Vibram Five Fingers

Blake

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Im really intrigued buy these things. I would love to hear if anyone has worn them or knows anyone who wears them. Looks like they could be a great solution for having foot protection with the agility and control you get from being bare foot. Seems research is indicating its a better way to run also.

http://www.vibramfivefingers.it/eng/footwear.aspx
 

swampy99

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I have a pair and yes they could be used in the field but found that I prefer to wear boots. I did get them to start "Barefoot" running but have gone back to wearing trainers as teh knees don't feel so smashed after 5k's. I can see the benifts but seeing as I have been wearing shoes boots for the last 40 years it would take a long time to feel the change. have you looked into soft star shoes http://www.softstarshoes.com/ they give you the same barefoot feel but with out the things between you toes.
 

Dusty Miller

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@swampy How did you find them for scrambiling over rocks?

I think the principle advantage of the five toes is freaking people out in shopping centres.
 

swampy99

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they are OK for most stuff but if climbing use climbing shoes seeing as most peoples feet are knakered from wearing shoes and there toes have deformed due to the shape of shoes then to suddenly wear someting that is made to fit a normal foot with splade toes is uncomfortable. SWMBO calls them my monkey feet when I wear them as they are the brown colour and they do look like monkey feet. But your right you will get funny looks in the shopping malls.
 

Wentworth

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We met a guy a few weeks ago at the hammock meetup that wore these on the 10km of firetrail walk out. He said he was feeling it a little at the end, but didn't seem to have any real problems. I'd like to try a pair for track walks and creek bashes.
 

Templar

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I liked my brother's pair of these... and found them to be a good option for general wear, I want to get myself a pair for out bush too, see how they go.
 

Benny

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Most comfortable footwear ever, coincidentaly almost the ugliest, topped only by Crocs. Great for running though you have to ease into it as your feet are used to being wrapped in cotton wool.

Not good for out bush as you'd get grass & crap caught between the toes, annoying the hell out you if not tripping you over. It happens on long grass on a sports field so would definately happen out bush. A broken toe would almost definately be on the cards as well. Not sure I'd wear them with a heavy load either, it would take a lot of time & patience to build up the ankle strength to handle it unless you've been barefoot your whole life.

Definately try on the style you want in person before you buy because the sizing can change even between styles. You will get them for half price from the US at the moment.

As far as socially acceptable goes, they're not. I cop an absolute pizzling from my friends, luckily they're a bunch of wankers & I don't care what they think.
But I still don't like seeking attention so I've found these a better option & worth the trade off as far as total barefoot feel- http://www.runningwarehouse.com/catpage-MERRELLM.html

I've got 2 pair of the Trail Glove's. You don't quite get as good a barefoot feel but they are incognito & you still get the benfits- flat, very little padding, wide toe box to allow toes to spread.
 
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Benny

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I've got the black roo leather ones, they're very nice.

Look forward to hearing your report on these.
 

Benny

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Good to hear mate. I've always said they are the most rediculas looking shoes out there but are dam sure some of the comfiest.
 

Wentworth

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Great info guys. I'm keen to hear how the feet and shoes go long term and on different walks.
 

Lokenfold

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I own a pair too, but the Sprint model, I have to be honest and say I haven't used them off on the trails but instead for a gym shoe - you can't go wrong! I suffered a lot from shin-splints and muscle pains when running and these fixed all of my issues; for example I use to only be able to run on a tread mill for 2mins non-stop, after buying my VFF's I'm running 20mins+ non-stop.

My advice would be to do your homework on the sole, and pick the correct one for the application (don't choose a thin sole and use it on rocky trails!)
 

21st century pict

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When I was a wee kid “many year ago “I used to go and collect shellfish with my dad.

Well one summer some years back myself and some pals were out playing in surf when one bloke got nailed on the forearm by what I can only assume was a weever fish, he was a big dude but he was obviously in some pain and by the time we drove the 6 miles to hospital his whole arm was frozen and hurting all the way up to his shoulder. I don’t know what they gave him at the hospital? (Antihistamines or whatever but he was fixed up and ok.
I still live near the coast and have spent some time recently searching for razor shells and obviously it’s a matter of getting the old leather boots off and just piling in to water, the furthest I have walked in the sea bare foot is around 12 mile and never had any problems but after reading this.

(New Scotsman
Paddlers in peril as poisonous weever fish hit the beach
Published on Saturday 6 August 2005

HOLIDAYMAKERS should wear flip-flops on sandy beaches to protect them from an explosion in the numbers of a poisonous fish in Scotland, marine biologists warned last night.
The lesser weever fish, which inflicts an "excruciating" wound from poisonous barbs on its back, has amazed scientists by increasing its population by four-fold in the last year.
The native species, which grows to 15cm, lies buried in wet sand at low tide or shallow water. If it is stood on, it causes the person's foot to turn red and swell and is painful for up to two weeks.
Scientists now fear the surge in numbers of the species in Scotland's waters could lead to more beach-goers being stung if they fail to take precautions.
Geoff Swinney, curator of fishes at the National Museum of Scotland, said the dangers had to be brought to people's attention so they could treat the sting in the correct way. "People ought to be alerted about the dangerous species along our shoreline of which the Weever fish is one," he said.
"This fish gives an extremely painful sting. If someone is stung by one they should not pour vinegar on it like you do for a jellyfish sting, but instead they should allow the wound to bleed to wash the poison out.
"They should also put their foot into as hot water as they can stand without scalding themselves as this breaks down the proteins in the poison and stops it from working. They should then seek medical attention.
"People can die if they go into anaphylactic shock after being stung by the weever fish so people should take precautions and not paddle barefoot.)


Well can you guess what I'm buying next !
PS I also like the VIBRAM FIVE FINGER shoes because they are so F######g ugly.
PPS thank F### we don’t have any saltys up here and only the very occasional Great white,
Anybody know if you get Five Fingers wee steel toe caps...
 
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Aussie Forager CQ

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I have had a pair for about one and half years now. I haven't used them exclusively for that time but have done quite a bit with them still. To me, logically they make a great deal of sense to compliment our natural 'shoelessness' that we are born with. I think the research supports that as well from what I have seen.

I have a pair of KSO's and I would definately recommend that you give them ago. There are plenty of occasions where they are perfect for the job.

I have worn mine kayaking, rock hopping and fishing, and I find they are great for the wet. I have done a bit of running in them (not as much as I should but whenever I run I'll either take them or go barefoot provided I'm not playing a sport). I have mostly bush walked in them on track and off track. Ive worn them quite a bit around sandstone cliffs and have found them great there as well. I have done some serious bush bashing in them, off track walking, bashing through lantana as if I had boots on and found they have held up relatively well.

My only issues with them have been one little tear in the lighter material and the heel section is starting to come away a bit. I have not tried to do any fixing at all, im sure a bit of goo would fix it alright.





The heel coming away was mostly the result of a time I found a mass of vines in a section of trees reasonabley low to the ground that were just crying out to be climbed over and used like a big trampoline. Rolling around on the vines snagged the shoe and sort of pulled them off.

Otherwise, I found they need a wash every now and then as they get a bit like smelly socks otherwise, that's my feet any way. I've also had a thorn go through them and had grass get stuck between the toes occasionally when walking through long grass.

All in all I'd vouch for them, I'm still glad a brought mine anyway!
 

Aussie123

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When I was a wee kid “many year ago “I used to go and collect shellfish with my dad.

Well one summer some years back myself and some pals were out playing in surf when one bloke got nailed on the forearm by what I can only assume was a weever fish, he was a big dude but he was obviously in some pain and by the time we drove the 6 miles to hospital his whole arm was frozen and hurting all the way up to his shoulder. I don’t know what they gave him at the hospital? (Antihistamines or whatever but he was fixed up and ok.
I still live near the coast and have spent some time recently searching for razor shells and obviously it’s a matter of getting the old leather boots off and just piling in to water, the furthest I have walked in the sea bare foot is around 12 mile and never had any problems but after reading this.

(New Scotsman
Paddlers in peril as poisonous weever fish hit the beach
Published on Saturday 6 August 2005

HOLIDAYMAKERS should wear flip-flops on sandy beaches to protect them from an explosion in the numbers of a poisonous fish in Scotland, marine biologists warned last night.
The lesser weever fish, which inflicts an "excruciating" wound from poisonous barbs on its back, has amazed scientists by increasing its population by four-fold in the last year.
The native species, which grows to 15cm, lies buried in wet sand at low tide or shallow water. If it is stood on, it causes the person's foot to turn red and swell and is painful for up to two weeks.
Scientists now fear the surge in numbers of the species in Scotland's waters could lead to more beach-goers being stung if they fail to take precautions.
Geoff Swinney, curator of fishes at the National Museum of Scotland, said the dangers had to be brought to people's attention so they could treat the sting in the correct way. "People ought to be alerted about the dangerous species along our shoreline of which the Weever fish is one," he said.
"This fish gives an extremely painful sting. If someone is stung by one they should not pour vinegar on it like you do for a jellyfish sting, but instead they should allow the wound to bleed to wash the poison out.
"They should also put their foot into as hot water as they can stand without scalding themselves as this breaks down the proteins in the poison and stops it from working. They should then seek medical attention.
"People can die if they go into anaphylactic shock after being stung by the weever fish so people should take precautions and not paddle barefoot.)


Well can you guess what I'm buying next !
PS I also like the VIBRAM FIVE FINGER shoes because they are so F######g ugly.
PPS thank F### we don’t have any saltys up here and only the very occasional Great white,
Anybody know if you get Five Fingers wee steel toe caps...
I don't know the weever fish, but a common technique here is to shuffle your feet. It can be hard work, but the idea is to disturb a lurking fish or sting ray rather than step on it.

Its Ok if you are only going a short distance, but not very practical for a long walk.

Re the hot water treatment: we’ve taken a hot thermos of water with us to the beach (up North), for just such an emergency, and a cup of tea. (You don’t want to be mucking around with a fire or stove if you do get stung).
 

Lokenfold

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I took my vibrams sprints out into the bush on the weekend, and my god I was impressed! next to no noise when walking along trails, I normally wear sneakers or boots and never again!
If you are stalking when tracking then there is no other option!

Some benefits I found on the weekend:
1, The shoes are flexible so if you want to step on a rock with only the ball of your foot you will, and it will grip.
2, Due to the soles, you're more aware of the track you want to take, and not plow through.
3, It's like being barefoot with protection from sharp rocks and sticks
4, grip is great when jumping from rock to rock.
5, Very lite

Downside:
1, Sand can make it's way in and if you're not wearing socks it gets uncomfy.
2, Feet can get cold quick if they get wet
3, Feet are venerable to snakes and other critters that will go for your feet.
 

wallum

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I bought a pair, but I have really narrow feet, and my little toes naturally curl under a bit, so unfortunately, although I love walking barefoot, my toes can't stand being splayed apart like that. I'm really dissapointed, as I would love to wear these.
 

Redrighthand

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There are a number of "minimalist" shoes available now that don't have the separate toe thingies. I have a pair of Vivo Barefoot Aqualites that I use for morning runs, and my wife has a pair of Vivo Neo's, which are a trail runner that they do. Both very flexible, just about puncture proof, and your foot still moves very naturally. I love them. For rocky terrain, I prefer my boots (I wrote a comparison on another forum, I might post it here) but my wife's only complaint was sore feet after a full day of clambering about on very rocky coastline down at Cape Liptrap. They might suit where the Vibrams don't.

Cheers,
Steve
 

Benny

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Interesting stuff mate. I use a Merrell barefoot shoe & scientific or not I much prefer them to my old runners. If nothing else they made me land on my forefoot instead of heel when running, which is a good thing.
 
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