You’ve probably seen runners wearing Vibram Five Fingers, the minimalist runner shoes with toes.
These eye catching shoes have proved popular with runners, offering the sensation and freedom of being barefoot with the protection of a sole.
Having run in Nike Free Flyknit for the past few years, I decided to switch to Vibram Five Fingers to see whether they were a good fit for my running.
So what did I make of Vibram Five Fingers?
Vibram Five Fingers definitely makes you feel closer to the ground, on a trail I could feel every rock and that took a little getting used to.
I think that awareness helps improve your balance and posture, so my running form was probably much improved by switching to Vibram Five Fingers.
One of the really cool things about Vibram Five Fingers is that they help to increase your ankle, your foot and your toe flexibility.
When I first started to wear them, I felt like my feet were really stiff, but within a few weeks I’d gained more flexible.
Just like any other muscle in your body, you want your feet to be strong. Switching to minimalist running shoes allows your feet to move naturally, working muscles that aren’t used when you’re wearing traditional running shoes.
I felt that over a few weeks I gained strength in my feet and ankles which wasn’t there before.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Vibram Five Fingers in terms of comfort, would having my toes in little pockets feel weird? But I found them to be very comfortable.
Vibram Five Fingers work different muscles to your regular running shoes so transitioning takes time.
Vibram recommend that a runner starts by only doing 10% of their running in Vibram Five Fingers and then build up over 13 weeks.
I was really surprised by the work it took to transition across and how sore these muscles that I hadn’t previously needed were as they built up.
Vibram Five Fingers come in a variety of styles with the main difference being that some come with laces, some are more flexible than others and the thickness of the sole.
I ran chose the Vibram Five Fingers Signa mainly because I liked the look of them.
The Bottom Line
If you are thinking about switching to barefoot running, then these shoes are certainly a brand worth looking at. They’re a great product, but you have to be willing to put the work in to transition successfully.
Have you tried these shoes? What would you add to our Vibram Five Fingers review ?