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Vibram Five Fingers - Should You Run Barefoot?

Vibram Five Fingers wants you to know that less is more. Athletes, soldiers, messengers, and our frightened ancestors ran barefooted for millennia. The “running shoe” is a Johnny come lately. Shoe ware of any type, including moccasins and sandals are only a few thousand years old.

How Do Vibram Five Fingers Work?

The human method of running changes quite significantly when shoes are used; whether it is running for exercise, competition, or fear. What’s the difference? Function follows form, with padded footwear the heel takes the most force. The barefoot movement and Vibram Five Fingers point out that this stress is avoided by avoiding shoes. Ouch I can feel those little rocks, sticks, and glass now! Apparently this is a zero sum game. I can swap knee injury rehab for an infected foot or feet.

Running Shoes - Scam Alert?

Are $150 running shoes a SCAM? Are $29 running shoes a SCAM? According to Craig Richards in the ‘British Journal of Sports Medicine’ there are NO published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals that showed that running shoes EITHER reduce injury rates or improve performance! Please read that last sentence again and think about it when you watch the next running shoe commercial. Just imagine a hamburger chain commercial that stated our burgers have no taste and absolutely no nutritional value. The next time you lace up those expensive running shoes and contemplate setting your best time on your next run remember Craig Richards claim.

The Less Is More Advantage With Vibram Five Fingers

As we have stated in early human history before Vibram Five Fingers, barefoot running was the ticket; along with the hazards of foot abrasions and injury. However, mother nature cures those minor injuries tender foot and running barefooted toughens your feet over time. Populations of wealthier and industrialized nations avoid these type injuries with footwear – shoes. Poorer populations still are actively barefoot. A few of those poor active barefooted guys became Olympic champions and world record holders – Abebe Bikila and Tegla Loroupe, as well as Zola Budd. Of course a case could be made that these athletes cheated, not with steroids or special equipment; but with no equipment. Without shoes they accomplished a longer stride, not impacting the heel but the middle inarch and also lets not overlook the 4% thrust to weight ratio advantage they achieved not carrying the extra equipment on their feet. 

Vibram Five Fingers

Still Thinking About Sore Feet?

Vibram Five Fingers are a type of shoe manufactured by Vibram. Originally developed as a “barefoot alternative” for athletes. The footwear has thin, flexible soles that are contoured to the shape of the human foot, your human foot, including visible and invisible sections for the toes. Are you ready to take a giant step backward to ‘barefoot’ technology and performance? Go ahead kick off those Nike’s; but remember the official position on ‘barefoot’ running by the American Podiatric Medical Association: “there is not enough research on the immediate and long term benefits of the practice, and that individuals should consult a podiatrist with a background in sports medicine to make an informed decision on all aspects of their running and training program, or do you want some fries with your burger?

About Robert Swilley

Robert Swilley is a fitness enthusiast and software engineer. He is passionate about helping people meet their fitness goals through software.

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