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5 finger shoes

demons
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08/21/2009 - 8:45pm
5 finger shoes
Dear Esther,

What do you think of the 5 finger shoes, I think they are relatively new.

Thanks
Mom_3boys
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09/22/2009 - 11:12am
That's funny, I was wondering the exact same thing today!!

Particularly, I was wondering about these shoes if you are used to wearing the Profoot Supersport insoles.  Wouldn't your foot need some getting used to this?

Connie
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They may be new, but they certainly are all the rage. I like them for walking, though the model I have is hard to take off and put on. I think they are good if your feet are trained to grip contours, etc. Otherwise, they could let your feet distort further than they have already.

About using them for running, I think you have to know what you are doing. Barefoot Ted (featured in the book "Born to Run") teaches small strides, barely clearing the ground and lots of action out the back. I know several people who have embodied this and now claim to run barefoot on cement for long distances without any problems. Interesting - I'm not convinced yet, but I'm certainly intrigued...
Cal
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Hi Esther,

I wondered if you've had any further thoughts on VFFs since your post above (3 years back)?  I am seriously considering getting a pair, so I'd be very interested to hear your comments (before I take the leap).

BTW, I discovered you via  www.marksdailyapple.com just recently and have purchased your "8 Steps" book, wonderful.  Thank you.

Peace,

Cal

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I have been using the Vibram Five Fingers for almost a year now as my usual running/hiking shoes (unless it's too cold) and really like them.  It's amazing how much more agile and surefooted one feels in these than in regular running shoes--very helpful for trail running and hiking especially, and I can do things like walking along a log much more easily when I can feel it.  They definitely encourage good running form--if you're pounding or landing on your heels, you'll fix it quickly!  However, it's not quite the same as being barefoot--you do lose some feedback that you'd get from skin-to-ground contact.  If you're used to wearing supportive shoes, you'll need to take it slow when transitioning to VFFs or other minimal shoes (or barefoot for that matter) since you will be using muscles etc. that you hadn't been using as much before.  I definitely think the whole barefoot/minimal shoe idea is a good one--less to interfere with the functioning of our feet and legs the way they are designed to function.  Thick soles and elevated heels just tend to get in the way, and keep us from feeling the ground. 
bencrvr
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05/29/2010 - 6:23pm
Jolt, I second everything you said about barefoot-ness. I grew up going barefoot much of the time so perhaps that's why my feet have always been strong with good arches. A few months ago I bought a pair of Chaco shoes. They felt great initially but after wearing them all the time I developed a sharp pain on my arch just below my big toe. Stumbled upon the minimal/barefoot movement, took out the insoles and the pain disappeared in a couple days, never to return. Then I read Born to Run, bought Ken Mierke's Evolution Running DVD and got to training. Running barefoot on pavement is much easier than trails, I can see any rocks or glass and with Ken's guidance I've had no issues but some calf soreness from taking it a bit too hard. So far 1.5 miles is the longest distance on pavement. The other day I went about the same distance on extremely rocky trails and had no issues. In fact, it felt wonderful, and the everchanging environment and the need to interact with it well to prevent stepping on sharp rocks kept my focus sharply present, thoughts simply had no place to set up shop and distract me from the moment with monkey chatter. People have been noting how developed the muscles in my legs look, which makes sense from using every single muscle down there in the way they are designed. The more controlling of your foot's movement a shoe gets, the more it resembles a cast, and muscles atrophy when placed in a cast. I admit it is nice to put on my insole-free shoes to rest my calves after a good run, but I'm beginning to crave the sensations more as time goes on. The positive results I'm getting by taking away the assumed "needs" of civilization is leading to trying out further simplicity ideas. Recently it's been to eliminate using a pillow. I've never in my life had a pillow that felt good to me all the time, even the buckwheat one I have now. I was a bit worried from reading 8 Steps that I'd feel pain from doing so but it's been just the opposite, my neck hasn't felt this good since I was a child. My bad postural habit was head/shoulders forward and I'm wondering if that's why it's working. I've eliminated 8 hours a day of having them forward. Probably helps that I don't have a tight psoas. Pretty soon here I might have to move to a nudist colony cause clothes feel like the next thing that should go in this sticky summer heat. I do not believe that the design of the human form is flawed and needs augmentation, but I do see signs of it being a strong meme within civilization that keeps us well domesticated, one of many really. Lame. I'm so thankful for Esther's work as it has finally made it clear what good posture IS and so has provided me one more piece of the puzzle of actualizing my true nature as a living being. Peace
connie
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After teaching skiing last winter, I wanted my feet free. I bought my 5 fingers and they're perfect.  My feet get tired in a nice way when I wear them all day.
They aren't so enjoyable in the rain, but neither are any leaky shoe.  Sometimes I think they should sell different toe lengths within each size. Seems good for Gokhale work standing and walking.
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