I like to walk bare foot on soft grass around my house, and have walked barefoot in garden often time, but sometime going barefoot, means getting splinters or hurt where there are thorns or pebbles around. The very first time I heard about barefoot shoes was last year sometime on one of my favorite blog Zen Habits, that I started following before even I had a blog along with a few others. Like Leo, I am a parent, and believe in simplifying, minimizing and decluttering stuff and not buying un-necessary stuff. One of the caveat when you stay home with kids and homeschool is we are living simplified life if not minimalist life. Health is important part of simplifying life to the best for all of us. I think, I was always frugal but learned lot more about simplicity to make living in reduced income comfortably so I can stay home with my little ones.
While I am working on finding harmony in many things in my life such as financial, health and fitness, relationship with people I care for, I find ways to achieve health and fitness in a simple ways such as walking, dancing and running after kids. Sometimes that is enough, and other times I think I need more push. So, when I read Barefoot Philosophy post from Leo on Zenhabits, I was intrigued with a concept of Vibram FiveFinger shoes as I love to walk barefeet often moist grass in my garden during morning. With the Vibram, I can almost go anywhere and have benefit of open free barefeet feeling. The only issue was that cost of Vibram Fivefinger, so I decided to dig further to research and find out more and share it here just in case if any of you are in same boat as I am. In recent times, shoes price have dropped to bit reasonable compared to when it was new! Check here.
What are Barefoot Shoes?
Barefoot shoes kind of contradiction as how can one be barefoot and still wear shoes right? However, our city living is best suited for barefoot running or walking as once maybe our grandparent’s time. This type of barefoot shoes gives us benefits of going barefoot and still protecting our feet.
I am okay runner and athlete but I love walking and hiking. I am usually not in brands or new fads in footware, these Vibram FiveFingers are sure funny looking but I heard that they are very comfortable and functional for many minimalist fitness. I heard many people use it for biking, hiking, aerobics, gym exercise class, cycling and even walking. Barefoot shoes are flat and fits your toes like a glove which supposed to strengthening muscles on you ankles, toes and calves. It claims that your feet’s movements will be natural as possible with protecting your feet.
Click here to see Vibram Five Finger in Field Test Video
Barefoot running Frequently asked Questions for users
Until now we have been told, that high cushioned running shoes were the best for any runner, now these may seem like total 180 degree to be told running barefeet is best. Do they really work? Is barefoot shoes a fad? Is this invented by some green minimalist guy?
To find out these answer to these questions, I dug further and here is what I found:
These Vibram FiveFingers are created by Robert Fliri and Marco Bramani. Marco Bramani is grandson of Vitale Bramani who first invented rubber soles in 1935 for mountain boots. These shoes were meant for people sailing and climbing at comfort without actually going barefoot. However runners started using barefoot shoes enjoy the sport and reduce the injury and pain during running. It is one of the hottest trend that Times Magazine also name these shoes is one of the best invention of 2007 when they were first made.
How do Barefoot Shoes work? Some of Benefits and Issues?
According to the Vibram FiveFingers website:
“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.”
Wearing barefoot shoes are supposed to remind us and bring us to natural state of walking and running. Our leg and foot muscles can get stronger to support knees and reduce pain and injury to hip and back while improving balance and posture.
Barefoot shoes changes the bio mechanics of your run or walk as you land on your foot instead of heel strike as you would in traditional shoes. For some it can change gait and biomechanics too much, so many expert recommend that when you start wearing them for short time and slowly start wearing it longer to adjust your muscles. It can take up to weeks or months before you may feel completely comfortable in it. Those who have stuck by it, swear of positive changes in to their running and muscles strength.
Pros Of Barefoot Shoes:
- Allows for proper biomechanics in walking, running and hiking
- Comes in many colors and styles
- Natural way of walking, running without being hurt
- Shoes fits perfect like gloves
- Using proper leg muscles to avoid injury and pain
- Cost ranges from $40-$125
- You may find bargain on Craigslist
Issues with Barefoot Shoes:
- Not the cheapest but traditional running shoes can as high
- It can take time to adjust and the shoes, up to weeks to months
- Not recommended for long distance running
- Might be less durable than traditional running shoes
- Funny looking and feeling
If you afford it and want to buy, you can click here (aff. link) Vibram FiveFingers.
Am I using these barefoot shoes Yet?
As much as I am intrigued about it and like to walk and run barefeet, I am sticking to my old running shoes for now. Maybe one of these days when money is not an issue, I might buy these and try it out. Are these type of shoes right for you? Only you can tell. I wanted to share what I have learned while trying to find out more about the barefoot shoes Vibram FiveFinger shoes.
Being healthy and keeping fit is essential to all of our well being. Many things can be done without spending money or spending less money. You can run bare feet as it is if money is an issue. Sometime prevention of better than cure. Maybe taking care of health now, will save us tons of money in medicine cost later.
Have you used these Vibram Five Finger shoes or ran barefoot? I sure would like to hear your thoughts on it.
Keep healthy and be healthy!