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Vibram FiveFingers® Shoes

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About Vibram FiveFingers® Shoes


Vibram FiveFingers® shoes are designed to allow the foot to function effectively, with all the benefits of going barefoot- including injury prevention, minimising back pain, strengthening the foot structure and maximising
biomechanical performance.

Vibram’s patented shoe takes a minimalist approach to barefooting with a thin, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide fabric that fits low on the foot- for comfort and quick drying. Non-marking, performance rubber soles protect your feet and provide a sure grip over a variety of terrains.

Despite the fact the sports industry has been telling us for years that cushioning is good, runners worldwide are now turning their backs on traditional running shoes in favour of barefoot technology.

There is gathering scientific and evolutionary evidence that barefoot running provides significant health and wellbeing benefits and a careful progression programme can allow you to make the switch to total barefoot running.

To allow the foot to function as it was designed requires either walking completely barefoot – which in many instances is impractical – or wearing Vibram FiveFingers® which offers protection without altering the function of the 270 million year-old design of the foot.

Research has shown that running barefoot results in a 4% increase in efficiency. This is likely to be the result of the foot being allowed to function more effectively without a stiff sole and unforgiving arch supports.

Barefoot technology can also help to avoid injury. Increased awareness of foot position when in direct contact with the ground will decrease risk of ankle sprain as you are more aware of your surroundings.

The arches of the  foot evolved for a reason- to store energy and return that energy to the gait cycle on the next step. Wearing shoes that “support” the arch prevent the arches from performing their function, while any
change in heel height above that of the forefoot results in changes to the spinal curves. This compromises energy storage and recoil in these two key areas, impacting on efficiency and performance.

The Vibram FiveFingers shoes are a minimalist or "barefoot" shoe that improves your body mechanics by letting your foot work the way it should and not the way it does in a shoe.
The results is a great ergonmic advantage with improved balance, agility and grip. They may look funky but they are awesome.

The Vibram FiveFingers are a "barefoot" shoe. That is they try to mimic going barefoot while providing the protection of a shoe sole. They differ from other "barefoot" or minimalist shoes by giving you individual toe pockets.
My colleague wore them for climbing which he does  on a regualar basis. Even though he normally climbs with climbing footwear, he absolutely loved them. You have more to feel with when climbing, you can grip more in the tiny crevaces.

Quality

The build quality on Fivefinger Sprints is very good. All seams feel very secure, the materials seem to be of good quality, and the shoes even hold up well in the laundry. No complaints here. They may not be as "green" as the Vivo Barefoot shoes, but they're just as well built or better.

Cost

Some see the cost of these shoes as exorbitant. To me, £70 and above  seems reasonable considering the research that likely went into designing them, the materials used to build them and their overall quality. For all the things you can do with these Vibram Fivefingers -- and I'm only commenting on the Sprints -- and the length of use that you can likely get from them, I believe these are priced at an okay price point.

Fit/Comfort

The Vibram Fivefinger Sprints are very comfortable footwear...for an item of footwear. I like the fact that these shoes are a lot less on the foot than any other standard shoe-styled footwear. I tell people that they kind of feel like a second skin with a very flexible protective sole. If you get the right size -- which the chart on Vibram's site is very good to help you accomplish -- all is well. I would suggest finding a local store, if available, to try these on and get just the perfect size before you plop down your hard-earned money.  I think once you get them on you'll be hooked.

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