.readchris.com Chris Nordyke

    I love my VFF's, and now, with much commentary and ridicule, I where them virtually everywhere shirt and tie are not required.
    They get stinky though. Have you found a way to deal with this, apart from washing every few wears?
    My recent post What in the world is an insurance guy doing at CES? And what is CES??

  • Jessica

    My dad is a big fan of your blog and suggested I read this post. See, I'm a Vibram FiveFinger Rep. I was very excited to see that you enjoy yours and are speaking highly of them. Now I see that you have the KSOs but you might want to look into a new design we have called the Bikila. Its a FiveFinger specifically designed for runners with a whole new platform. Let me know what you think!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great. Will do. I also need something for cold-weather running. Thanks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great. Will do. I also need something for cold-weather running. Thanks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Can you provide me with a link? I can’t find these anywhere on the vibramfivefingers.com site. Thanks.

      • Jessica

        I realize that now. Sorry. Here is just a quick link I found. Its just something I found on Google really fast. They give a pretty good description of the shoe.
        http://birthdayshoes.com/index.php/more-on-the-vi
        As far as running in the cold, if you're looking to run barefoot still there isn't much to offer from the Vibram side but you might want to check out Injinji. I am also a rep for them, ha. They are athletic performance toe-socks. They are the only socks to be accepted by the American Podiatrist Association. http://www.injinji.com
        Hope that helps.

      • Jessica

        I realize that now. Sorry. Here is just a quick link I found. Its just something I found on Google really fast. They give a pretty good description of the shoe.
        http://birthdayshoes.com/index.php/more-on-the-vi
        As far as running in the cold, if you're looking to run barefoot still there isn't much to offer from the Vibram side but you might want to check out Injinji. I am also a rep for them, ha. They are athletic performance toe-socks. They are the only socks to be accepted by the American Podiatrist Association. http://www.injinji.com
        Hope that helps.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Can you provide me with a link? I can’t find these anywhere on the vibramfivefingers.com site. Thanks.

  • Jessica

    My dad is a big fan of your blog and suggested I read this post. See, I'm a Vibram FiveFinger Rep. I was very excited to see that you enjoy yours and are speaking highly of them. Now I see that you have the KSOs but you might want to look into a new design we have called the Bikila. Its a FiveFinger specifically designed for runners with a whole new platform. Let me know what you think!

  • Jessica

    My dad is a big fan of your blog and suggested I read this post. See, I'm a Vibram FiveFinger Rep. I was very excited to see that you enjoy yours and are speaking highly of them. Now I see that you have the KSOs but you might want to look into a new design we have called the Bikila. Its a FiveFinger specifically designed for runners with a whole new platform. Let me know what you think!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Great. Will do. I also need something for cold-weather running. Thanks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Can you provide me with a link? I can’t find these anywhere on the vibramfivefingers.com site. Thanks.

      • Jessica

        I realize that now. Sorry. Here is just a quick link I found. Its just something I found on Google really fast. They give a pretty good description of the shoe.
        http://birthdayshoes.com/index.php/more-on-the-vi
        As far as running in the cold, if you're looking to run barefoot still there isn't much to offer from the Vibram side but you might want to check out Injinji. I am also a rep for them, ha. They are athletic performance toe-socks. They are the only socks to be accepted by the American Podiatrist Association. http://www.injinji.com
        Hope that helps.

  • http://gortonsd.blogspot.com/ Sean

    I got a pair as well, though it took me a few tries to get the right size. Great Q&A post for those interested. I am loving these so far, my IT Band problems have subsided and I feel like I'm flying when I run. I ran XC throughout high school and College and I've never felt this good running. Running barefoot or with the Vibrams puts a smile on my face. I am also training for a marathon and I hope that I have the strength to do it with the five fingers. I am documenting my barefoot and vibram experiences at my blog http://gortonsd.blogspot.com/ for anyone that's interested.
    My recent post Fitting Vibram Five Fingers (my experience)

  • http://gortonsd.blogspot.com/ Sean

    I got a pair as well, though it took me a few tries to get the right size. Great Q&A post for those interested. I am loving these so far, my IT Band problems have subsided and I feel like I'm flying when I run. I ran XC throughout high school and College and I've never felt this good running. Running barefoot or with the Vibrams puts a smile on my face. I am also training for a marathon and I hope that I have the strength to do it with the five fingers. I am documenting my barefoot and vibram experiences at my blog http://gortonsd.blogspot.com/ for anyone that's interested.
    My recent post Fitting Vibram Five Fingers (my experience)

  • http://gortonsd.blogspot.com/ Sean

    I got a pair as well, though it took me a few tries to get the right size. Great Q&A post for those interested. I am loving these so far, my IT Band problems have subsided and I feel like I'm flying when I run. I ran XC throughout high school and College and I've never felt this good running. Running barefoot or with the Vibrams puts a smile on my face. I am also training for a marathon and I hope that I have the strength to do it with the five fingers. I am documenting my barefoot and vibram experiences at my blog http://gortonsd.blogspot.com/ for anyone that's interested.
    My recent post Fitting Vibram Five Fingers (my experience)

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  • http://www.JanetOber.com/ Janet Oberholtzer

    Hi … I just bought my first pair of VFFs and am slowly adapting to them. I directed a few friends to your site when they asked about them.
    I'm curious if you are still running in them – and if so, are you running longer distances ran in them? Are you doing all your running in them?

    Happy Running!

    My recent post Sunday Saying – Thankful

  • http://www.JanetOber.com/ Janet Oberholtzer

    Hi … I just bought my first pair of VFFs and am slowly adapting to them. I directed a few friends to your site when they asked about them.
    I'm curious if you are still running in them – and if so, are you running longer distances ran in them? Are you doing all your running in them?

    Happy Running!

    My recent post Sunday Saying – Thankful

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I am actually alternating between the Vibrams and traditional running shoes. Once the weather gets warmer, I plan to run more in the Vibrams. I love them. I especially like the way they naturally improve my stride. I still highly recommend them.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I am actually alternating between the Vibrams and traditional running shoes. Once the weather gets warmer, I plan to run more in the Vibrams. I love them. I especially like the way they naturally improve my stride. I still highly recommend them.

  • http://www.JanetOber.com Janet Oberholtzer

    Hi … I just bought my first pair of VFFs and am slowly adapting to them. I directed a few friends to your site when they asked about them.
    I'm curious if you are still running in them – and if so, are you running longer distances ran in them? Are you doing all your running in them?

    Happy Running!

    My recent post Sunday Saying – Thankful

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I am actually alternating between the Vibrams and traditional running shoes. Once the weather gets warmer, I plan to run more in the Vibrams. I love them. I especially like the way they naturally improve my stride. I still highly recommend them.

  • Joseph McMillin

    Hi. I’ve been a distance runner, off and on, for about 5 years now. Over the course of the last year or so a very specific pain evolved in my knee. From what I’ve gathered via the internet, it was “runner’s knee” or maybe “patellar tendinitis.” Well, after seeing McDougall on the Daily Show, I went out and bought his book. I then asked for and received a pair of Vibrams for Christmas. I’ve been running in them ever since, and, I kid you not, my knee feels great. It’s only been a couple months, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this barefoot (or nearly so) thing will keep me running for many years to come. My calves needed strengthening and my feet needed to develop some toughness, but I think I’m getting there. I’m almost up to the same mileage and speed I was doing with shoes.

  • Joseph McMillin

    Hi. I’ve been a distance runner, off and on, for about 5 years now. Over the course of the last year or so a very specific pain evolved in my knee. From what I’ve gathered via the internet, it was “runner’s knee” or maybe “patellar tendinitis.” Well, after seeing McDougall on the Daily Show, I went out and bought his book. I then asked for and received a pair of Vibrams for Christmas. I’ve been running in them ever since, and, I kid you not, my knee feels great. It’s only been a couple months, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this barefoot (or nearly so) thing will keep me running for many years to come. My calves needed strengthening and my feet needed to develop some toughness, but I think I’m getting there. I’m almost up to the same mileage and speed I was doing with shoes.

  • Joseph McMillin

    Hi. I’ve been a distance runner, off and on, for about 5 years now. Over the course of the last year or so a very specific pain evolved in my knee. From what I’ve gathered via the internet, it was “runner’s knee” or maybe “patellar tendinitis.” Well, after seeing McDougall on the Daily Show, I went out and bought his book. I then asked for and received a pair of Vibrams for Christmas. I’ve been running in them ever since, and, I kid you not, my knee feels great. It’s only been a couple months, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this barefoot (or nearly so) thing will keep me running for many years to come. My calves needed strengthening and my feet needed to develop some toughness, but I think I’m getting there. I’m almost up to the same mileage and speed I was doing with shoes.

  • Scott

    Do you wear Socks with these shoes?

  • Scott

    Do you wear Socks with these shoes?

  • Scott

    Do you wear Socks with these shoes?

  • justin

    Michael,

    Great review — if I might make a suggestion: relegate your Classics to casual wear whereby you don't cinch the strap. If you're up for it, just cut the elastic strap and remove it entirely. Either way, this should improve your experience with the Classics and make them all around more comfortable and useful Five Fingers.

    Also, I hope you'll take a look at the "beginner's guide" to five fingers that I created — just a free pdf resource that gets into the basics and makes some recommendations. Now that there are seven VFF models out in the US with another on the way in the next couple months (the fivefingers running shoe Bikila), it can all get a bit confusing. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/5_fingers_guide

    Keep us updated on your ongoing useage/thoughts!

    Justin @ birthdayshoes.com

  • http://twitter.com/TALLSH0RTGIRL @TALLSH0RTGIRL

    I've been seeing this more and more at triathlons and even at the gym. The concept and idea behind it makes sense. I'm not very big on running but if I was, I'd consider getting them.

  • http://twitter.com/TALLSH0RTGIRL @TALLSH0RTGIRL

    I've been seeing this more and more at triathlons and even at the gym. The concept and idea behind it makes sense. I'm not very big on running but if I was, I'd consider getting them.

  • http://twitter.com/TALLSH0RTGIRL @TALLSH0RTGIRL

    I've been seeing this more and more at triathlons and even at the gym. The concept and idea behind it makes sense. I'm not very big on running but if I was, I'd consider getting them.

  • http://fedupwithordinary.ascensiondesign.co.uk/ Kit Barker

    I started running in Five Fingers Classics a couple of months ago. I'm a new runner and have no real experience in "normal" shoes. After a couple of runs to get used to them, I'm running almost all the time in them (they don't work very well in deep snow!) and have done 10 mile runs in them.

    I'm wearing them for my upcoming coast to coast run (150 miles in 6 days) so I hope they're up to it! I'd really like a pair of the KSO Trek models but when they come out in the UK they'll cost £165 (about $250) which is a little(!) too expensive for me!
    My recent post Arrgghhh! Blisters!

  • http://fedupwithordinary.ascensiondesign.co.uk/ Kit Barker

    I started running in Five Fingers Classics a couple of months ago. I'm a new runner and have no real experience in "normal" shoes. After a couple of runs to get used to them, I'm running almost all the time in them (they don't work very well in deep snow!) and have done 10 mile runs in them.

    I'm wearing them for my upcoming coast to coast run (150 miles in 6 days) so I hope they're up to it! I'd really like a pair of the KSO Trek models but when they come out in the UK they'll cost £165 (about $250) which is a little(!) too expensive for me!
    My recent post Arrgghhh! Blisters!

  • http://fedupwithordinary.ascensiondesign.co.uk Kit Barker

    I started running in Five Fingers Classics a couple of months ago. I'm a new runner and have no real experience in "normal" shoes. After a couple of runs to get used to them, I'm running almost all the time in them (they don't work very well in deep snow!) and have done 10 mile runs in them.

    I'm wearing them for my upcoming coast to coast run (150 miles in 6 days) so I hope they're up to it! I'd really like a pair of the KSO Trek models but when they come out in the UK they'll cost £165 (about $250) which is a little(!) too expensive for me!
    My recent post Arrgghhh! Blisters!

  • connie

    I have plantar fay-she-i-tus and struggle doing yoga, would these help?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      They have helped some people.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      They have helped some people.

  • connie

    I have plantar fay-she-i-tus and struggle doing yoga, would these help?

  • connie

    I have plantar fay-she-i-tus and struggle doing yoga, would these help?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      They have helped some people.

  • coneswm

    I just bought a pair of Vibram's and wore them on the treadmill at the gym. One of the gym trainers came over and asked: "What is on your FEET!?" I had trouble defending my new footwear after she tolled my I would develop plantar fascitis. Thanks for your post on how to handle common questions. I did feel embarrassed wearing them, but I think in the long run it will help me become a better runner.

  • coneswm

    I just bought a pair of Vibram's and wore them on the treadmill at the gym. One of the gym trainers came over and asked: "What is on your FEET!?" I had trouble defending my new footwear after she tolled my I would develop plantar fascitis. Thanks for your post on how to handle common questions. I did feel embarrassed wearing them, but I think in the long run it will help me become a better runner.

  • coneswm

    I just bought a pair of Vibram's and wore them on the treadmill at the gym. One of the gym trainers came over and asked: "What is on your FEET!?" I had trouble defending my new footwear after she tolled my I would develop plantar fascitis. Thanks for your post on how to handle common questions. I did feel embarrassed wearing them, but I think in the long run it will help me become a better runner.

  • Pingback: What do you tell people? « wannabe runner()

  • Mike

    Could we get an update on your inning in these? I’ve Ben running in my bedroom slippers because Rey have no cushion, just a bit of protection.

    Also, I hate my Saucony running shoes because they feel heavy and awkward.

    Thanks!
    Mike

  • Mike

    Could we get an update on your inning in these? I’ve Ben running in my bedroom slippers because Rey have no cushion, just a bit of protection.

    Also, I hate my Saucony running shoes because they feel heavy and awkward.

    Thanks!
    Mike

  • Mike

    Could we get an update on your inning in these? I’ve Ben running in my bedroom slippers because Rey have no cushion, just a bit of protection.

    Also, I hate my Saucony running shoes because they feel heavy and awkward.

    Thanks!
    Mike

  • kyle

    i got my kso's on saturday and haven't worn my shoes since (it is now monday) i even went to work in them and school. i did some running and my achilies tendon is week. fuck shoes!!!!!! they are shackles.

  • kyle

    i got my kso's on saturday and haven't worn my shoes since (it is now monday) i even went to work in them and school. i did some running and my achilies tendon is week. fuck shoes!!!!!! they are shackles.

  • kyle

    i got my kso's on saturday and haven't worn my shoes since (it is now monday) i even went to work in them and school. i did some running and my achilies tendon is week. fuck shoes!!!!!! they are shackles.

  • Greg Fauteux

    After running injury free for 13 years I read "Born to Run" ; I was compelled to get back to basics. I started wearing vibram five fingers after completing the Hyannis marathon this February. I have completely flat feet that were very uncomfortable in the vibrams at first, but after a week they felt dramatically better. After wearing them exclusively at work for the last six weeks I just completed my first 5 mile run in them.
    They were great; my stride was shorter and my cadence was higher than when I run in my Brooks Beasts. When running with them I am forced to run in a way that minimizes impact, which I believe will benefit me in the long run. I would highly recommend them, they work well if you use the Pose technique while running. They are amazing even if you have extremely flat feet; just give yourself time to adjust to them. My feet feel so much stronger already.

  • Greg Fauteux

    After running injury free for 13 years I read "Born to Run" ; I was compelled to get back to basics. I started wearing vibram five fingers after completing the Hyannis marathon this February. I have completely flat feet that were very uncomfortable in the vibrams at first, but after a week they felt dramatically better. After wearing them exclusively at work for the last six weeks I just completed my first 5 mile run in them.
    They were great; my stride was shorter and my cadence was higher than when I run in my Brooks Beasts. When running with them I am forced to run in a way that minimizes impact, which I believe will benefit me in the long run. I would highly recommend them, they work well if you use the Pose technique while running. They are amazing even if you have extremely flat feet; just give yourself time to adjust to them. My feet feel so much stronger already.

  • Greg Fauteux

    After running injury free for 13 years I read "Born to Run" ; I was compelled to get back to basics. I started wearing vibram five fingers after completing the Hyannis marathon this February. I have completely flat feet that were very uncomfortable in the vibrams at first, but after a week they felt dramatically better. After wearing them exclusively at work for the last six weeks I just completed my first 5 mile run in them.
    They were great; my stride was shorter and my cadence was higher than when I run in my Brooks Beasts. When running with them I am forced to run in a way that minimizes impact, which I believe will benefit me in the long run. I would highly recommend them, they work well if you use the Pose technique while running. They are amazing even if you have extremely flat feet; just give yourself time to adjust to them. My feet feel so much stronger already.

  • Tammy Hassenpflug

    I have had mine (KSO's) for a few weeks now and up to running a mile in them. I love them. I wear them everywhere, even scuba diving. It does take some getting used to run in them but I am doing fine with that. I live in South LA and the pavement is a little hot, not sure that I will be able to stand it in the middle of summer but so far so good. I also highly recommend Born To Run. Love my Chia seeds too!!

  • Tammy Hassenpflug

    I have had mine (KSO's) for a few weeks now and up to running a mile in them. I love them. I wear them everywhere, even scuba diving. It does take some getting used to run in them but I am doing fine with that. I live in South LA and the pavement is a little hot, not sure that I will be able to stand it in the middle of summer but so far so good. I also highly recommend Born To Run. Love my Chia seeds too!!

  • Bob

    I've been running in the Vibrams (Classics then KSO) for eight months now. I've completed three half marathons in them including two in the last 10 days. I've run on trails, pavement, rain and snow, and everything has worked well. My feet no longer get tired or sore from running in them. The only issue I've had is that in my last half marathon, there was considerable water on the road (ankle deep at times) and I ended up with some raw spots on the instep of my feet. Otherwise, no foot pain or soreness. I never wear my old running shoes anymore except for yard work.

  • Thomas

    I’ve been running in KSO treks for about 4 weeks now on trails. They are awesome. Your feet do need some time to adjust and at first you may get some blisters. After that stage you will be able to run in them comfortably once your perfect your new stride. I would recommend wearing socks with them. I’m pleased with my results so far and I’m running about 4 miles now in them. I’m exciting to see my progress in another month or so. Previously I had just bought some new trail runners by Asics which I loved at the time. Sadly after I got my vibrams I only ran in them once and it felt like I was lugging around buckets of cement. That could be an exaggeration, but I’m a believer in the barefoot running concept and now I prefer it to wearing traditional running shoes. My goal is to get to a point where I can run a marathon in them.

  • Tara

    My last pair of five fingers slipped off my feet, but now I use Gistwear’s originals (http://www.gistwear.com) that I found through our church’s running club – it seems to be the only one with a zipper, so I can make them fit perfect!

  • http://www.FiveFingerFootwear.com Paul D

    Loved this – “ridicule is the last stage you go through before you order a pair!”

    So true!!!!

  • http://hackmylife.typepad.com Rex @ Hack My Life

    For those interested in barefoot running, this article has a lot of great research on why it is better for you both physiologically and for running economy/performance. http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm

    -Rex
    A dedicated barefoot runner

  • http://www.jeffstockdale.com Jeffery Stockdale

    Several of my college students use and love them! I am ordering a part today!

  • http://twitter.com/NateBailey @NateBailey

    Mike! I'm glad you did a blog post on the Vibrams. I've had a black pair of KSO's as well for over a year now and I absolutely LOVE them – they are FANTASTIC!! I would advise people to try them on before buying. I knew that I wanted them no matter what, just because of the benefits they bring to your feet, but Kelly didn't like the feel of them.

    "The companies that make these shoes are not going to admit that their product is the problem rather than the solution." SOO True! Just like the milk industry, they wouldn't tell you that the lactose in milk leeches calcium FROM your bones, instead of providing it.

    Great Post! :-)

  • http://www.jackcavanaugh.com Jack Cavanaugh

    I purchased a pair after reading your blog and love them. Often, I just wear them around the house and yard for comfort. I'm of the age where I don't care what people think of my attire, so that's a non-issue for me. Had it not been for your review, I never would have heard of them.

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    Despite consistent rates of injuries over time using traditional shoe models, the reasons for injuries are far varied and not always related to shoes. Persons who have orthopedic changes in their legs and feet – post-injury or from aging – may want to let more time pass before giving these a try.

    Time will tell if there is an significant difference between these and the kind of running shoes that have dominated the markets for decades.

    Very reasonable recommendations to work-up slowly on the mileage wearing these. I see no problem with a trial of these, if a person can afford to purchase them for a trial.

    I would not want persons with neurological disorders to think of these as the new fix for gait problems. (Always a concern.) Not buying the "encased in casts for years" comparison.

    Thanks for an informative post, Michael.

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    Despite consistent rates of injuries over time using traditional shoe models, the reasons for injuries are far varied and not always related to shoes. Persons who have orthopedic changes in their legs and feet – post-injury or from aging – may want to let more time pass before giving these a try.

    Your recommendations for a gradual increase in distance is reasonable.

  • http://twitter.com/johnsoax @johnsoax

    I'd love to get a pair, but can't find them in stock anywhere. I need size 39 KSO's or 39 KSO Trek (would prefer the Trek model).

  • http://www.awesomebymystandards.com Patrick

    I always tell people that my Vibrams have been one of the best investments I have made. Even with flat feet, they work really well, though I am not into running as much as lifting, slacklining, and some other fitness sports.

    Nice write-up, well organized. :)

  • Avram

    Michael,

    Thanks for an awesome review. I'm just getting into running now and seriously thinking about purchasing a pair of the KSOs. I'd absolutely love an update on how you like them after the months have passed by. Do you still run in them all the time?

    Also, what kind of pain should one expect when switching to these? Calf seems to make sense but is there anything else I should be aware of?

    Thanks,
    Avram

  • http://www.meryl.net/section/blog Meryl K Evans

    I got a pair last December and have used them on the stairclimber. I tried to use them on a treadmill, but it felt too noisy between the Vibrams and the treadmill. Nonetheless, it's nice having an option that doesn't require socks. I also have a pair of Vibram socks for wearing in the winter.

  • http://www.1000verses.com james1000

    Second time I've seen these. First time was a lady at a Bible study – I thought they were cool, but am a little leary. Not sold – at least not yet :) Keep us posted especially as you continue training (after my first half marathon last week, I'm open minded!)

  • http://twitter.com/kbeck1 @kbeck1

    I bought the Sprint model Memorial Day weekend and have run about 25 miles in the past 3 weeks. Needless to say I LOVE them!! In the past I have NEVER experienced that runner's high people talk about and I think it was because my ankles and hamstrings hurt so much. (I am flat footed.) With my five fingers I have minimum pain and can get lost in the run!! Thanks for reviewing them.

  • April Dunn

    I LOVE my Vibrams. Wore them for the first time in an 8K race and never looked back.

  • chenyze

    Hi, I'm really considering the KSO because of the exposure coverage, and since it seems versatile enough for indoor (e.g. yoga, gym) and outdoor (e.g. pavements) activities. Just wondering – are they easy to wash and clean? I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to clean them adequately to use on yoga mats after running outdoors!

  • Antoniette

    How timely …. I saw a girl at the gym today with "these" shoes on. I had no idea what they were and wanted to ask her about them – but did not get the opportunity to. I "happened" to stumble on this blogpost while reading about a completely unrelated topic. Great input! I "might" try them – if I can get past my vanity. haahha

  • MST

    After many years off, I started running again about 6 years ago. I have not had an injury free day since. I have worn the expensive running shoes, inserts, orthotics, heel cups, sport tape, etc. Yet I still suffered from PF, Shin splints, Runners knee, and calf strain. I decided to try the Five Fingers about 3 weeks ago. I am up to 1 mile a day (taking it slowly, as recommended), so far so good. I wouldn't say that it is a miracle fix, but I do feel my feet/arches getting stronger.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1336682904 Robert McDonald

    I bought my first pair about a month ago and I absolutely love them as a matter of fact, I am going to get another pair this evening. A little history, I have had two ACL reconstructions and a Bunion surgery.. I also used to suffer from Compartment syndrome in my right calf. I had the Bunion removed by cutting out part of the first metatarsal bone, that was in Dec of 2008. I Started running again seriously again in July of 2009 and was still suffering from pain in my knees and of course the bottom of my foot. A new pain had developed in my left knee and was diagnosed as Patellar tendinitis caused by the first ACL reconstruction. They used part of the patella tendon to replace my ACL. A friend of mine told me about the "Toe Shoes" as he had been using them for about a year. I decided that I would try a pair. I have never been one to follow instructions, so my first run was 3 miles. I could not believe how fast I was able to run that day and w/o pain. I absolutely felt as if I was flying around the track. The next day arrived and my calves were pretty sore, but I decided to wear the shoes anyways, that was a Friday. Saturday morning I jumped out of bed and dern near landed on my face. My calf muscles were so sore, I could barely walk. They remained sore for about a week. Since then, my muscles have healed and I am able to run almost every day. I don't run long distances, not more than 3.5 miles at a time. My goal is time, I always try to maintain a 6 minute mile pace. Some days I succeed and some days I dont. Long story short, I have put probably 75 miles or more on these shoes and I am not suffering from any form of pain in my patella, foot or knees any longer. Of course my calf muscles still get sore, but nothing a little stretching or walking doesn't cure. Later today, I plan to make a 65 mile drive so I can obtain a second pair of KSO's. I absolutely love these shoes and dont plan to ever wear another pair of standard shoes again!!!

  • http://www.wordwranglernc.wordpress.com Donna Earnhardt

    I’ve been exploring this option for shoes for about a year now. I go barefooted as often as possible, but not so sure how long it would take me to learn to run in those shoes!

    Thanks for the candid review!

    peace,
    Donna

  • http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/ KatApel

    Look forward to hearing your long-term prognosis, Michael – also in terms of durability. I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum to you – like to buy tried and trusted. :) Thanks for posting. (Though I am still puzzling why they call them ‘FiveFingers’ when they go on your feet! ‘TenToes’ works for me.)

  • http://twitter.com/charphar Charlie Pharis

    I’ve had my KSOs for about 9 months now. I love ‘em! My biggest problem was that my calves and Achilles tendons hurt like crazy the first week or so. Going down stairs was particularly brutal! But that went away as I got used to them. I run in mine, wear them to work, and pretty much do as I do in “normal” shoes.

    As far as the “gorilla feet” appearance goes, say it like this: “They’re good for running, great for weight training, and OUTSTANDING for conversation!”

  • http://www.bepainfreeforlife.com John Elder

    Michael,
    VERY informative post. I’ve had my VFFs for over 2 years now and can’t wear them enough. Last weekend I did a 25+ mile adventure race in them and covered about 9 miles running and 18 miles biking. I wrote a four-part series on Vibrams and how they help increase overall function in the body, decrease hip and shoulder pain and even help you breathe better.

    Here they are if you’d like to share them with your readers:
    Part 1: http://wp.me/pbv4c-6J
    Part 2: http://wp.me/pbv4c-70
    Part 3: http://wp.me/pbv4c-7d
    Part 4: http://wp.me/pbv4c-7h

    I, too, have received no compensation and am not affiliate with Vibram in any way.

    Thanks again for this post.

    John Elder
    Clinic Director
    Egoscue Nashville
    johne@egoscue.com

    • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

      Good information, John. Appreciate that information. 

  • http://aaronhouseholder.net Aaron

    I’m a runner & a pragmatic fella. And, yes, each marathon I’ve trained for has had an accompanying running related injury. I’ve yet to try barefoot or fivefingers. Thanks so much for your review.

  • http://www.healthy-pills.com Healthy Supplements

    Your site has been mentioned in my forum as a recommended reading. Im glad I passed by to see it.

  • Cindy

    The Oprah Magazine online recently had an article about ‘Shoes That Feel Like You Are Barefoot’ at http://www.oprah.com/style/Adams-Favorite-Barefoot-Running-Shoes. This article mentions two other shoes besides the Vibram that you might want to check out as well.

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that link!

  • http://www.AmysDanceFitnessEveryDay.com AmyHodge

    I am also a barefoot runner but favor the Vibram Bikila — the shoe actually designated for running in the Vibram line. Check into them as the backs are more comfortable than the KSO (which I also like, btw…). Just did my first 5K in the Bikilas.

    Imagine the time when barefoot running becomes more mainstream. Picture this: 5 or 6 barefooters chatting before a race. Someone walks up wearing Nike Shox, Aasics, Brooks, a “shoe.” All conversation stops, the barefooters turn toward the shod runner and say, “Hey…can we ask you about your shoes?” :)

  • Mary Hicks

    My son recommended Vibram Five Fingers; he has been wearing them for several months. I bought a pair last week and he and I went out for a 1.5 run. Love them. No problems even though I have not run in a while.

  • Sujeel

    Hi Mike,
    I’m enjoying your blog posts. You mentioned you were on track to run a 1/2 marathon in the Five-fingers this November. Have you done that? How were the shoes?

    • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, unfortunately, I have not. I had an injury and wasn’t able to complete my training for that race. However, I am continuing to run in them. Thanks.

  • XC97

    Hi,
    I am 13 years old and I run Cross Country for my school. I have a pretty bad case of Plantars Fasciitis in both feet. Would running in VIbram FiveFingers help me, or make it worse?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I can’t guarantee it of course, but I think they might help. I had Plantars myself and ended up being custom orthotics.

  • Atticus

    I think the shoes have some benefits, but I would never switch from regular running shoes.
    These shoes can be terrible for you if you don’t have a proper gate. I know most of you
    reviewing are just recreational runners/joggers so it won’t effect you as much. It is silly to think these are better for you then regular running shoes. The days of bakila have passed. I am a professional middle distance runner.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Have you read Born to Run? The science is pretty compelling.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    Interesting. I’ve worked out before barefoot and the bottoms of my feet hurt afterward. Do you have any arch support issues? I understand that these are supposed to help feet return to their natural shape, but have you encountered any negative side effects?

  • Loc T

    I just bought 2 pairs of VFFs KSO and like them a lot. It’s been a week and I’ve run about 30 miles in them — that’s less than my regular weekly mileage because I am still getting used to these VFFs. My calves hurt a lot, especially the first 3 days (my first run in them was 6 miles on the high school track and on the grass) but it’s getting better. I thought the muscle soreness would be minimal because I run 18-20 miles every Saturday and don’t even feel any soreness at all and felt little pain after each marathon, but these VFFs really work the calf muscles I didn’t know I have. So I hope my legs and feet are getting stronger and used to these VFFs fast so I could run my next marathon in them — about 2 months from now.

    One of the difficult things for me is to get over the fear of landing too hard and hurt my feet, but that has never happened in these VFFs. About 30 minutes into each run I forget the fear and just land normally (luckily I’ve never been a heel striker to begin with.) These VFFs will get immediately wet every time I run on grass but they become dry so quickly too. I live in sunny Southern CA so no worries about the cold weather. I tried them on asphalt, concrete pavements, dirt trails, treadmills, hills — all good (I feel everything on the street surface though.) Going uphill: great; going downhill: not too good. I feel like the bottoms of these VFFs are pinching the bottoms of my feet — around the big toes. Didn’t hurt, but it was just a weird sensation.

    As of now I can’t get to the speed I used to do in my Brooks shoes — I am minute slower per mile than what I used to run, but I hope to catch up, in these VFFs, in a month or so.

    A lot of reviewers here mention “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall — yeah, I read that too. Like it a lot. I bought two more copies of it for my nephew and a co-worker. I found another running book that is also very good and full of practical advice is “Run for Life” by Roy M Wallack. These two books complete each other. “Run for Life” talks a lot about “run soft” — land on your forefoot or middle foot and never the heels; slightly bend your knees when you land, correct arm swings, etc.

    Thanks for your blog. Interesting stuff.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    A teen in my youth ministry just bought pair of these. I’m still not convinced that they’ll work for me though. Thanks for the insight on them!

  • http://deedee-warren.blogspot.com DeeDee

    I just purchased my Vibrams and have only run in them two times. But I am already a fan. I can tell a difference in my knees immediately.

    Thanks for the review/recommendation.

    (I also just completed reading “Born to Run” )

  • http://twitter.com/2020VisionBook Joshua Hood

    Interesting concept! I like things that challenge ‘normal’. Thanks for the info!

    Joshua Hood
    2020visiononline.org

  • Ed Bradshaw

    Bought some on the street in Vegas and promptly went hiking in Red Rock Canyon. I was surprised how comfortable they are. They are almost like climbing shoes and nimble on rock.

  • http://jeffgoins.myadventures.org Jeff Goins

    Michael, you run races, too, right? Do you use these in marathons and such? If not, what do you use?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I haven’t used them in a race yet. I intended, too, but got sidetracked. I do train in them, however.

  • Pingback: Ugly Shoe Dad | Orange Fathers()

  • Mark Cooper

    Thanks for the info man, considering getting some 5fingers, you convinced me, cheers, Mark

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708789523 Erika Rimes

    I bought a pair of FiveFingers (Bikilas) and love them. I’ve been running an average 50km a week now, I’m training for a marathon in 3 months and started my training back in February. I did a half marathon in May. So i’ve been running hard for the past 5 months. I’ve been running 4 to 5 times a week for 2 years now (a few months off here and there) but seriously got back into running July 2010. I have slowly gone down to light, flatter shoes as i run long distances most of the time and my body is conditioned enough to handle a lighter, flatter shoe. I wore NB Barringer 890 for my Half marathon and loved the shoe, but saw Fivefingers and was very curious!! Did my first run yesterday in them, probably too long (14km). took it slow and walked a few ks here and there but loved them! Today my calves are sore but i can walk, the muscles just feel a bit tight, like i’ve been lifting weights i.e. Strength!  I have been stretching, put ice on my calves yesterday and they feel fine, just a little tight.  When i started running in them yesterday I immediately noticed a difference, my posture was better and in a weird way I didn’t feel i was wasting any upper body energy. It was a slow run but a comfortable, steady run. I will have to wait till i get stronger to push for a faster stride but i’m definitely converted!!! Love them. I will alternate with my flat, lightweight NB runners and gradually the FiveFingers is all i’ll run in, i hope!  Anyone else noticed less energy wasted in the upper body?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708789523 Erika Rimes

    Also, i believe Birkenstocks go hand in hand with trying to run barefoot (moving towards it) or running with Five Fingers. The structure of the Birks helps align your feet to function properly (toes stretch and get stronger, toes evenly aligned, foot muscles get stronger). I took up wearing Birks about 4 months into running back in 2009 and never looked back. My feet are so much stronger and well balanced. I love my feet! Plus i am way better at yoga now!

  • Erica Gilliam

    hey Michael, I had a question for you. I have been running in Vibram’s as well as fully barefoot for several months, however I have recently developed pain on my achilles tendon. It has gotten so bad that I can’t even run 100 feet without it hurting. Have you ever experienced anything similar to this? I have searched online for information about the cause, but can find absolutely nothing. It’s to the point where I may have to put shoes back on… 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, I have not. I would have it checked out by a good doctor or physical therapist.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Very interesting. I’ve picked up running (again) in the past couple of weeks. I’ve seen these [shoes?] and have thought about running in them. Also almost read “Born To Run” after reading what it was about in the bookstore. So many questions.

    But I’ll ask just one. :)
    Do they size the same way as a shoe? If I wear 11 Nike Vomero, would that translate into  the Vibrams KSO? Or maybe a better question is, “Did you find your size to translate accurately from your shoe?”Guardedly Excited,Mark :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, they fit pretty much the same. However, you can probably find a place locally to try them on. They are much more broadly distributed now than when I initially wrote this post. For example, REI carries them. Thanks.

  • http://www.bretmavrich.com Bret Mavrich

    Update: Bro-in-law M.D. just diagnosed me with Morton’s Neuroma (agitated nerve in my foot). I went out a little too hard too fast, evidently. 

    You still rocking your Gorilla feet?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I haven’t worn them in a while. I need to. I have been doing a lot of cross-traning.

      • Kellen Mcwhite

        I am reading and I am almost done with born to run. For those who haven’t read it, do so. Let me begin by stating I began working out 9 years ago and I hate cardio and especially running. In fact, my wife and I picked up bikes last fall because I wasn’t having anything to do with running which she enjoys. I learned about vibrams and went to my nearest REI. The sales guy was a dope but I did my research so I felt confident. I left with KSO’s and begin a month long journey of working out/lifting, walking and wearing them as everyday house shoes. In fact, 4 weeks after my newfound discovery of the fingerlike slippers, we honeymooned in St Lucia where running, hiking, sailing, zip-lining and pretty much everything involved these new skins. Now, after never running more than a mile before dying of air and thirst, I run 2-3 miles and I can’t wait to do more. BTW, I purchase mine April 2011

  • Anonymous

    Michael!

    Great review!! I especially like #6!

    How would you rate the breathability of these shoes?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good. I haven’t had a problem with that.

  • Guomengluck

    bond paper    bond paper

    thermal paper    thermal paper

    thermal paper rolls    thermal paper rolls

    POS paper    POS paper

    thermal fax paper    thermal fax paper

    ATM paper    ATM paper

    fax paper    fax paper

    fax paper rolls    fax paper rolls

    receipt paper    receipt paper

    carbonless paper    carbonless paper

    thermal label    thermal label

     

  • Guomengluck

     bond paper    bond paper

    thermal paper    thermal paper

    thermal paper rolls    thermal paper rolls

    POS paper    POS paper

    thermal fax paper    thermal fax paper

    ATM paper    ATM paper

    fax paper    fax paper

    fax paper rolls    fax paper rolls

    receipt paper    receipt paper

    carbonless paper    carbonless paper

    thermal label    thermal label

  • Queenoftheworld

    Is it weird putting your toes into individual pockets?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It takes some getting used to.

  • world top tenz

    interesting article ..this  feet outfit looks to be quite comfortable
      World Top Tenz
     

  • Rchelbig

    Michael I would like to thank you for this great review. I just bought KSOs in black exactly like the ones pictured above two days ago. I am currently sitting in my office (dress is business casual every day) wearing them with slacks and a polo. The people that have noticed think one of two things when they see them: 1) they’re the ugliest shoes on the planet(probable future customers) or 2) those look funny but where can I get a pair :)

    Honestly, I’d love to wear them to work all the time, but I don’t think I’d get away with wearing them every day. I’m willing to bet they’re against corporate dress code, but I’ll have to check with HR.

    I haven’t run in them yet but I figured since Im just now getting back into running and I naturally forefoot strike to begin with I might as well give them a shot.  So far I love them and never want to take them off. They’re ridiculously comfortable to wear and pretty easy to get on once you figure it out the first time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If you start running in them, take it slow! No more than a half a mile the first day, then calibrate from there. My daughter went a couple of miles the first day and could hardly walk the next day. I am up to five miles in them now.

      • Rchelbig

        Haha yea I’ve been seeing all these comments so I will definitely take it easy. Im going on a jog around my apt complex tomorrow ~.6 miles and ill build from there. What were you at before the vibrams mileage wise?

  • http://www.brianhagman.com Brian Hagman

    They are some ugly looking shoes but you sold me on them.  Going to have to give them a try if my wife will let me out of the house with them on!

    Great review and very helpful.

  • Chandra Hester

    I was a track star for my High school in Sri Lanka for  4 years and I always ran without shoes. I practiced for 4 hours everyday after school without shoes. I have NO foot problems now, nor did I ever have problems with my feet. I think track shoes are over rated here in the USA. I might try those things you wear to run. Maybe If I get tired of running without shoes. They look like BIG foot shoes. Anyway If you like them and they help you -Go for it! I recommend- NO shoes  for running. Listen to the girl with the experience of No shoe running.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Michael, it looks like you’re running these again as I just saw your tweet. How are they working out for you? I’m trying to decide between these and the Merrell Trail Gloves.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I am using both—and alternating between the two.

  • Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal

    This so made me laugh! They are the total rage here in Colorado. Come on out and you’ll just be one of the crowd!

  • Bikeliker

    I bought mine about 3 weeks ago and have logged about 12 miles in them so far.  I am running about 3.5 miles at this point and like them.  What I like is I am feeling my intrinsic muscles in my foot and my distal calf belly after this many miles.  While not a high mileage runner, I am able to run 5-8 miles at the drop of a hat and honestly feel nothing in my legs (lungs are a different matter;-) after those distances.  For me to feel anything in my feet and legs after 3 miles was a shock and I guess “proves” to me that the shoes are certainly allowing my feet to move into ranges of motion that they aren’t typically able to in traditional running shoes.  Sooooo…  early results are good and will continue to add mileage as my body allows.  I’m in no hurry.   

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good to hear. I like how I can “feel the ground,” too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C7DPLCOJNMYWPTJSGTAP4W5DKU Alex

    How long do they last? Are they as durable as standard running shoes?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, in my experience they are. I am still running in the same pair I started with.

    • Paul

      in a sense they’re more durable than regular running shoes because you don’t have a shoe company telling you you need to replace them when the padding is thin. they can wear in that with time the sole might come unglued, but you can just glue it back with shoe goo or gorilla glue and you’re good to go again! i’m training for a half marathon in mine and i’m up to 11 miles and have never enjoyed running so much. had sore calves for months getting used to them, but just ran through it.

  • Sharon

    Thanks for this post! I have recently had yet another (and my worst to date) injury while marathon training. I have bought a pair of Vibrams and I am reading Born to Run. Once I am healed, I am looking forward to slowly retraining my feet.  

  • Shelley

    I run in Vibram Bikila’s and love them.  I started at zero fitness level in January and gradually increased my distances and fitness level.  I ran two half marathons in April/May and will be running another one in Sept.  I will never go back to ‘regular’ running shoes.  I don’t mind chatting to other runners about my shoes and love to spread the word but my regular running partners are all getting a bit tired of hearing me repeat myself on every run! But I absolutely would not run in anything else!

  • John Graham

    Are you still wearing your 5 Fingers?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I am. I ran in them this week. However, I just got a pair of Invisible Shoes that I am excited to try.

  • Jessica Kirkland

    My husband owns the red/grey ones. I tell them they look like monkey feet. But, he loves them too. 

  • Jen

    Ha ha ha! I DID laugh out loud – thank you very much! – when I read your comment, “When people make fun of me now, I tell them, ‘ridicule is the last stage you go through before you order a pair!’ ”

    I am still in the camp of the riduculers who calls them gorilla feet (but quietly, out of earshot, and with a smile). But more power to you, and maybe someday I’ll join you – who knows?

  • Lois

    I love this forum. I stumbled on to it while looking at the shoes. I’m dying to get a pair but I can’t just order them. My right foot has a fallen arch and is truly 2 inches or more longer than my left. It is almost impossible for any shoes to fit right for both feet. Do you think this might help build my arch back up? I too am a runner and would love to try these. My husband use to give me a hard time about my running on the balls of my feet, but after he read “Born to Run” he said I run just like the Tarahumara Indians and maybe his form was all wrong. Who knows? Any suggestions would be welcome and much appreciated.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I would give it a try. Just start slowly!

  • John Warner

    I feel as though I am at the stage where i’m almost over how goofy they look and onto the stage where I am ready for some. I also wonder though if a cheap pair of shoes with only a simple sole would do that same job of protection while still allowing for the foot to feel the ground.

    Thanks so much for this post,
    John
    Church Resources

  • http://twitter.com/shalommama Nina Nelson

    I’ve been loving mine for over a year now. My husband just bought a pair and loves them, too. We both had PF, but have no issues with it now. As for the comments on my shoes, I’ve found them very helpful in getting me to come out of my shell. :)

  • ;ldkja;ldjf;aldkj

    Well, I am doing a Science fair project on these shoes, and I was wondering how would you test it?  I was thinking that I would have people run in these shoes and then tell me how they feel, then have them run in regular shoes and tell me how they felt after.  What do you think?  Please help

  • Njfattz

    I had just bought the Vibrams the other day and already I can feel the difference walking and running in them.  Yes they do look weird but its not like I’m walking around in clown shoes. When people see me in them they are more curious about them rather then weirded out by the fact that I’m wearing them.  Also I have been experiencing knee and ankle pains for a long time now.  Just wearing the shoes for the short time I have  the areas where I felt the most pain now feel noticeably stronger.

  • http://twitter.com/flyingawesam Sam Andrews

    I went to a local distributor to try them on.  I was concerned because I was born with a crooked toe on my right foot.  I didn’t want to just order a pair online and then not be able to get them on my right foot.  My fears were realized when I tried them on.  Couldn’t get them to fit right on my right foot.  So now I guess I am stuck with the casts I am wearing now.  I do love to run and walk bare foot.  That was my motivation as well.  Disappointed.  Oh and by the way the wife grimaces whenever I say tho her that I would like a pair. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      There are many other “barefoot” models to choose from. Nike and Merrill both have non-toed, glove models.

  • Anonymous

    I started running after 20 years of junk food and being on the couch. It was a literally a matter of life or death. I was deeply inspired by Born To Run as well and bought my Vibrams the day after. One thing for certain, it sure makes running an interesting adventure. I have to make I run with the right technique (I went to a POSE running clinic). The first few weeks was painful and the PF was unbearable.

    But I gradually got used to it. But I don’t run in running events with them preferring instead to use my Nike Frees. But I do love walking around in them and the giggles and sniggles form others is a lot of fun.

  • Jason

    Hello, this might sound silly but two weeks into my five fingers I have been walking a lot.  It was raining and I decided to take the dog for a run.  Running in the rain through the grass with my dog was the most fun I have had in a long time.  You feel the ground, the different terrain.  I felt as free as the little happy guy next to me and being able to feel what is under me was such a wonderful experience. Now I go as many places I can with my five fingers even if it looks a little weird, hey I’m married lol……no worries.
    My wife is a physical Therapist, before watching me at the gym doing squats and various other exercises she always criticized me for bad form and improper technique.
        Switching to five fingers she was amazed at how my form in squats, calf raises, and various other exercises has improved…..

    Love them.

    Jason

  • Jason

    By the way, (referring to the post below) I have size 14 feet and they have been flat as a rail as long as I can remember.  While I wear them I can feel my feet naturally want to curl in to a arch, while I am walking I can feel what I need to do to walk properly, It does make your muscles work!!

    Jason

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great story, Jason. I am glad they are working out for you. I’m about to go for a five-mile run in them myself.

  • Todd Bagenstose

    I have to agree I have had mine for about 6 months now first with the classics then the komodo ls. First time out running in them felt great, ran 3 miles, could barely walk the next 3 days lol.I am going to continue though I love the feeling. And you can feel muscles you never knew you had. If you are skeptic you should give them a try at worst you have a great conversation starter.

  • Mriekena

    I had a spinal injury in 1997 and was told repeatedly to stop all sports with any impact. Then tried a shoe with cushioned heel-strike which at least afforded me hiking and speed walking. Then went into barefoot with a Vibram Bikila (minimal protection, great for treadmill). More comfortable than anything else I’ve tried in 14 years! Very happy with them.

  • cmp

    I just bought them about a month ago.  I do get blisters/rub marks in the backs of my ankles from lack of socks.  I just got Injinji socks to wear with them so I can adjust to the ankle issue.
    Other than that, I wore them and ran 20 miles with a bit of a calf soreness but I like them a lot.  I tried to go gradually but want to wear them for a marathon in a couple weeks so I had to train in them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002051087344 Garry Trammell

    Michael, thank you for the original post and the great conversation starter it became. I started running again at age 54 and surprisingly got up to 8-9 miles within 3 months using a conventional New Balance shoe.  No injuries, but I was only running about 3 days a week, normally 3 mile runs and riding bike the alternate days.  I finished Born to Run a week or so ago and found it fascinating. I moved to minimalist shoes while reading it but got a little too excited and did a 10 mile run in them on my 55th birthday. Big mistake and injured my right knee.  That may have been a blessing in disguise though because as I’m rehabing I bought some Vibrams and am loving these much more than the 4mm drop minimalists shoes. They are helping me move to Good Form running much faster than the minimalist shoes.  

    Anyway, thanks again for the post and best wishes for your entire future. I read your blog on a regular basis.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thans, Garry. It is really easy to over-do it in these shoes. That’s for sure!

  • Motown

    I am 55 and still cool.  I run 3 to 4 miles every other day.  When a friend bought these for me I put them on and ran for 100 straight days at about 5.5 miles per hour and ran on pavement, treadmill, and dirt roads.  I guess it was just a macho thing to do the 100 mile test but I am going to buy another pair.  I like them and I do not have as many aches as before when I was running with Asics Kayanos.  Good luck.

  • Fidelguerrero

    I purchased my shoes at COSTCO several months ago. I bought them there because they were 70 Dollars.
     I read all the reviews about easing your way into your “normal” routine, however, I was not patient enough and ran longer distances than I should have. My feet ached so bad that I really wanted to throw the shoes away.
     After a few weeeks, I wore them on several smaller runs (1 to 3 Miles). Although my feet still ached, I was able to feel a big difference between the Vibram 5 fingers and my traditional Puma/Adidas/Nike shoes. My best advise is to follow the precautions (Ease into them) and you will definately enjoy the shoes.
    Now I have built up my running to 14.2 to 14.5 miles at a time on the weekends and 6 miles on the weekdays. I am looking to purchase my second pair, not because I need them but because I love mine so much that I want a second pair while Im washing the first!
    On a side note, if you are ata ll remotley interested in starting or are a veteran of running….PLEASE do yourselves a favor and read “Born to Run” by Christopher Mcdougall.
    Best shoes period!

  • Anonymous
  • http://twitter.com/Keene44 Stand Strong

    I also own a pair and love them.  I have complete empathy with you regarding spending a lot of time answering questions.  They have eliminated my knee and back pain.  Funny…after billions spent in running shoe research…God had it right the first time!

  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    I have to say these ARE different – but I will definitely be investigating – like you, I like new and different things! 

  • Guest

    I bought a pair recently and was just tickled to try them yesterday. I wasn’t disappointed, as I comfortably flew on a treadmill while snow cascaded down outside and my mile never went by with more ease. The salespeople had warned me to run no farther than this at first. They also told me to expect pain. They were right…I’m pretty sure I love these shoes, but my calves are burning to the point that walking straight takes my full concentration and physical determination. Be warned…start slow. But they’re pretty awesome.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I usually encourage people not to do more than half a mile. You are using muscles that you have never used. The good news is that your calves will quickly adapt. I have run 6 miles in mine with no problems.

  • Jeff

    Michael, what if your not a “runner”?  I’m on my feet all day and by the end of the day I’m in extreme pain in the heel portion of my feet.   Would they be good for retail like for just walking and standing like during a normal work day?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I am not sure. It would be the equivalent of working barefoot.

  • Grantbrophy

    the vibrams are great feel and all the positives are the same for me. however after i tore up my third pair of them i finally decided i needed to try something else. the first pair i bought, the trek sports started falling apart at the toes within 30 days of owning them. i dont think the construction of the vibrams is very good and have several friend who have pairs of them that fell apart aswell starting with the toes. If you want the vibram feel with a vibram sole, get some merrells, i have been really really hard on mine at the trail and they are going strong, love them and wouldnt change a thing, they have a nice large toe box which allows the toes to splay naturally, plus they dont look so goofy on your feet. i highly recommend them, you should check out their site. the construction of the merrell is much superior to the five fingers!!!!

  • Rio_case

    I bought the VFF KSO last year and started running on them. After a relatively long break I switched to Saucony’s Hattori. In november I started training for a half marathon in Januari 2012. I switched the Hattori’s with the FVV’s regularly. Though the Hattori’s run great and have a similar ‘ground’ feeling I feel much more comfortable running with the VFF’s. They feel you can run forever. I now run 10-12km , 3 to 4 times a week and a longer run(around 15 km) in the weekend regardless of weather conditions. No pain whatsoever and feel good after. I have decided to run the half marathon on VFF definitely

  • http://aarontoponce.org/ Aaron Toponce

    I was enjoying reading the post, until I got interrupted by an ad popup, that blocked the article, and most of the page. Hopefully, you get this bug fixed. I didn’t finish the article, and plan on not returning, after leaving this comment.

    Sorry, but that was highly intrusive.

  • Blair Shelton

    I had seen the FiveFingers before but never thought about buying them until I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis.  After reading everything I could find, I made the plunge and bought the “shoes”.  It did take some getting adjusted, but using them (and orthotics at work) my Fasciitis is mostly gone.  I can’t really remember the last time my feet felt like they did when I had my most serious issues. 

    The breaking point for me was when I wore them to a theme park for two days.  I figured my feet would be really sore, but they remarkably felt amazing.  My legs were a little more tired (these shoes force your legs to work out more), but overall I felt great.  I bought some Injinji toe-socks to help keep mine smell free for a little longer, and that has been a great addition.  Thanks for your review!

  • Amber McGinty

    I have the very first generation VFFs, and although I love running in them, that particular model has one major flaw.  It has a really high back and it rubs my Achilles unless I wear a sock-type liner.  I need to upgrade to the more recent version so I’ll use them more!

    I do love that they allow me to use more muscles than regular shoes–my calves were crazy sore after the first time I used them (2 miles is too far the first time!)  Great review–I may get the KSO when I upgrade :)

  • Andrew Jefferies

    I have had my Vibrams for a couple of years again. It has been a bit of a love hate relationship. A broken foot mostly put an end to them for me. I’ve posted a couple of times on my blog about it. Just updated it after reading your review. 
    http://www.afloat.ca/search/label/FiveFingers 

  • Rob Sorbo

    I tried on a pair of Fila’s take on these shoes the other day–I was quite impressed. I didn’t buy them because I’m not a big runner, but they were actually way more comfortable than I thought they’d be. 

    The difference of Fila’s shoe is that they combine the fourth and fifth toe, so it has four toe holes instead of five.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’m glad to hear that the Fila’s are comfortable. I almost purchased a pair the other day as Sears had a killer sale on them. Next time I won’t hesitate.

      • Rob Sorbo

        Well, I just tried them on in the store. I’m not a runner, so I can’t vouch for how comfortable they are in active use.

  • Amy

    I have had my vibram bikila for over a year and they are the best.  Two years ago I started going to a chiropractor for my hips and back.  If I ran anything over 2.5 miles (in my “running shoes” not vibrams) I knew I would not be able to walk the rest of the week due to my hips and back hurting.  I tried the Vibrams and I have not had to go to the chiropractor since.  The most I have ran in them so far has been 13 miles and they have been awesome.  I am in the process of buying new ones.  I recommend these shoes to everyone and of course everyone laughes at me!!  I will never wear another brand of shoes THESE ARE THE BEST!!

  • adfas sdfsf

    But they look so bizarre. Aren’t you embarrassed to wear them?I laughed at my Cousins Komodo’s. But after looking online and reading I was sold. It makes sense not having to have your feet trapped. It never crossed my mind that these were embarrassing. It is something new, even though they have been around since 2006. Having your feet move independently should be your only concern. I love my Komodo LS Vibrams. I’ve worn them all week to go out and yesterday at work. I feel in time I will only wear Vibrams that’s how comfy they are.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yea, I was embarrassed the first couple of times. But now they are everywhere.

  • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

    Michael, thanks for the post on VFFs. I read Born to Run in September 2009 and got a pair for Christmas that year. Since then I have run more in that time than I had my entire life before. They certainly made a difference in my running, and I use them for more than that. I can certainly understand being regularly being questioned about them, especially on hikes people love to ask a few questions. Thanks for the writing, keep it up!

  • http://profiles.google.com/roosachristine Christine Roosa

    I bought a pair last May.  I had been trying to run barefoot, but was hesitant to try lest I step in last night’s party evidence.

    I knew I needed a new pair of shoes.  For the same price as traditional shoes, why not.

    Loved them the moment I tried them.  It only took me a couple weeks to get used to them, but I wasn’t a distance runner yet.  I was still fairly new to the sport.  I didn’t have to do a whole lot of retraining of my muscles, since they weren’t mis-trained yet.

    I wear them solely now.  Every now and then I try my old NBs and am more sore and worn out at the end of my run than with my Vibram’s.  Yep. Gotta stick with what works.  I’ve worn them for a 9 mile run.  I’ll do a half this May.  

    I suspect, since they don’t have all that new fangled high tech cushioning that they’ll last longer than a traditional running shoe.  So less money spent on shoes.  :)

  • Bryan D.

    I bought a pair of Vibram Bakila LS last Summer in an attempt to improve my running consistency; after dropping what they cost to get ‘em I was motivated to run. After the first few uses I was practically incapacitated due to atrophied calves and jumping right into my usual 1.5 mile run. Nearly a year later and I’m running 3.5 miles in them 3 times a week on an inclined treadmill and I suffer only occasional soreness in my shins and knees. They took some getting used to but my 1.5 mile run time is now my best ever and I actually look forward to PT tests.

  • http://twitter.com/DeafMom Karen Putz

    I love my Vibrams! I wear them everywhere– they’re the most comfortable athletic shoes that I’ve ever owned. I’m a barefoot water skier and occasionally I will barefoot water ski with them on so I can stay up longer on the water. 

  • CFR3

    Inspired by the book, Born to Run, I bought a pair and took to the woods. I’ve returned to tell the tale. They felt great.

  • Timwiford

    I bought Vibrams after participating in an Olympic Tri-athlon last year.  I started slowly mostly walking and hiking in them. 1 year later I am running farther and faster than I have in years. Used to be that whenever I ran I would have lower back pain.  No more.  I hardly even think of it now.  Highly recommend Vibram’s and highly suggest starting slowly.  

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    After reading this post I started planning to buy Vibram’s FiveFinger shoes.  I finally got them yesterday.

    After reading this post I wonder why I chose to run 1.5 miles in them the first day.  Though  have been running for over 6 years (started in my mid 40s), I feel this morning like that 1.5 miles was the first time I had run anywhere.  

    Oh my aching calfs.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Ouch Thad! I know how you feel. I went from traditional shoes to the Merrell Trail Gloves(another barefoot type of shoe) and couldn’t believe how much they made me hurt. I had to learn to pay attention to my body and let it tell me when I’ve pushed too far. Good luck and congratulations on joining the minimalist family!

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  • http://www.ramblinlambwellness.com/ Nancy Lamb

    Hey Michael, 
     I read the book and was totally motivated.  I have so many problems with my feet it’s annoying. I love to run and due to achilles tendonitis and a neuroma,I haven’t been able to maintain a program for years. Thanks to a doctor who decided that he’d sew two toes together (it was not planned,nor was it with my approval, but it’s 30 years past)  I can’t wear 5 fingers. What do you think of Merrel’s line of barefoot shoes?  They are the same conept minus the ‘fingers”Nancy

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      There are a number of minimalist shoes on the market now. I have the Merrell’s and like them. My favorites at the moment are the Saucony Kinvara 2. (I linked to the women’s version for you.) Hope that helps.

  • samra aziz

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  • http://twitter.com/geofflittle Geoffrey Little

    Michael.  I got my first pair today.  This was the first post I ever read of yours years ago – my first introduction to you.  When I am stopped by curious Nashvillians about the gorilla feet, I will refer them to your blog, and mention Platform, and they will think you are a podiatrist. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s hilarious!

  • Janet

    I’ve been running in Brooks PureFlows for 4 weeks and am up to 4 miles as a long run. A running store here in Des Moines, Iowa, does a video gait analysis and brought out 3 minimalist shoes for me to try on their treadmill.  The Brooks PureFlows matched my style, I have strong, neutral arches, not a pronator.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1494445710 Kiara Ashanti

    I now wear mine when I WANT to get comments from strangers. lol it is so funny to me.

  • The.Doctors.Dilemma

    Would you recommend five fingers to a new runner?  When I say I’m new to running I’m not kidding- I’m still working on comfortably running 1 mile. I’ve never liked shoes of any kind and am familiar, as well as very into, the idea of barefoot running.  Do you think it’s a good idea to run barefoot, or in vibrams, as beginner- thereby skipping (as I see it) the bad running habits forced by running in sneakers? Or do I need to become accustomed to running before I try this approach?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I really can’t advise you on that, because I don’t know enough about your situation. I would recommend you go to a good running store and talk to someone there. Thanks.

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  • Sean

    A long time ago in a land far away…when I was in my teens while beginning training for my initial run at a  marathon, I discovered that the ‘pain’ in my feet was easily relieved by running my last two training miles barefoot. 

    I also used to reduce the discomfort by playing other sports in bare feet as well. 

    Today, while I am no longer a committed long distance runner, I walk everywhere I can often putting in ten or more miles a day and I LIVE in my Five Fingers. Nothing compares and my old back pain which was not resolved by surgery, has disappeared too. Bye bye Chiropractor visits and stomach eating anti-inflammatory meds. Traditional running shoes don’t just promote issues with your feet, but ankles, knees, hips, back etc. too (the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone…) and I have had a long history of all these problems after 40 years of serious high level sporting activity. I even sleep better now!

    The first thing I ask anyone who ‘scoffs’ is, “Do you have back problems?” and that changes the whole conversation.

    And you know what..it’s kinda cool be in touch with the ground beneath my feet, somehow I seem to be more aware of the world around me when I am more in tune with Mother Earth, and I’m not even trying to be more in tune with Her, even if She’s a cement sidewalk…it almost makes sense!

    Five Fingers, they aren’t just for runners. 

    Peace, Love, Granola, and Five Fingers!

  • Kyle

    Brought a pair of the treksports 3 weeks ago. Haven’t really run in them, but I have scuba dived and climbed up the Dunns River falls in them. They have taken a good beating. Great product. Thank for the blog about unplugging on vacation as I did that as well while in jamaica. Thanks.

  • Graham Scharf

    I ran in Vibram TrekSports for a year, about 15-30 miles a week. Needless to say, I wore through the soles. I replaced them with a pair of New Balance Minimus trail shoes, and realized that the Vibrams have the genuine advantage in lack of foot slip (especially when wet or descending hills) that you just can’t achieve without toed shoes. I’ll be switching back to the Vibrams for running . . .

  • John Fritsche

    Here is a video showing the difference between running in shoes and barefoot.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jrnj-7YKZE 

    I have been running in my Vibram KSOs for about 2 years. I recently completed the 11 mile Tough Mudder and the advantage gained by training in Vibrams was massive. The strength and endurance in my calf and shin muscles was evident while running up the large hills and sprinting through a majority of the course. They also work great for surfing. I definitely recommend them.

  • John

    Thanks for your review!  My wife has a pair and she loves them.  I have the New Balance Minimus which is a step closer to Five Fingers, but I haven’t committed to buying the Five Fingers yet!  I have run a half marathon in them and continue to prefer them as my running shoe.  Five fingers may be next!!

  • tj

    I agree wholeheartedly!

  • Brandon Frye

    I appreciate your article. I have been running in the Bikila LS for the last 2 months or so and I am growing to love them. I am still in the transitioning phase but hope to finish a full marathon with them in on May 4th. I loved “Born to Run” too. Here’s my full review of the shoes
    http://www.forkstofeet.com/2013/03/vibram-fivefinger-bikila-ls-review.html

  • zhoubachi

    I have been using vibrams for about 4 years now and I LOVE them. I actually cannot wear any other running shoes now. they are so much more comfortable and i have never had any injuries or pains with them

  • carlos

    I have the Bikila and the Spyridon.
    My 1st run on the bikilas was a 4 mile, my foot hurt after the first 3 miles.
    This happened for the 1st 2 weeks i had to train with a reg. training shoe and leave the short rec sessions to the bikilas.
    After those 2 weeks i bought the spyridon, my 1st run was a 6 miler at the trails with no problem.
    So after that i ditched the reg shoes and started to train exclusively with the bikilas on pavement and spyrido at the trails.
    I average 30 miles per week, i also cross train during the week.
    My longest runs have been 9 miles on the bikilas and 12 miles on the Spyridon.
    I love them no knee, back, hip soreness at all.

    I have used my dad´s seeyas a couple of times and i find them great for tempo runs, but they hurt my feet at easy pace or while warm up /cool off. I see them strictly as a racing shoe, at least for me.

    I have been temted to use the bikilas as reg. shoes since i feel so good in them so i have even been thinking of buying the kso as reg street shoes and the kmd as gym crossfit shoes and ditch all my other shoes.

  • Clane Squord

    I bought the KSO TREKSPORT ones, and so did my husband. I first experienced
    a fair bit of pain in my right foot, by the two middle toes. But that disappeared
    quickly.

    The difference with these vibram shoes compared to proper outdoors shoes for
    hiking, running, is that it stretches your muscles in your calves (since you
    walk flatter on the ground) as well as your muscles in your ankles and the
    arches in your feet (since you now can feel every surface, whether it be rocky,
    sandy, grass, twigs and branches etc) and adjust instinctively to keep balance
    as well as become more agile. They also allow you to be more mobile around the
    ankle, again helping in keeping your balance, but also helping in strengthening
    those muscles in your ankles. Initially, you will endure a fair bit of pain in
    the calves on your first run, despite you thinking you aren’t doing bad and you
    could potentially run even further. So don’t go for your normal run (most of
    vibram shoes aren’t designed for just walking) or perhaps hike! You will, I promise,
    feel it the next day (and after)!

    I was particularly paranoid about how I looked with them on, but after a few
    times, especially when you get used to them and don’t notice them anymore in
    terms of feeling, I just forgot about them and didn’t pay any attention anymore
    to what people might be thinking or pointing at…

    My conclusion: I love them and can tell you they definitely will do you a
    lot of good! Enjoy the weird experiences walking through sand, mud, gravel,
    grass, moss, twigs, etc. Be aware of rocks, i.e. be agile and consider where
    you put your feet, remember that you will feel everything now! I talk from
    experience, sadly enough! Although kicking a rock hard will be the quickest way
    to learn! Have fun!

  • mhsutton

    Actually I don’t run in mine because I’m not a runner. But I only wear vibrams – everyday and everywhere. I cycle and do yoga and other exercises in them. I also go to work in mine.

    They are – by a long way – the most comfortable and naturally feeling footwear I have ever had and I cannot imagine ever wearing anything else. Occasionally I wear Converse sneakers – but that is often out of necessity than need.

    Sure they look interesting and I love that too – it becomes an attractor for people to strike up a conversation – I’ve had many. A few have led to pretty good friendships. In fact, my asking a peer at a conference about his pair led me to becoming a lifelong fan. Awesome brand marketing that isn’t marketing!

    My favorite are the bright orange KSOs and I have a pair of the deep brown kangaroo leather ones too – for more formal occasions.

    Funny name too ;-)

  • http://www.nateanglin.com/ Anwell Steve

    I believe most people are really curious about this gear because it’s obvious that it’s an uncommon footwear. But, everyone should really be aware what Vibram FiveFingers are and the benefit they could get from it.

  • Reinesch Ralph (blog on Wpres)

    Hy i started running with the FF Model Bikila in 2010 and since February with the Trek modell. I usually run my 10km races in 38m and the half marathon in 1h24m. So i can only confirm that the FF is the way people should take if they want to increase strengh an diminish the risk to get an injury while running

  • Amy Appleton

    I have had a pair for over 2 years and love them. Yes, many questions from curious people. My kids call them duck feet. However, I increased my speed in them because they forced me out of old bad habits. I have only run up to 6 miles in them. So far they only thing I can’t do in them is a spin bike because they are not stiff enough. Looking forward to many more funny looks on the running trails and gym!

  • JT Humes

    After a double hip replacement several years ago I haven’t been running, but I walk several miles almost every day. Started with the Vibrams a couple of weeks ago. So far, so good. (and i have started to jog a little because they feel so good).

  • stewadc

    I have had my vibram for about a year. I started wearing them around the house as they suggested. From there I started wearing them in the gym to my exercise classes, interval training. Just resently I started running on the tread mill with them. Everything is working out great. The vibram I bought were for the gym. I want to investigate buying a pair to run outside to see what the difference is.

  • kevin

    Many folks are disappointed that switching to VFFs or Xero shoes or Frees, etc. either doesn’t seem to fix Plantar Fasciitis/fasciosis, or seems to make it actually worse.

    Take heart. You are doing the right thing by switching to non-restricting, unpadded shoes; it’s just that either you are over-correcting your stride (due to all kinds of dire warnings), or you are failing to address the real causes of the PF.

    Start here. It’s not exclusively the case, but it’s often the case that plantar problems are accompanied by out-turning of the feet. Do you waddle a bit when you walk, or do your toes naturally point straight to the front when you walk without thinking about it? Try walking naturally in shallow snow, or wet sand, or any surface that retains the imprint of your foot… then look back.

    Consider that the plantar fascia anchor in several places, but the longitudinal arch anchors at the metatarsals in the forefoot, and at the bottom/back of the heel… but that anchor-point on the heel is also where your Achilles tendon anchors your calves. If your calves are tight, there’s a constant tension/pre-tension on your plantar fascia. If your calves are tight, your heel can’t stay on the ground as long as it should, at the back of your stride. Your foot corrects for that early heel-lift by turning your toes out (over-pronation).

    Meanwhile, your calf muscles anchor at their other ends, up around your knees, some of the gristly bits attaching just below the knee, others wrapping higher.

    Just above the knee, the muscles of the thigh are affected by what is below them (calves) and what is above them (hips, glutes, psoas, erector and rotational muscles of the hip and lower back, etc.).

    It’s a chain, and all the parts affect each other. When one part gets out of whack, the others shift to compensate. But that also means that you can’t easily fix one part of the chain, because the other parts are now heavily invested in maintaining the wonky status quo and tend to undo any fix you apply to just a single component.

    If you are like the majority of people, you spend the majority of your working life sitting, or maybe standing fairly still… but sitting is more likely. Then you sit to eat, sit to watch TV, sit to Tweet and Facebook and blog. . . Doesn’t matter that you do a few hours of exercise during the week. That cumulative sitting does terrible things to your back (it did mine), but it also tightens your hips and restricts their range and mobility, which puts a strain down the whole chain, to your feet. Sitting weakens the glutes and encourages the psoas to take over most of the function that the glutes should be doing. Overusing the psoas puts strain on the lower back and often impinges on the sciatic nerve. An impinged sciatic nerve can cause pain in back and down the legs, but it also STIMULATES the muscles that it innervates, causing them to be slightly “on” all the time. That “pre-tensions” the hamstrings and calves, which gets back to the plantar fascia. Viscious circle.

    So, the first TAKEAWAY is that switching to zero-rise (no raised heel), toe-freeing, unpadded shoes is a good thing, but you need to address the whole chain.

    The other issue is that people switching to VFFs or Xeros or Frees or…. are direly warned to change their stride and NEVER, EVER heelstrike. Actually, you should. Not when you are running, but when you walk. Running with your feet landing under you (as you are supposed to do) solves any heelstrike problem while your exercise. But you walk, too. If you try the same solution while walking, you find yourself doing this tiny, mincing stride that’s both embarrassing and ineffective (you don’t go very fast – little people with short legs can leave you in the dust, just walking). So, to avoid heel-strike, but still walk at a decent speed, you reach out in front, but you point your toes. Soon, your calves are tight like pieces of wood, and your plantar fascia are screaming. Most likely your feet turn out when you walk.
    The solution, when your are walking is to touch first with your heels, but just avoid letting it be a “strike”. Make it a gentle, controlled, modulated heel-arrival.

    When running, heel-strike is to be avoided.
    When walking, heel-first landing in VFFs, Xeros, etc. is fine and expected. Just train yourself to be gentle, and your feet will thank you.

    My story is that switching to VFF and Xero shoes is curing Morton’s Neuroma in both feet. But my overthought overstriding when walking in the unpadded shoes (reaching to make my forefoot land in front of me) actually did make Plantar Fasciitis/fasciosis worse, until I figured out what was wrong.

    Reference Kelly Starrett, stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width, stick your bum out slightly, and descend into a deep squat. First, if you can’t do it, there’s a mobility problem to address. Next, if you can get into the wide-stance squat, but your feet want to turn out, that’s a tightness somewhere in the foot/calf/ham/butt/psoas chain that needs fixing. If your feet also want to roll inward, collapsing your arches, to let you stay in a low squat, that’s another indication of tightness further up.

    Try just getting into the squat, and putting your elbows against the insides of your knees, to push the knees out until your shins are vertical (the knees not tipped in toward each other). Just holding that squat for a few minutes every day will help loosen the legs and hips and therefore help with the calves and feet.

    Enjoy the VFFs…… oh, final word – if you can’t wear merino-wool toe-socks in them, then throw a cup of ordinary vinegar in the washing machine when you (frequently) launder your VFFs; it will help with the stink. Soap/detergent, too, but the vinegar as an anti-stink additive. Helps. Wearing wool helps prevent…….

  • Linda M Au

    I assume you’ve seen the latest about the Vibram settlement…. Story here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/vibram-required-to-stop-all-health-claims-about-its-fivefinger-shoes/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I just heard about it for the first time today. Thanks for providing the link.
      I stopped wearing Vibram’s a few years ago. Though I didn’t have any trouble with them, I didn’t like wearing them in cold weather.

  • Chiquituno

    I am the President of the Washington Chapter of the Barefoot Runners Society. I have run barefoot for many years. And I mean barefoot. I also own Vibrams and use them occasionally on really sharp terrain, but they are minimalist shoes. Many of my group members do not run barefoot, but run in minimalist shoes. I do both and our group, although called “barefoot runners” welcomes both. But there is a difference in running with your skin in contact with the ground or in flat shoes that allow your forefoot to strike first.

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  • Lynn

    I’ve been running in the for just over a year and I love them (the KSO). Most comfortable shoes I ever had. Plus when I hike in them it’s like being a mountain goat, able to cling to boulders when scrambling up and down them! Literally cannot run in regular running shoes because of constant small but significant injuries. Yay for minimalist!

  • julie

    I have a couple problem with my foot .I am missing a ankle. And walking on concrete and standing I also have problems with weight on my foot walking around on concrete is a leg and foot killer I’m in so much pain after words I have bought shoes after shoe I don’t know if your shoe would help but after buying so many shoes I’m scared to buy any more could you please tell me if you have other customers that have the same feet problem like I have please shoot me a text message 970 8198604

  • dave37568

    I thought the Vibram Five Fingers shoes looked really weird and I was one of those who use to ridicule them. But my curiosity got the best of me so I bought a pair of Bikila LS. I wish I had listened to the recommendations about slowly transitioning to them. I ran my usual hilly 5k course at the same pace I normally do. Afterwards I noticed that my calf musles were EXTREMELY SORE. I couldn’t hardly walk for 7 days. It felt just like doing calf raises in the gym for the first time in over a year, that same soreness. I didn’t have any soreness in my feet or ankles. I never realized that I could get such a good calf workout from running! But I am going to gradually work my way into them for the next few months. Probably use them with the treadmill for awhile before taking them back to the road. LOVE THEM!