Vibrams and the Barefoot Experience

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Lizzy_B's picture
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Vibrams and the Barefoot Experience

So, I know that we've talked about To Flip Flop or Not here. I thought we could continue the footwear conversation.

I've been reading The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, and one of the many lifestyle changes he touts is "getting in touch with the barefoot experience." In other words, wearing Vibrams or another type shoe that offers this experience.

Have y'all tried this? What are your thoughts about "barefooting?" Could you do it in the parks, you think?

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Hey Lizzy -

Joe's a Vibrams user and loves them. He could never find a pair of shoes that would work for him. Then he started reading Primal Blueprint. He's been running barefoot for about a year and sears by it.

He wears his Vibrams all the time. He has worn them in the parks as well:

Only downside was when we were standing in line at Buzz Lightyear, and this small child was so intrigued, he got down on the ground and started playing with Joe's toes. It took the Mom a few seconds to realize what he was doing - she was horrified! It was hysterical. At least to us Tongue

We are seeing them more and more in the general public. Joe gets lots of questions about them.

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I confess...I have totally been thinking of Joe while reading about Vibrams. Your charming stories about your last trip and the attention they garnered always comes back to me while I'm reading about them.

I'm really intrigued with the book. It's hard to imagine a life lived mostly without grains and sugar (cupcakes! eek ) but I'm interested in a trial to see what, if any, health benefits come out of it.

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Hmm I've never heard of them and it was cool to see someone we know who actually wears them. I have to admit they look kind of strange and to me I think they would be uncomfortable.... What's joes review of them?

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I learned out this type of shoe when I was a member of a Disney Running site and I'm really intrigued by them. In general I hate shoes, especially tennis shoes, I feel like my feet are in jail. I would live in flop flops every day, if only we didn't live in Illinois.

I want to give them a try, but I have to drive about an hour to find a pair to even try on!

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Hi! mickey

Jeff asked me to drop by and respond to this.

I started using Vibram shoes about 2 years ago now - it's the only shoe I'll wear, if I'm not being barefoot. I could never find a shoe that actually fit well and was comfortable - as soon as I slipped one of these toe shoes on, I was in heaven! I would absolutely recommend trying them out.

We've only been to Disney once in them and I always had them on - my feet were champs at the end of each day (hours and hours of walking!), whereas if I was wearing a regular shoe, my feet would be so sore and tired. It does take some time to get adjusted to walking/running in these types of shoes - not so much the "something between the toes", but the shoes utilize different muscles and it is best to slowly work into them.

We did get stopped quite a few times with people asking questions (or little children trying to touch my toes... but that's another story!), but most people just look confused after seeing them. This is the latest pair I've gotten and I love them even more than the other pair! awesome

PS - I did follow The Primal Blueprint diet for a few weeks (more due to gut issues though, not really by choice). It was interesting, but I wasn't all that comfortable eating that much meat. I am thankful, though, as it pushed us to move towards Grassfed beef, along with pastured pork and chicken.

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HI Joe!!! Glad to see you joined us.

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Funky looking shoe! Hello Joe and welcome.

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culinaryjoe wrote:
Hi! mickey

Jeff asked me to drop by and respond to this.

I started using Vibram shoes about 2 years ago now - it's the only shoe I'll wear, if I'm not being barefoot. I could never find a shoe that actually fit well and was comfortable - as soon as I slipped one of these toe shoes on, I was in heaven! I would absolutely recommend trying them out.

We've only been to Disney once in them and I always had them on - my feet were champs at the end of each day (hours and hours of walking!), whereas if I was wearing a regular shoe, my feet would be so sore and tired. It does take some time to get adjusted to walking/running in these types of shoes - not so much the "something between the toes", but the shoes utilize different muscles and it is best to slowly work into them.

We did get stopped quite a few times with people asking questions (or little children trying to touch my toes... but that's another story!), but most people just look confused after seeing them. This is the latest pair I've gotten and I love them even more than the other pair! awesome

PS - I did follow The Primal Blueprint diet for a few weeks (more due to gut issues though, not really by choice). It was interesting, but I wasn't all that comfortable eating that much meat. I am thankful, though, as it pushed us to move towards Grassfed beef, along with pastured pork and chicken.

Very cool....and OMG the infamous joe joined us..... clapping clapping Feel free to stick around....Jeff talks about you so much it's like you've been here for ages....LOL

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Thanks for the welcome! cool

Jess wrote:

Very cool....and OMG the infamous joe joined us..... clapping clapping Feel free to stick around....Jeff talks about you so much it's like you've been here for ages....LOL

Hmm... should I be scared? Innocent

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Hi Joe and welcome to our happy little (and growing) group. Joe I do have one question about the shoes, Do you find that when working in kitchens like you do, do they feel like they have less grip or traction than regular shoes? or maybe more so.

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Vettelover wrote:
Hi Joe and welcome to our happy little (and growing) group. Joe I do have one question about the shoes, Do you find that when working in kitchens like you do, do they feel like they have less grip or traction than regular shoes? or maybe more so.

They actually have great traction, more than a regular shoe I find. Many use Vibram's for hiking/rock climbing because of this!

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yay yay yay
It is Joe, he does exist! Just kidding we knew you did. It is we who should be afraid. Jeff keeps telling us you are out to get us for being a group of enablers. The truth of the matter is, it is Jeff who is the enabler. OH well, I guess we all "feed" off of each other in here. Welcome, so glad you decided to join us.

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scrappy wrote:
The truth of the matter is, it is Jeff who is the enabler.

WHAT!!??! I will deny that!! As soon as I delete about 1,452 posts.....

laugh

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JeffC wrote:
scrappy wrote:
The truth of the matter is, it is Jeff who is the enabler.

WHAT!!??! I will deny that!! As soon as I delete about 1,452 posts.....

laugh

rolling rolling rolling

Only 1,452???

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JoAnn C wrote:

Only 1,452???

Oh shush.... Stare

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culinaryjoe wrote:
Thanks for the welcome! cool

Jess wrote:

Very cool....and OMG the infamous joe joined us..... clapping clapping Feel free to stick around....Jeff talks about you so much it's like you've been here for ages....LOL

Hmm... should I be scared? Innocent

LOL....it just might mean that jeff has to behave now....yeah right....LOL....

As far as the shoes go....i would think that the toes would hurt....I have some socks that have seperated toes like that and they hurt my toes

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JeffC wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:

Only 1,452???

Oh shush.... Stare

rolling rolling rolling

Ok... I guess its safe to assume you dont wear socks with them? If so... how well do they breathe? Are we talking after a long day in the Magic Kingdom... when they come off... and then the room smells like rot? lol I would assume they breathe pretty well?

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Joe, thanks so much for offering your impressions, both on the Vibrams and the way of eating. My husband trained as a chef, so food gets a LOT of attention around here. We are very interested in the slow food movement and eating locally grown/raised foods. I'm going to do a trial to see how livable the lifestyle would be, so I'll keep you posted! I think for me, having around 4 oz of meat (or eggs) and filling the rest of my plate with veggies would be plenty for a meal, so it might be okay. My biggest challenge will be making it livable while the rest of the family continues with a more mainstream diet.

Regarding the Vibrams, I really am intrigued. We have a lot of tile in our (FL) house, and I always had trouble being barefoot all day (I work from home.) After I started running/walking to train for a half marathon, I noticed that my feet got much stronger, and now I don't have problems with being barefoot. Maybe it's time to check out Vibrams so that I can continue to strengthen those muscles. Thanks so much, and I hope you and Jeff have a fantastic time on your upcoming trip!

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Jess wrote:

LOL....it just might mean that jeff has to behave now....yeah right....LOL....

As far as the shoes go....i would think that the toes would hurt....I have some socks that have seperated toes like that and they hurt my toes

My toes never hurt while getting adjusted to the shoes, but there are some exercises you can do to help with that issue! That has more to do with toes being stuffed into tight toeboxes in shoes.

Mase wrote:

Ok... I guess its safe to assume you dont wear socks with them? If so... how well do they breathe? Are we talking after a long day in the Magic Kingdom... when they come off... and then the room smells like rot? lol I would assume they breathe pretty well?

Actually, they make toe socks to wear in them! I have a pair or two and wear them when it is especially cold outside.

The shoes are made with a breathable material (some even have a bit of mesh to them) - my feet don't sweat much at all after wearing them all day. They will, however, begin to smell if you don't clean them - you can toss them right into the washer though! wink

Lizzy_B wrote:
Joe, thanks so much for offering your impressions, both on the Vibrams and the way of eating. My husband trained as a chef, so food gets a LOT of attention around here. We are very interested in the slow food movement and eating locally grown/raised foods. I'm going to do a trial to see how livable the lifestyle would be, so I'll keep you posted! I think for me, having around 4 oz of meat (or eggs) and filling the rest of my plate with veggies would be plenty for a meal, so it might be okay. My biggest challenge will be making it livable while the rest of the family continues with a more mainstream diet.

Regarding the Vibrams, I really am intrigued. We have a lot of tile in our (FL) house, and I always had trouble being barefoot all day (I work from home.) After I started running/walking to train for a half marathon, I noticed that my feet got much stronger, and now I don't have problems with being barefoot. Maybe it's time to check out Vibrams so that I can continue to strengthen those muscles. Thanks so much, and I hope you and Jeff have a fantastic time on your upcoming trip!

We've shifted to locally grown or raised for our food (it doesn't have to be organic, either), as much as we possibly can. The primal diet can be pretty confusing (and somewhat confining) if you strictly follow it, but there is nothing that says you have to. While protein is important, they also focus a lot on having your fat intake very high (mine averaged about 170grams a day laugh ), which can be a hard adjustment as that is definitely against common medical wisdom (that is changing though... slowly!).

I think it's good to dip your toes in first and see what you think. My problem was because I'm pretty active, I'd have to eat a lot of meat/fat to keep my calories up.

Yes! If I put a pair of shoes on, it feels like I'm walking on marshmallows... it is that big of a difference! There are lot of muscles and ligaments in your feet that become weak if you always have shoes on. Our kitchen has tile too and I'm barefoot all day without issue - I couldn't believe when I made the change just how well my feet could feel after being on them for hours and hours!

Let me know if you (or anyone!) has any more questions! I'm happy to answer them!

Thanks again for the warm welcome! clapping

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culinaryjoe wrote:
Mase wrote:

Ok... I guess its safe to assume you dont wear socks with them? If so... how well do they breathe? Are we talking after a long day in the Magic Kingdom... when they come off... and then the room smells like rot? lol I would assume they breathe pretty well?

Actually, they make toe socks to wear in them! I have a pair or two and wear them when it is especially cold outside.

The shoes are made with a breathable material (some even have a bit of mesh to them) - my feet don't sweat much at all after wearing them all day. They will, however, begin to smell if you don't clean them - you can toss them right into the washer though! wink

I have heard that if you throw them in a nice sealed ziplock bag... that would cure it as well. For me... sounds gross... but I guess it works... lol

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I wore my Vibrams last year to the parks and the only problem I had was how many people stopped to ask me about them!! They were super comfy.

I would caution anyone who is thinking of buying some to make sure you spend a lot of time getting used to them before taking them to the parks. I used to sell running shoes at a specialty running store and saw a LOT of people who would come get a pair the night before they were set to leave on vacation. Many of them would return from vacation with stories of sore feet, tight calves and Achilles problems. Well, duh!! Most people aren't used to being barefoot and on their feet for 10 hours a day!

If you're interested in the minimalist type shoe but not a fan of the toe separation, look at some of the other minimalist shoes, like the New Balance Minimus. I also have a pair of those (the trail version) and LOVE them more then I love my Vibrams!!

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hmm...I've been looking into some of these, but I just don't like the looks of them. I want that feel without the look, so I may have to get some of those New Balance Minimus. They are cute too!

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JMUDukz wrote:
I wore my Vibrams last year to the parks and the only problem I had was how many people stopped to ask me about them!! They were super comfy.

I would caution anyone who is thinking of buying some to make sure you spend a lot of time getting used to them before taking them to the parks. I used to sell running shoes at a specialty running store and saw a LOT of people who would come get a pair the night before they were set to leave on vacation. Many of them would return from vacation with stories of sore feet, tight calves and Achilles problems. Well, duh!! Most people aren't used to being barefoot and on their feet for 10 hours a day!

If you're interested in the minimalist type shoe but not a fan of the toe separation, look at some of the other minimalist shoes, like the New Balance Minimus. I also have a pair of those (the trail version) and LOVE them more then I love my Vibrams!!

This is great information! Thanks so much!

Jessi5989 wrote:
hmm...I've been looking into some of these, but I just don't like the looks of them. I want that feel without the look, so I may have to get some of those New Balance Minimus. They are cute too!

Agreed Smile I like the concept but don't love the look.

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Dont know if these are good deals... but it popped up on my radar site for good deals....

http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/search_vibram30off____?ad_id=CJ&cm_mmc=Affiliate-_-CJ-_-na-_-227502

Quote:
Moosejaw has the Vibram Five Fingers Men's Shoes marked down at 30% off. Get an extra 5% off after Coupon Code: "CJSALE" (Exp Soon). Free Shipping $49+. Tax in most. [Compare Prices]
Vibram Five Fingers Men's KSO $59.50 - 5% = $56.53
Vibram Five Fingers Men's Bikila $63.00 - 5% = $59.85
Vibram Five Fingers Men's TrekSport $70.00 - 5% = $66.50

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I dont wear the fivefingers but I wear a barefoot shoe - merrell pace glove are my current ones. They are made with a vibram sole. They are great because I feel very comfortable and often forget I am wearing shoes. I think it has also improved my posture a little bit. I am thinking of picking up for fivefingers soon.I also wear a lot of flip flops because sometimes I just don't like any time of shoes.

I am a huge fan of barefoot running, minimalist shoes and zero drop shoes. I recommend training your feet to get used to them first because you do walk and run differently in them. Also research the different types. Most people I know started with Nike or new balance minimalist shoes (that still have a minor toe-to-heal drop) and are making their way to ones with vibram soles before getting the fivefingers (or toe shoes as my goddaughter calls them).

Merrell barefoot connection is a great site to learn more for those who aren't used to the idea.

I likely will never go back to regular runners. I wear flip flops the majority of the time and sometimes my converse shoes but these are amazing shoes now that I am used to walking in them.

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I'm really thinking about buying a pair of these. I mean, I've been thinking about it for awhile but now I think I have to.

I was in a lot of pain when the kids and I were in Disneyland, and spent most of my Park time in a wheelchair. The one day that we were just relaxing I decided that I could probably make it through Downtown Disney on my own power. We got pretty far into the shops and suddenly I had to find a place to sit, I wasn't really able to balance very well and was seriously wobbly. I started to panic a bit as the kids and I came up with a plan to get me back to the room. Part of our plan, was that I would take my shoes off. I thought it sounded sort of crazy at first, but once I took off my shoes ( solid soled flip flop style sandal) I was able to balance, the pain lessened, and I made it back to the room with almost no problems.

I'm not sure if we hadn't of been talking about these toed shoes on the forum, if I would have even considered that they could be part of my problem. I spend the majority of my time barefoot and it dawned on me that perhaps I needed to be using different muscles to get myself back to the room. It really worked like a charm and I want to see if switching to this sort of shoes might just eliminate a lot of my day to day pain.

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Kristen K. wrote:

I'm not sure if we hadn't of been talking about these toed shoes on the forum, if I would have even considered that they could be part of my problem. I spend the majority of my time barefoot and it dawned on me that perhaps I needed to be using different muscles to get myself back to the room. It really worked like a charm and I want to see if switching to this sort of shoes might just eliminate a lot of my day to day pain.

It very well may! You align your legs and back differently when you walk barefoot or in barefoot shoes. Yes, you'll likely look a little goofy but they are very comfortable once you get used to them. I started with 4 hours, moved to 6, then 10 and so on, now I can wear them pretty much all day but carry a pair of cheap flip flops that have molded to my feet just in case. sometimes I find them a bit much to wear.

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Quote:
sometimes my converse shoes but these are amazing shoes now that I am used to walking in them.

I have never thought about that! I've always loved walking barefoot more than with shoes and my converses are like my favorite things! But I did actually just get some of those New Balance Minimus shoes the other day and I've already worn them themeparking a couple of days and I love them! Mine are mesh so they don't weigh anything and its the best!

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Jessi5989 wrote:
Quote:
sometimes my converse shoes but these are amazing shoes now that I am used to walking in them.

I have never thought about that! I've always loved walking barefoot more than with shoes and my converses are like my favorite things! But I did actually just get some of those New Balance Minimus shoes the other day and I've already worn them themeparking a couple of days and I love them! Mine are mesh so they don't weigh anything and its the best!

I used to love my converses but thes are way better. I find I have to trade out my converse shoes for flip flops part way though the day now since I have adjusted the way I walk now.

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Jessi5989 wrote:
Quote:
sometimes my converse shoes but these are amazing shoes now that I am used to walking in them.

I have never thought about that! I've always loved walking barefoot more than with shoes and my converses are like my favorite things! But I did actually just get some of those New Balance Minimus shoes the other day and I've already worn them themeparking a couple of days and I love them! Mine are mesh so they don't weigh anything and its the best!

I used to love my converses but thes are way better. I find I have to trade out my converse shoes for flip flops part way though the day now since I have adjusted the way I walk now.