I was in the middle of running the 2010 Bowman Cup 5K when I looked over to see who was running next to me. To my surprise, I saw two women wearing ridiculous looking “shoes” next to me. The shoes looked like they were made out of wetsuit material and had five toe places, almost like a glove has for your fingers.
It was mid October at this point, and the ground was damp and muddy. I tried to imagine what my toes would feel like wedged into each section, and also if the women wearing these crazy shoes could feel the cold, wet ground beneath them. I remember wearing toes socks as a kid and how awkwardly uncomfortable it had been, now people were wearing these as shoes!
The women seemed to be running normally, without any hesitations and I followed close behind them the entire race. After the race I kept an eye on the two women, who kept their crazy shoes on during the entire award ceremony. The shoes had a velcro strap across the top to tighten or loosen the pressure and they seemed to be made out of rubber.
The shoes were hideous to say the least.
Take a look at how many different styles and colors are available here.
The first and most popular barefoot running brand is Vibram FiveFingers. The idea behind the “shoe” invention is to support, stimulate and exercise your feet. Your foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and 20 muscles and hundreds of tendons and ligaments. The Vibram FiveFingers is designed to make feet healthier by allowing them to move more naturally and freely.
Some other support behind these crazy looking shoes:
1.) It reduces the risk of knee and calf injuries.
2.) It also will teach the runner to run on the forefoot rather then the heel.
3.) It may improve the runner’s balance.
Some concerns about these shoes:
1.) Why fix what’s not broken? If normal running shoes work for you, why change it?
2.) At first, your muscles will feel overworked and sore. It may take some time for your feet muscles to respond to the new feel.
3.) Wearing these shoes almost always causes blisters until calluses are formed.
4.) You will look strange.
I guess I can’t totally disown these shoes unless I’ve tried them. But I have no wish or desire to do so. How about you guys, are you fans of these shoes?