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  1.  (8252.1)
    Just got a pair of black fivefinger flow shoes; apparently I'm the only one in the local store to be able to get that design onto my feet, much less at the speed I did (It felt like it took forever but was pretty fast apparently).

    They are ungodly comfy. And now I have propper 'shoes' for my walking. I like it because it feels like I'm walking about with socks but my feet and toes are a bit more protected, and cozy and warm. :)
  2.  (8252.2)
    I kind of like the idea of these but on the other hand, I'd be so paranoid about breaking my little toe every five minutes - have always gone for the sturdiest footwear possible...
  3.  (8252.3)
    I haven't had an issue with hurting my feet, but the shoes do have tougher material around the toes.
    I went for the sturdiest ones I could get locally. They seem to be holding up fine so far, and I haven't broken my toes.

    So far, if I walk more than 5 mi. with them my feet get sore, but I figure that'll go away as time progresses and my feet get more used to walking in them.
  4.  (8252.4)
    Do you think they offer adequate protection against thorns and glass? I'd like to get a pair but I'm an incredible wuss when it comes to foot injuries...
  5.  (8252.5)
    Haven't had an issue with glass or thorns.
    I think Magnulus said he walked through glass in his pair; if you see him on IRC ask him about his; he's had his pair longer than mine, and I think they make the boy's shoes slightly differently than girls'.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcelan
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2010
     (8252.6)
    I just got a pair about two weeks ago. I like them but Dr. Girlfriend is grossed out by my "gorilla feet" when I wear them.
  6.  (8252.7)
    Celan, which ones did you get? (style/color?) I'm having to take some time off from mine due to a sprained ankle. This makes me sooo sad, since I was just starting to get used to them enough to go on decent length walks.
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2010
     (8252.8)
    Hey howdy hey!

    So! As I am apparently the resident Vibram Veteran, I'll share some thoughts.

    My FFs are the Classics, which are apparently the "flip flops" of the Vibram world. I figured I'd start with the most reasonable ones, and I'd also heard some people complain that the straps on the flows and sprints were a bit annoying. They're maybe half a size or a size too big, but they function well enough despite this, most of the time.

    I use my FFs for running, walking, cycling, etc.

    Running in them is fantastic, but it also takes time to get your body used to it. Since I have no support in your heels any more, I run the way I SHOULD be running, on the balls of my feet.

    The theory is that the ultra-padded sneakers we're tricked into using today don't in any way protect you from injury, only the symptoms.I don't know how true this is universally, but for myself, I would pound my heels into the ground as if there was no tomorrow because 1: That's how I was TAUGHT to run! Heel first, roll onto balls, kick off! 2: It's hard to do anything else when the heels on your shoes are an inch thick. I ended up with some kind of weird injury in my knee which luckily is just in the muscle, so I'm recovering without surgery. However, even when I tried to run with my Nike Free's (The closest you get to "barefoot" at a traditional sneaker company: A flexible sole with a GIGANTIC HEEL!!) in a way that didn't smash my heels into the ground, I couldn't avoid running on my heels.

    You'll find I'm good at digressing.
    SO! Back to the FFs. I didn't have any trouble getting used to walking in them. I would walk from one end of town to another (45 minutes each way, give or take) without trouble. Has to be said, though: I always preferred walking barefoot, ever since I was a kid. For running, it was a different story.

    Since you use the balls of your feet rather than your heels, your calves take all the force your knees usually get. This undeniably is more healthy, but your calves aren't used to doing that much work. I deliberately only ran for twelve minutes the first time, and then my calves were painful for two days after that. Now I'm at a point where it's mainly my stamina and my knees (I do still use the muscles attached to my knees, just not nearly as much) keeping me at 35 minutes, so it's getting better all the time. If my calves get really tired during a run, I'll calm down the bouncing a bit and let the heels actually touch the ground, but I don't need that as much these days.

    When I'm cycling, I'm basically gripping the pedals with my feet, it's lovely. I feel like a hairless monkey on a bike, it's awesome.

    Now, I don't know if this next thing is because mine a bit too big or what, but sometimes, I manage to scrub my big toe on the ground, which makes the tip of the rubber sole catch and pull back. This is a tiny bit painful, but not injurious (is that a word? If not, it is now!) aside from having made my right shoe rip in the seam on my toe. As far as I understand it, the Classics are the least durable of the models, so that shouldn't be a worry if you don't get those. I'm going to sow it up once they're done in the washs, so it's fine.

    Again, the Classics are the thinnest, wimpiest of the models. However, I've never had a problem walking over uneven surfaces or sharp pebbles. I don't actually make a habit of stepping on broken glass, but it's true that I once discovered that a shard of glass had embedded itself in the very very thin sole without me noticing at all. Between the rubber sole and your foot, there is some form of reinforcing bit that keeps such stuff out. I've been poked by sticks and sharp rocks and (apparently) glass since january, but there is NO visible damage to the soles, aside from them obviously being a bit matted and used-looking.

    The thing I noticed is that I'm a lot more AWARE of my feet now. I look where I tread a lot more, which isn't a distraction or a problem, it's just another element to walking. As such, I don't step in areas with broken glass much, and when I do, I'm a lot more able to tip-toe between the actual shards thanks to the FFs.

    The Classics are a bit on the airy side when it's sub-zero degrees outside, though, and if it's raining, they get a bit uncomfortable. My hope is that I'll be able to afford the Trek KSO model before winter so I don't have to ever wear my big, clunky winter shoes in the city again.

    Hmm... I've been rambling enough, and I'm not even sure I answered everything well enough. Any other questions?