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Shoe Help! Question(s) About Vibram 5 Fingers

Ok so I’m aware of the benefits of training barefoot, most site users here are. I train barefoot 99% of the time for my sport anyway but for running and lifting I was hoping to get some Vibrams or at least some similar shoes that will fit my activities. I’m sure there’s a bunch of reviews out there but I think I might be able to getsome better feedback here. I’m sorry if this topic is brought up routinely. Anyway…

I was looking at these:

http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/products_kso_trek_m.cfm

There are a bunch of variations of Vibram’s and I wanted to know which one would suit my needs. My instinct is always to go for the most rugged option (which I think will still work in my case) but, I’d love to get some opinions on whether they’re even an option in my case.

Ideally I’d be using them for:

a) Lifting
Primarily compound lifts. Deadlifts they’re perfect. Squats I squat widestance PL style so I’d love to know if these have enough grip and what not for when I’m pushing my knees out. I’d hate to slide into the splits with 405 on my back. Also I love oly lifts. I don’t have oly shoes and I perform them currently in chuck taylor’s (I have very flexible ankles- Thanks Jiujitsu) but I’m not sure if Vibrams would be too much stress or not

b) Running
I do some distance running (never over 4miles) every now and then which they’re obviously suitable for. Terrain I run on changes a lot. I run by a railroad track, over a ton of grass, through some rocks, and along a street for like the last mile so I need something that I don’t have to worry about being jabbed in the foot super hard. I’m curious if these actually won’t hurt MORE cause of the terrain. Also I’ll be running a bunch of sprints and doing some jump training in the coming year, would these be ideal still?

c) Parkour
This is my preferred form of “roadwork” (cause running just for distance is fucking boring). I was a gymnast for a large part of my life and still maintain some of my old agility and skill work. If you’re not familiar with Parkour here are some good examples:

Essentially this is pretty adjacent to inquiry (b): running (and jumping) for the most part. I just keep my heart rate monitor on an make sure I stay above 165… Obviously I’ll be absorbing more shock with my musculature and joints using vibrams (not that regular shoes help that much anyway to be honest) but I was hoping someone here might have enough experience with vibrams and maybe jumping from some height with them to give me some feedback on their possible parkour usage.

d) Miscellaneous other (adventure) sports
bouldering, hiking, capoeira, yoga, trail running, pick up games (basketball), jumping rope, etc. I stay pretty active (keeps the BF low and I meet a ton of chicks) so if I could just use the one pair of shoes for this too it would be very nice.

Thanks for any and all help pointing me in the right direction for some shoes!

I have a pair of the sprints and the original KSO’s. I do eveything in them you mentioned except the Parkour stuff. Honestly both feel the same the only real differnece is the KSO’s cover the top of the foot.

I also only really run on the road, track, or treadmill so if you want something for all terrain the KSO Trek’s might be the way to go. I think it’s really just up to the individual. I love the shoes and would highly recommend them to everyone.

I PK in mine. Just like David Belle and every traceur on earth says, land on the balls of you feet and let your knees bend.

I actually do everything in mine. Lifting, running, parkour, some kata; I absolutely love these shoes! Once you get past the break in period (about two weeks), everything is great.

My only complaint is that they’re not authorized in the PT uniform because of some arbitrary rule about socks. I’ll take the paperwork though. Worth it.

I just got a pair of Sprints. I absolutely love running intervals in them except that they’re irritating the bottom of my feet right behind my toes, almost as if it’s about to give me a blister.

I think it may be my running technique or the fact that my left hip is slightly out of place, but I can say for certain that running is much easier in them. Maybe I just need to break them in. Either way, I like them so much that I’m willing to stick with it and try to adapt.

[quote]Xab wrote:
I just got a pair of Sprints. I absolutely love running intervals in them except that they’re irritating the bottom of my feet right behind my toes, almost as if it’s about to give me a blister.

I think it may be my running technique or the fact that my left hip is slightly out of place, but I can say for certain that running is much easier in them. Maybe I just need to break them in. Either way, I like them so much that I’m willing to stick with it and try to adapt. [/quote]

Something on the inside kept digging into the lateral side of my foot and caused irritated skin. Get some Ininji (sp) socks, they’re great and cut down on foot odor a lot

Get some KSOs, these seem to be the most popular model right now.

I found this site to be really helpful. I am still getting used to mine, but I can see myself wearing the Treks everywhere. http://birthdayshoes.com/

The down loadable Beginners Guide is recommended.

I’m just curious because I too love being barefoot but all the doctors I’ve spoken to tell me I should be wearing insteps because I’m horribly flat footed and pronate a little.

Do any of you have foot problems and still find the 5 Fingers to be good?

Sweet I’ll get the KSO’s…

and these are the socks someone ^^upthere^^ was referencing.

http://www.injinji.com/tetratsok/excelerator.html

I picked the long one’s so I can deadlift in 'em :slight_smile:

I have a pair of the KSO’s, love them. I lift in them, everything but squat (my chuck taylors will NEVER leave me!!!). Word to the wise though, only wear them for like an hour a day to just walk around the first few weeks. I got myself a nastey turf toe by going straight into running with them without getting used to “barefoot training” first. Get them, besides, people make $80 mistakes all the time, and if it’s a mistake, it’ll probably be one you regret the least.

KSO’s all the way… Until April anyways when the running shoe comes out, that will probably be the best since its KSO like but lighter and more durable + better tread… Make sure you get them a size small (very thight) as they stretch. Get 3 to 5 pairs of the Injinji socks so you dont have to wash the shoes every week…

Any other questions PM me (on my second pair and been wearing Vibrams since they came out)…

[quote]Enders Drift wrote:
I’m just curious because I too love being barefoot but all the doctors I’ve spoken to tell me I should be wearing insteps because I’m horribly flat footed and pronate a little.

Do any of you have foot problems and still find the 5 Fingers to be good?[/quote]

My friend is flat footed and started training for 1/2 and full marathons in vibrams and has actually (grown? gained?) an arch because the muscles in his foot have strengthened to the point he can run comfortably in them… I would suggest getting a pair and giving it a shot… if nothing else you end up with an around the house shoe at best you can prove to your doctor he is a fool…

By the way, if you have not done it yet, pick up “Born to Run” and read it, talks alot about running barefoot and its benifits…

One thing to note (sorry if posted I may have missed) is to run on the BALLS of your feet not the heels. The first time I ran with them my calves got more of a workout than I did a cardio one. This may help people with high arches to no arches. I’ve told my gf to run like this because it is the proper way to run. Just try running on your heels on pavement, doesn’t work out to well.

I agree that they take a while to get used to having a second “skin” but I never developed any kind of blistering or foot pain since using these.

[quote]Mad HORSE wrote:
My only complaint is that they’re not authorized in the PT uniform because of some arbitrary rule about socks. I’ll take the paperwork though. Worth it.[/quote]

Get some five-toe socks. Injinji makes some. They’re not cheap (around $10-15 / pr, IIRC), but they’ll save you some bad paper.

Another Vibram KSO & Sprint owner/user here. Had them (like Ratchet above) since they came out & became available in Toronto through a local outdoors store.

From your needs listed above, KSOs should fit the bill nicely.

Again, EASE your way into wearing these for running, landing ninja-like on the balls of your feet is the way to go, landing on your heels will destroy you in short order.

As for lifting they are incredible & EVERY time I wear them at the gym I get some comment or question “Hey those are cool; what are they?” It’s getting old but I tell them I’m a downsized ninja staying in shape.

[quote]Enders Drift wrote:
I’m just curious because I too love being barefoot but all the doctors I’ve spoken to tell me I should be wearing insteps because I’m horribly flat footed and pronate a little.

Do any of you have foot problems and still find the 5 Fingers to be good?[/quote]

I have no arch, flat as the floor and they are a god send

I wear them 8-12 hrs/day while at the gym btw

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
I wear them 8-12 hrs/day while at the gym btw[/quote]

I to work at a gym sometimes after a workout they go unnoticed and I forget to take them off. I’m really going to pick another pair up that is enclosed for daily activities.

Another note: As for washing them in the summer I usually run to the beach and get them in the water and dry sands seems to do a good enough cleaning job. I’ve washed them before in the washing machine and hanging them to dry. However, I am worried long term they will degenerate from the detergents and heat.

I have the sprints, and I do everything in the gym or on the track with them. I love them.

Sorry. Didn’t see this when it first came up, but I think this should answer you question.

http://parkourhelper.blogspot.com/2008/09/parkour-shoes.html