My brother, the healthiest, happiest eater I know, first told me about Vibram FiveFingers. He actually ran barefoot before buying this “barefoot” footwear. My brother’s a real athlete (even competed several Ironman Triathlons), and I never considered myself to be one, but I’ve really gotten into working out outside with Camp Gladiator.
Right out of the box, these shoes made a huge difference in my form and speed while sprinting. Here are two comments from CG this week, inspired by my new shoes which I’ve just had for a week. One trainer to another, “Did Kelly run track in high school?” No, sir. A contender friend to me after an extra fast sprint lap, “You just rocked that lap!” I answered, “Yeah, it’s the shoes.”
I’d thought about getting some Vibrams for a while, and I’m so glad I finally did. One of the trainers at boot camp is very knowledgeable about VFF, so she gave me great tips. While sprinting, exaggerate the motion: like high knees in front and butt kicks in back, landing on the balls of my feet. I did this, and I felt like Michael Johnson! For jogging, she said to take small steps and land on the balls of my feet. For more instruction, see the FAQs on the VFF site.
Mark Sisson, primal living guru and author of The Primal Blueprint, recommends going barefoot or wearing these shoes. Why? Because the human foot is a marvel of natural engineering. As the Vibram website says,
“The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised … Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will … make you stronger and healthier … improves your balance, agility …”
Here are six reasons why Vibram recommends wearing FiveFingers:
1. Strengthens Muscles in the Feet and Lower Legs – wearing FiveFingers will stimulate and strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving general foot health and reducing the risk of injury.
2. Improves Range of Motion in Ankles, Feet and Toes – no longer ‘cast’ in a shoe, the foot and toes move more naturally.
3. Stimulates Neural Function Important to Balance and Agility – when wearing Vibram FiveFingers, thousands of neurological receptors in the feet send valuable information to the brain, improving balance and agility.
4. Improves Proprioception and Body Awareness – those same neurological receptors heighten body awareness, sending messages about body mechanics, form, and movement.
5. Eliminates Heel Lift to Align the Spine and Improve Posture – By lowering the heel, our bodyweight becomes evenly distributed across the footbed, promoting proper posture and spine alignment.
6. Allows the Foot and Body to Move Naturally, Which Just FEELS GOOD.
I bought my Vibram FiveFingers Bikilas at Whole Earth Provision Company in Dallas. The shoe fitter recommended the Bikila version for running on pavement, which is where most of my running is done. I LOVE them! For years I’ve worn a super supportive version of Saucony running shoes, for which I was fitted at the running store. In my Bikilas, I feel liberated; running feels more natural. If you wear VFF, will you tell us how you got into them … and what you think about them? Be well.