I went to the store to pick up a pair of the Vibram fivefinger shoes today. Putting them on your feet certainly provides an interesting feeling. The first thing I noticed is that it takes a very coordinated effort to get your toes in the right “toe-holes”. The second thing I noticed is that width of the shoe at the toes was a bit larger than the toes on my foot… and they don’t come in a narrow or wide size, what you see is what you get- SO, the end result is that my toes feel abnormally spread out.
There are several different styles of the fivefingers, some with more strap support around the heel, I found that the Bikila model felt the best for me. The color choice was easy: the pair I ended up buying was $40 off because it was… well, lets just say it wasn’t the most popular color choice. So what’s next? Take them home and start wearing them!
I must say that at this point I am very intrigued and excited to wear these shoes, On my way home I had visions of effortlessly gliding across forest trails, through the trees, over streams just like a deer in the spring time. I got home and put them on and decided to wear them for the next hour. I went out into the back yard and swept up the piles of mulberries that have landed on the ground from our lovely mulberry tree and the feet felt good. It was nice to wear a shoe that is so light, really almost like not having shoes on.
The next thing I did was to take my year and a half old daughter on a walk in her wagon up to the end of our street, which is about 2 blocks. We walked slowly up the hill and I was trying to pay attention to how my feet were feeling. Knowing that there isn’t a tremendous amount of arch support in these shoes, my goal was to walk as if I didn’t have any shoes on at all, not landing on my heel but more towards the “ball” of the foot. As we walked up the street I felt some of the joints in my midfoot moving slightly as I walked. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was certainly noticeable. By the time we got home (after a 10 minute break at the end of the street to pet the neighborhood cat) I had had the shoes on for about an hour and my feet were definitely feeling fatigued. The arch of my right foot was feeling a little sore as well. Overall, the shoes held up well and seemed fairly comfortable.