Jeff Outdoors –
The man abuses outdoor gear, so you don’t have to
Vibram 5 Finger Shoes
“Those are some stupid looking shoes.”
You could replace the word stupid with creepy, ugly, funky, ridiculous, or any number of adjectives and you would have the general public’s opinion of the 5 Finger shoes.
There are several models of this type of shoe, which mostly consist of the thickness of the sole and tread as well as the material of the uppers. I’ve the hiking type sole. Their claim is that you will strengthen the muscles in your feet by wearing these regularly. Increased foot strength leads to better balance, easier hiking, more fun on the trail, etc.
Most people ask if they are comfortable. That’s like asking if a racecar has a good ride. They feel like wearing thin water shoes (remember Aquasock?) with more articulation in the toes. There are no rub spots, pinch spots, or blister makers. So…. yes, they’re comfortable, unless you want to wear a proper shoe.
• fast drying
• sole is thick enough for trail running
• good fit (for me, at least)
• they give your toes some earned freedom without exposing them to the elements
• Your feet will stink even if your feet don’t stink
• They’re $100
After a brief break in period (for your feet, not the shoes), you can take your feet off the leash (but they’re still fenced in). You’ll enjoy the walk/hike a little more, while you improve your foot strength and balance. I’ll buy another pair when these wear out. Besides, I just got used to the funny looks everybody gives me.