Vibram Five Fingers – Barefoot Shoes
By Don Mundell
Vibram Five Finger…eh…shoes?
When I first saw a pair of the Vibram Five Fingers it immediately took me back to those five toed socks that were all the rage back in the, uh… 70′s, I think. They were wild looking and actually quite cool.
Until I tried them on and discovered I had a bit of “obstacles between the toes” phobia. Sort of like a flip flop or thong piece between all of my toes. I just couldn’t quite hang with that feeling.
And now we have a shoe (?) that provides the same type of toe individuality for those outdoor barefoot enthusiasts from the beginning fitness jogger, to the beach runner, to the adventurous, let it all hang out, rock climber.
So what do these Five Fingers do?
Simply put, they protect the bottoms of our feet all the while allowing the wearer a more natural feel with the striking surface they are coming in contact with. From hard surfaces to softer ones the Five Fingers can prevent blisters, puncture wounds, cuts, and scrapes while allowing you the barefoot freedom that comes with not wearing any shoes.
Any many people love them. What are the most common reasons people use them? To start with:
- Many barefoot enthusiasts call this footwear, “the barefoot alternative”. You could also use the term “the cushion alternative” in reference to the many types of running shoes with abundant cushioning built into them.
- They help strength the musculature of the feet and lower leg without having to dig foreign objects out of the bottoms of their feet during activity.
- They help to “re-align” running mechanics (foot, ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and head) that have been forced to compensate in an un-natural or alternating alignment as a result of years of wearing “unnatural” running shoes. This claim certainly has its Pros and Cons.
- They assist with alleviating unnecessary stresses place on lower leg joints and muscles as a result of required forefoot strike with barefoot running instead of the heel strike that many running shoes emphasize.
- Many Five finger advocates simply like the feel of wearing them. The individual toe wedgie doesn’t adversely affect them like the above aforementioned experience.
Before wearing the Five Fingers it’s important to note any previous body alignment issues or lower extremity injuries that may become problematic from running barefoot. Contact your physician prior to exercising in them if you have any concerns about your body’s ability to stand up to the barefoot exercise demands. And there are a few demands running shoes can buffer that barefoot running cannot. Let your physician help you out.
And how much are these fancy barefoot shoes going to cost? Great question. OK here’s a good one, “It depends on where you shop!” From my perspective if you shop around a little bit you can find a pair closer to $60.00 than you can for $100.00. Be a wise shopper.
So if you have the urge to start exercising and running in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers I strongly encourage a conservative approach in the beginning. The better your feet and lower extremities adjust to the new demands and bio-mechanical adjustments the more aggressive you can become.
Don likes to write about people and life experiences. Visit his latest website over athttp://crosscountryshoes.org/ and give your input on running issues like barefoot running and other cross country shoe products and topics.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Don_Mundell