Hey, Clown Shoes! A Year With FiveFinger KSO’s
I’ve had my Vibram FiveFingers KSO now for just over a year. I know a lot of you had questions about them, such as were they a fad, are they any good, and don’t you feel silly in them.
If anything, my views on them are even stronger than when I first got them. Look down at your bare feet. Have a walk around.
Now put your shoes on and look again. It’s not right, is it? Have a walk around and feel how different it was to when you were barefoot.
I got into a heated discussion on a forum on the latest super-duper expensive running shoes, and all the scientific studies about which the best conventional footwear were presented.
In short, it’s all crap. The simple fact is that we did not evolve to wear shoes. Shoes were bodged around our feet to protect them, and because technology wasn’t very advanced for cavemen, shoes were designed without toes or the ability to allow for natural movement of the foot.
There is no debating this fact – this is nature and evolution and the most basic human physiology. Shoes are as wrong for feet as fingerless mittens are for hands.
From that little rant you may gather that I don’t think of the FiveFingers as a fad or trend.
I don’t wear them all the time, but I absolutely LOVE putting them on if I’m doing any walking up hills and stuff. They’re not so great for concrete, but for anything off the beaten path I want to be wearing them. I’m sure my legs have adjusted, but I still feel some pain after a long trek in my calves.
I’ve put a fair few miles on them now, and they’re still absolutely perfect. I’ve worn them in forests, high up in the hills, on beaches, and even got a lot of very funny looks wandering around Bulgaria in them!
Sand, mud, soft grass and gravel are all like getting a foot massage – plus you can appreciate the temperature changes between cold marshland mud and scorching hot sandy beaches. It is awesome, and a truly unique experience of what we should all experience every day of our lives – if shoes were what they should have been, or we stayed barefoot!
Are they worth the money? It’s a lot… but I’d have to say yes! You do have to wash them regularly to stop them stinking – so I bung them in the washing machine and have seen no adverse effects of this at all apart from my fiancée moaning. Nothing has pierced or cut the soles so far (although a huge thorn had gone through at an angle the other day), and I haven’t had any Alan Partridge moments of piercing my foot on a spike.
And the big question – Do I feel silly?
It’s very rare that anyone openly points at them and laughs (only in a shop in Bulgaria, so far!), but you do hear hushed comments and giggling occasionally. To wear them you have to be aware that they ARE different, and so people will react to that, but I don’t actually feel silly now.
I’m more worried that if I’m wearing them in the high street or a pub that people will think I’ve just bought them to show off, or for the hype.
I haven’t. I bought them because they made sense, and I thought they might be great – and they haven’t disappointed.