Now that I’ve had a chance to stink up my lovely new Vibram FiveFingers I thought it would be a good time to post an initial review of the product. I was in the market for a new pair of shoes and had been using Nike Freetrainers for a few years and really liked the way they felt on my feet. Since it had been a few years since I’d run with any degree of frequency, I decided to browse around and see what the new developments were in the barefoot running world. It wasn’t long before I stumbled across Vibram’s Fivefingers whose appearance prompted me to continue reading.
As you can clearly see in the picture they look absolutely ridiculous but those that know me realize that looking ridiculous is holds a strange appeal to me. I looked at a few blogs such as Running Nut and The Justin Owings Page and came away convinced that I was going to try them out. Sadly, this is as much research as I have performed on a product my entire adult life. I was fortunate to have gotten an absolutely horrible Christmas present from my dad – a metal detector. Seriously….a metal detector – update – I love you Dad, that last line was a joke. The fortunate aspect was the receipt was included so I returned that and ambled off, kids in tow, to Sport Chek where I picked up a pair of FiveFingers Komodosports for 109 bucks plus the government’s theft of another 13%
I got home and opened the box and gently picked them up. Wow. There is very little too them. This was clearly going to take barefoot running to another level compared to the Nike Freetrainers. You can almost roll them up into a ball. So I thought I’d put them on and model them for the girls. After a few minutes of sweating trying to cram my toes in I decided it was time to slow down, reassess and not use the brute force approach as that was going to have my feet looking like a 10 year old Chinese girl’s. With some alignment they went on fairly smoothly and were incredibly comfortable. The kids were sickened by how foolish they looked on my feet J The picture on the left somehow doesn’t cut it. Regardless, I happily wore them around the house and the fit was outstanding and they felt wonderful on my feet.
The first day I ran for approximately 35 minutes at a reasonable pace – remember that this was the first time I had run in quite some time. I stay fairly active with Spin classes, plyometrics etc. . but wanted to take it easy. It was very interesting how I could feel each imperfection in the belt of the treadmill. After 30 minutes or so my feet were getting sore so I thought I would stop. How uncharacteristic of me. I could feel the muscles in my feet activating in a way they were certainly not used to. I called it a day on the treadmill and lifted some weights for 30 minutes or so. My feet stopped hurting almost immediately and there was no residual pain at all.
Since that time I have run 6 more times at progressively faster paces and for longer distances. The fit of the shoes is still wonderful and I have experienced no further issues with foot pain. I will say that after 45 minutes the other day I could feel the beginnings of a few hot spots on my toes however it was very minor. Considering the blisters I have gotten in the past from new shoes this was nothing. In fact the best thing I can say about the shoes is that when you are running it seems like your feet are a non-issue. I don’t notice the shoes which is great because I can focus all my attention on how out of shape I actually am.
The shoes have started to reek. And I mean reek badly. But they are washable so I will be doing that in the next few days and I’ll let you know how it turns out. Another caveat is that it is winter time here in the great white North and don’t even think about running outside with these babies. Your feet will get soaked and frozen instantly.
There you have it. I will chronicle my journey for an under 45 minute 10k race this spring and I’m confident my FiveFingers will be an integral part of the training that gets me there. Stay tuned!