Vibram’s FiveFingers For My Aging Ten Toes

Vibram's FiveFingers For My Ten Toes

I always come back from my visits to the US with things I think I cannot live without such as my favorite peanut butter, hair gel, and protein bars, but this time I added a new pair of shoes that my friend Jules told me about recently. You may remember that I have been experiencing some fairly major aches and pains that I had  been attributing to my aging baby boomer body and years of long distance running.

As much as I haven’t want to admit it, my low back and knees hurt most days and even more when I run a lot or do the five or six-hour coast path walks that John and I love so much. Usually, I just suck it up and drive on as we used to say when I was in the army and eat a couple more Tylenol than I would regularly, but after hearing about these shoes and how they might make a difference, I thought I would give Vibram’s FiveFingers a try.

Yesterday, I slept more in one day than I normally do over a three-day period as I had a wicked and unusual case of jet lag but I did manage to make it to the supermarket with John and wore my new shoes out for the first time. While you can buy these in the UK, I have not seen any on feet around here and from some of the looks I received I don’t think they’ve made the Cornwall scene in any great numbers yet.

I am giving myself one more day to settle in before I hit the ground running (literally) with my running buddy Tina on Saturday. If these new shoes can help slow down my aches and pains while speeding up my feet, I’m sure Tina will appreciate my increased mobility.

I’ll get back you on my transition from Nike’s to FiveFingers in a few weeks along with any comments worth repeating. So far the prevailing one from several people who know me has been, ” So you got those in America, did you? ” John however, has been quite supportive of my new footwear finding the different looking shoes an interesting idea for improving my mood and mobility, but remains slightly amused at being seen with a woman wearing as he puts it, “Shoes that look like black monkey feet.”

18 thoughts on “Vibram’s FiveFingers For My Aging Ten Toes

  1. Are they shoes??? I don’t think I could wear them , do they not irritate your toes.. sorry I am not surprised you got some looks in Cornwall..:-)

    But I do hope that your back and knees improve too:-)

  2. I have been looking at the Vibram’s for several months now, trying them on at stores every few weeks. They are so comfortable but I haven’t been able to get passed the look of them. I feel very amphibian in them. Good for you for taking the leap. I may go out and buy may pair today.

  3. I’ve seen quite a few of these around Berkeley (and also came across someone running barefoot on the sidewalk, which seems like a bad idea, between the pounding on concrete and the occasional broken glass). I am looking forward to hearing how they work for you.

  4. My father has been telling me for years, “Take care of your feet and your teeth and your golden years will be golden instead of copper.”
    Well, after having plantar fascia problems I will put anything on my feet if it helps…can’t wait to hear about how they work…glad you had a great trip and welcome back home!

  5. My daughter wants to run too but I tell her to get in shape by rebounding (on a mini-trampoline). I’ve had mine for 30 years now since I was 29 and it has helped me soooooo much. Dear daughter says it’s not fun, but I love it. Makes me feel good.

    The shoes are interesting to say the least.

  6. (Laughing). Those shoes are EVERYWHERE in Palo Alto, California. This place is so full of cutting edge geeks it’s not funny (not that I’m calling you a cutting edge geek!). My understanding is that it’s based on scientific studies of running gaits. Running sneakers tend to fool you into making a very heavy heel heavy stride, whereas running barefoot one tends to hit with the ball of your foot first (which is as nature intended). The Vibrams are designed to allow you to run “barefoot” without damage. I don’t know if they are supposed to be everyday shoes?

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures in them. I like that John is supportive, even if you look like a gorilla!

  7. My observation is that the older one is the more readily one throws fashion concerns out of the window, at which point I think those who are further on in years realise how truly badly fashion has served their poor bodies over the years. Wear what feels physically good, and then tell the world. Isn’t that how trainers caught on? They do look wild. Don’t think about it, just feel good.

  8. I’ve been wearing my KSO Treks for both walking and running for a couple of months now, and except for one irritating inside seam over a little toe, I like ’em.
    Check out for some in-depth info. (And watch out for counterfeits, too, btw.)

  9. Fascinating! Love John’s description. I thought at first they were super power socks for wearing on the plane to combat leg fatigue over long flights.

    but hey, if they work why not?!

  10. Elizabeth,
    My oldest son has purchased these shoes as well. He runs either barefoot are in his five fingers. He is loving them and said they feel great. However, his wife has asked that he NOT wear them around anyone they know. HAHA
    I hope they help you to keep running without the discomfort:)

  11. Found this post from a good friend that commented on my website. I recently wrote about the Five Fingers shoes and have nothing but good things to say about them! I love em. I have had knee problems growing up because of my flat feet, but since I have started the barefoot revolution (about 1.5 yrs ago) I have never felt better. In fact I only get pain when I wear normal shoes that have more support.

    Since I started running I found the shoes I have been wearing (even though they simulate a barefoot experience) do not have the correct shape for running and can throw off my form. So I bought a pair of Five Fingers and all is well. My feet get very sore because there are muscles being used now that didn’t used to get used. But when I do go running in between being sore I feel great. I feel like my feet have nothing holding them back and my knees feel fine.

    FYI, anyone attempting this be sure to read up on barefoot running cause you can’t run the same way you normally would.

  12. Great! I had wanted to try those ever since I saw them in California last spring – I didn’t know how they’re called and hence couldn’t google them. Thanks for putting the link up! How are the sizes – are they comparable to what you have in other shoes?

  13. Bim –

    I found the size to be comparable, but I was glad I could try them on. Although they do have some geared for men and some others for women, I think I am running in a unisex one. Mine are a size 39 and I wear an 8.5 to 9 shoe in US sizes. I like a nine if the toe is pointy or if it’s a running shoe, but mostly I’m a 8.5 with wide feet and super high arches.

    I’m loving them so far and have no issues yet. My knee has been fine and it’s normally in pain when running so I’m holding out hope that these may help me pick up the pace again.

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