December 15th, 2009

Vibram FiveFingers are a Steal

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints

Not since the glass slipper has there been such a footwear fairy tale.

Vibram, the original inventor and timeless manufacturer of the rubber sole, is blazing a new trail in the “barefoot alternative” category.

vibram-fivefinger-kso.jpgHigh tech running shoes seem comfortable, but recent studies debunk their effectiveness, suggesting that their use results in injury rates as high as 90%. Chris McDougall’s book, Born to Run, reveals how modern-day athletic shoes cast the feet in a protective mold leaving them underdeveloped and weakened… footgear foie gras. Rediscover the anatomical marvel of your foot—the standard package includes 19 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. After all, evolution has the largest R&D budget.

Product Chart.jpgVibram is the Usain Bolt in the minimalist shoe footrace. The FiveFinger technology and design are exceptional, mitigating the potential frustrations for early adopters. That said, there is still a transition period in switching over to barefoot performance footwear. Initially, a full day in the shoes made my little piggies fry like bacon. Now I wear them comfortably all day long. For my sporadic runs, I went from jackhammering seven miles on my heels to bounding a couple miles up on the balls of my feet. Sorry, calves, no more coddling! Unlike my short-lived experimentation with the Strength Shoes, the FiveFingers are functional and fashionable.

The FiveFingers support a diverse mix of activities including running, fitness, surfing, light trekking, or getting stopped by airport security for human feet in your carry-on luggage, seriously. Instead of traditional shoe sizes, sizing is your foot’s length in inches to the nearest quarter inch. Note: the current options do not accommodate a slimmer foot… or webbed toes.

The footwear fairy tale… where happy trails meet happy endings.

The Details:
   Vibram FiveFingers
   Prices range from $75 to $125
   Store Locator
   As always, these opinions are my own. There’s no pay for play.



The Nugget of the Day
   Perfecting the Headline: How The Onion Puts the Punchline Up Top
   “Special Olympics T-ball Stand Pitches Perfect Game”
   Eric Konigsberg
   New York Times, November 2, 2009