Vibram Five Fingers – The Comfiest Footwear Ever

Vibram Five Fingers - March 2009-small

We each picked up a pair of Vibram Five Fingers at the OS Outdoors Show this year. They are fantastic.

We’ve hardly taken them off. In fact I considered getting married in them.

Rachel, our regular walking buddy and Physiotherapist, also got a pair and wears them to work all the time. She gets cold feet (in fact she has proper Reynaud’s Syndrome – a scary thing that) so she’s far more comfy with a pair of toe-socks inside them. In fact at times she even finds them a bit on the warm side during the summer.

The toe-socks also mean that they need washing far less often. Without them the Five Fingers can get a bit pongy after a couple of days.

The feeling of something between your toes was something I wasn’t sure that I’d get used to but after the first hour I’ve never been aware of it.

It’s not quite like walking bare foot in the sense that you don’t have to be quite so careful where you tread when wearing them. I walk along quite “naturally”, as if wearing shoes. You also notice odd things, like tarmac actually feels softer to walk on than concrete.

I’ve been wearing them for the 2k each way walk to work on which LB usually comes along and we’ve both found that at first we got sore heels. A mixture of slightly “warm” spots as if they were about to blister and also a sort of “impact” related tenderness.

We swapped back to the Terrocs for a few days now and then to let the soreness subside. Our feet have simply become tougher and now cope without a problem – even for running short distances (possibly longer distances – we’ve not tried!).

Toughening up the skin like that is probably an advantage on a long walk but of course the big advantage is the better proprioception and strength.

The oddest thing was when I came to take my Terrocs off one lunch time on the hill. I massaged my feet and found to my surprise that they felt far, far more “muscly” than they used to. My feet just feel stronger.

Ulrika And Dave Wedding-80-smallIn fact, we’ve found them so comfortable that we’ve decided to take them with us on the GR5. We think they’re going to be worth the 386grams for my EU45 and the 248grams for LB’s EU36.

Although we decided to go with the conventional footwear for the actual ceremony, for the party afterwards, as you can see from the picture my brother took, we both decided to change into something more comfortable!

7 Replies to “Vibram Five Fingers – The Comfiest Footwear Ever”

  1. They are excellent! Finding somewhere to actually try them on is the main problem.

    But I suppose you could always order two or three sizes and send back the ones that don’t fit! :)

  2. Yes! Ten small thumbs up! I got a pair of Flows a month ago, and love them. I mainly use them for running (absolute hell on the calves for the first couple of weeks, but great once that all calms down) – pretty comfortable up to 10km now. The tenderness on the heels should also go after a while as you adapt to more of a mid-foot strike.

    I also found that they take some wearing in. I have long big toes, which meant they were not a naturally comfortable fit straight out of the box, and needed breaking in for a couple of days.

    I’ve got a big trip coming up in September, and am tempted to take the Flows along for the ride..

  3. Peewiglet – Sorry for the late reply – just back from a week of fattening ourselves up in Sweden (the usual prep for the Big Walk!).

    I’ve never worn Crocs but I feel sure these will be at least as comfortable and definitely “better” for your feet (trotters?? ;)

  4. Chris – I noticed a little heel-tenderness in one heel when we arrived in Sweden. I only felt it when pressing with my thumb oddly!

    I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but for the fact that we’re off for seven weeks of walking soon and I didn’t fancy starting out with a latent stress-injury.

    But a week of wandering around in a combination of the Terrocs and the “hut sandals” at the Sommarstuga (summer cottage) as well as some portage slippers when doing some kayaking (it’s a hard life…) appear to have sorted that out thankfully.

    I’ve never thought of having to “break them in” but it’s good to hear it’s possible!

    I think if I didn’t take them I’d really miss them… :)

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