Monday, March 28, 2011

The glove-like Vibram FiveFingers

Before all the sports advancements such as mighty sports brands like Nike, high-tech fabrics that incorporate moisture management, before the era of personal trainers or the invention of heart rate monitors and GPS . You were a runner and like all kids you probably ran barefoot.
A growing break-away  of runners, recreational joggers and an increasing number of physiologists seem to believe that running shoes do more harm than good for millions of people around the globe. With their inflexibility, thick cushioning, raised heels, it causes one to hit the ground heel- first sending the all impact of your bodyweight in every step straight into your knees and hips. 
However going barefoot does require some getting used to. If one wishes to do so the process should be done very carefully and slowly. Much of the impact that used to pass through the knees and hips now gets absorbed by the calf muscles. This will result in pain and tightness but with time will build endurance in the calves. With the increase in research regarding minimalistic footwear; a number of brands have come out with designs like the Nike Free, the Newton All-Weather Trainer and the glove-like Vibram Five-fingers.  The latter one I have chosen to further research for myself. Its unusual design has brought on much of my curiosity.
The Vibram Five-fingers made by an Italian shoe company has gained tremendous popularity in approximately the last six months. Many runners have seemed to have found a remedy for plantar fasciitis and pronation in the Five-fingers. The five-fingers have been designed in such a way to follow the contour and fit the shape of one’s foot. Its flexible sole and individual foot pockets aid in strengthening and stretching the muscles of the foot.
“Running barefoot allows a more natural foot action and more natural biomechanics,” says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the San Diego-based American Council on Exercise.
However critics say that those who endorse the barefoot trend as a way of “getting back to basics” forget the fact that our ancestors were far smaller and in much better shape than most people are today. Large, unconditioned people need a stronger foot support and barefoot running would not be advisable in the beginning.
Personally I haven’t had a chance to fit on a pair( I would love to), so from my side although the idea of barefoot running and returning to our roots as humans seems well and good; the jury is still out on the Vibran five-fingers.
 Written by: Jade Davids


  1. Ya I had a few clients back in the states order these shoes and begin to use them. Some of the older gentleman who were avid runners found it really helped with their IT band problems. It almost eliminated the pain they usually had after a run. That was because of what your blog was saying about transferring the impact force from the knees and thighs to the calves. I never heard any complaints. They all looked really funny though!

  2. lol Alysssa id never buy a pair they look extremely funny..but im going this weekend to fit on a pair just to get a feel of what its like having them on..coming from a reliable source like yourself..its good to know they do work..have you worn a pair?

  3. My friend lawrence has a pair. he says they are amazing!!!

  4. Hey making me really want to try a pair..thanks for your comments..although they look weird..are you a runner yourself?