If you've already decided you want to buy a pair of five finger shoes, great, you are on the right path! But what type do you go with? Over the years Vibram has released a wide variety of five finger shoes that could be right up your ally. This quick guide will help you find the right shoe for you.
Did you ever stop and think about how our ancestors ran around in the wild before the invention of the shoe? How about modern day people climbing a tree barefoot to get down a bunch of banana's or coconuts? I think we can be in widespread agreement that our bodies were designed to be moving with the contours of nature.
Now imagine that flexible foot constrained for 80% of the day. What if your feet never had to bend around a bump? You've heard the term, if you don't use it you lose it. So what happens to our feet when we put shoes on, most of which don't actually allow our feet to expand, and then walk, stand, and sit on concrete all day. We have an epidemic of weak painful feet!
Enter the five fingers. This is by far the best solution I've felt personally and prescribed to my patients. Because we still are on concrete most of the day, we need something with a little help to pad us, but still allow us to use our natural foot motion. The toes allow for a more natural grip response, allowing more of our muscles to contract and allow for proper use of our balance and muscle system. If you stop and think about it, our feet contacting the ground is one of the major connections to our brain telling us how to stand upright and which muscles to contract when we are moving. They have a lot going on!
The key factors in which one is right for you--Experience and Tread Bend
If you've been wearing regular athletic type of shoes your whole life, have no fear, we are here to help! Regular shoes have whats called a shoe drop, which is the difference between the height of your heel compared to the height of your toes. Vibrams are as flat as you can get so it can be a change from a normal shoe. No matter which model you choose to start out with, you are going to want to do a transition time to see how they feel.
No experience equals starting with the KMD Evo model. It's got a beefed up mid-sole (a few extra millimeters) which makes it feel more like a normal shoe and can help as the first pair get through the "transition training" phase.
If you have some experience with minimalism, then you want to ask yourself about purpose. The varieties Vibram has is absolutely amazing. Each model in their respective category has a very different feel and truly makes a difference in the outcome of how much you like them. Tread bend changes the game. The running version allows for great grip and at the same time really allows for the foot. In the training category the tread bend and grip allows for a little more side to side action.
KMD Evo: for newbies, previous foot pain, and if most of your time is concrete walking or standing.
Buy more than one style! This is the fun of these shoes, they make a major impact so plan on trying the variety to see what you like. I actually wear 2-3 different pairs every day because my feet feel so refreshed by switching models half way through the day.