Friday, May 27, 2011

New Shoes

So I finally got myself the Vibram FiveFingers Classics I've been wanting since 2008.  This was a momentous day in Jennifertown and I discovered that I have several friends that have been debating a pair of their own.  So here is my review of my experience with the shoes thus far:

  1. The ordering process was simple and even with ground shipping I got them in two days. 
  2. I love how flat and flexible they are and the fact that you don't have to wear them with socks.  I've recently went to Charleston, SC; and spent 2.5 days traipsing all over the town.  By halfway through day 2 I was already down to flip flops, having started with heels, moved down to dress sandals, and was now in my Reef flip flops as they were the closest thing to sportswear I packed.  I didn't want to bring sneakers because they take up too much space in one's suitcase and I refuse to check luggage.  Also, then you have to pack socks to go with them, and then you've spent an 8th of your total baggage on one pair of footwear.  I prefer slip on shoes for air travel as I like to make it through security quickly and hassle free.  These take up almost no space and I can easily see using these as my airport shoes from now on.
  3. I feel like spiderman in these shoes.  I swear if I weren't so far overweight I'd probably have Wall Climb ability now.  Or at least wall jump.  They're grippy and I feel more in tune with the surfaces under my feet.
  4. Simple design - I got the black/black in the classic design for my first pair because I wanted something that wouldnt' be too obtrusive in public for casual wear.  I feel I can wear these in sitations where sneakers wouldn't be appropriate but where I want something more than dress shoes or sandals, such as tooling around Charleston or some event where you have to dress moderately nice but will still be required to do some walking.
  5. Super easy to clean.  I don't have to worry about getting them wet or muddy or smelly as I can just throw them in the washing machine.  Just don't put them in the dryer.
  1. I have long toes and they have a slight curl to them.  My second toe is also longer than my big toe. I did understand that this would effect the fit of the shoes.  Having my toes straightened out in the shoes is a little bit of an odd sensation - not uncomfortable but it does make me "aware" of my toes in a way I am unaccustomed to.
  2. In order to get the toe length properly fitted, the heel is a bit loose.  Now I do actually have well defined heels, I know some people don't; but I have had issues with the back of the shoe sliding up and down.  I am afraid a smaller size would scrunch my toes though which would drive me batty, so this isn't enough of an issue to pursue.  I may get some kind of heel cup for them and see if that helps.  Had I gone with a style that has an upper or a strap I doubt I would be having this issue.
  3. My style has a cord that can be tightened in order to prevent slipping.  I can't seem to find the happy medium where it's comfortably fitted all the way around though - it seems too tight across the top of my foot and too loose in the heel when I tighten it more than a little bit.
Breaking them in:
  1. Day 1 I had some soreness and tenderness across the bridge of my foot due to overtightening the cord to keep the heel from slipping.  I wore them more loosely the next day and they felt much better.
  2. The sensation of having material between my toes is a bit awkward but I'm sure I'll adjust to it. 
  3. The backs of my heels are feeling a little bit tender and blistery.  I put some lotion on them and they felt better and didn't bother me on day 2 until I switched to some dress sandals that rubbed in exactly the same place.
  4. So far I've worn them on hardwood, concrete, carpet, and cement.  I've not done any jogging or rough terrain in them and am interested in how they'll feel.  They seem to be very tactile and give you very accurate feedback about the ground you're on, hopefully they are thick enough that it won't hurt too badly to step on a rock.
  5. The lack of padding is a concern of mine for jogging as I am a big girl, but as they allow your foot to fall naturally (landing with the ball of the foot first instead of the heel) I'm hoping this will actually help me out with the heel problems I've been having on my right foot.  Also, I'm hoping this will reduce shin splints I tend to be prone to.
  6. Walking in these is more like walking in heels than in flats - you don't walk heel-toe, at least not to the degree one would in sneakers.  I'm sure it's probably easier for women to adjust to these than men in that fashion.
In closing, I'm looking forward to wearing these as my go-to shoe for the summer.  If they live up to their expectations I do hope to invest in a second pair - probably one with a strap or upper - for the gym.  So thus far I'm enjoying them, if I could just work out the heel slip problem I think they'd be perfect.

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