VFF Maiden Voyage

I’ve asked the owner of my local Fleet Feet store if he could get me a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. He has contacted them about getting in touch with a rep to start selling the shoes, but so far they have not been very responsive. I guess that’s understandable… the shoes are HOT right now. So hot that they are now dealing with a whole counterfeit issue… apparently there are people selling fake Five Fingers online. (They’ve even put together a whole information page on how to spot a fake!)

So when I was in Mammoth Lakes over the weekend and saw an ad (well, my husband saw the ad and showed it to me knowing I would be interested) for a store that sold Vibram Five Fingers, I decided to check it out. I was super relaxed and on vacation, what better time than to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase?!

We went to the store and they had me stand on their giant foot shaped Vibram sizing tool. Basically it is to measure the length of your longest toe and size the shoes to fit that length. They brought out two pairs, one a more neutral gray and the other a bright pinkish/red. I tried them on and decided I was going for it… and went with the more subtle color. (I figure they’re already strange looking and bound to be conversation starters… might as well be a little less weird.)

So here they are…

If you’ve been reading me regularly, you’ll know that I’ve experimented with running barefoot on the treadmill for a while now. Well… that doesn’t really matter when it comes to running barefoot (or nearly barefoot in VFF’s) outside. I wore these out for a brief 1 mile loop around my neighborhood, walking and running intermittently in them, and the fatigue that set in was noticeable. No soreness or anything, just a good feeling of being worked out. But I was surprised at how different it felt and how I truly am going to have to do the baby-steps training in these, just like I built up to barefooting on the treadmill.

The treadmill is just such a screwy machine when it comes to gait… that’s why it is so crucial to train outside too!

I’ve said before, I don’t hold any aspirations about running great distances in these, I just wanted them for a training tool and to get a better sense of my form. And they’re definitely worth that so far!


  1. Hey Jill-

    I know I have the old school mentality, but even doing a mile in anything with less protection than a regular running shoe is still mind-boggling to me. How did these compare? Did it feel like you could potentially be bothered by stones and other obstructions in the road? The roads are so bad In my neck of the woods (downtown Atlanta), I’d be pretty weary of trying these…


    • I only ran on sidewalks, and there weren’t any big rocks in the way… But I would definitely try to avoid the rocks, I’m sure landing smack on one would hurt. But I also find I use a lighter footfall when running barefoot or in VFF’s, which is another benefit of training with them.

  2. YAY!!! Look at you and your VFF! I’m so glad you got them. Isn’t it crazy how weird your body feels when you run in them? So foreign but at the same time SO NATURAL!

  3. Fun!! If I had the money right now, I think I would try a pair. Like you, I’m not sure how far I would go, but who knows? I’ll be interested to read about your progress.

  4. intriguing. There was an article in our local paper of a guy who’s been using these on a regular basis the last few months. He loves them – but also loves barefoot running too. I struggle enough to stay upright on flat surfaces without tripping when I’m walking, so these make me a little nervous about running in them. Do they feel weird? Like flippers? Because that’s what I’m reminded of. Weird. But I am intrigued to see how you progress!

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