I’ve been thinking recently about buying a pair of those crazy-looking, insult-inviting, glove-shoes also know as the Vibram Five Fingers. Based on the idea that running barefoot is the most natural, efficient, and healthy way to run, the Five Fingers essentially provides the benefits of barefoot running along with some of the protection that the typical running shoe provides.
I’ve heard that they’re not great for long runs but are pretty cool for short to mid-distance runs. I’ve been meaning to buy lighter shoes than the Asics I currently wear, and I was going to get a nice pair of Brooks when I remembered this new fad. The Five Fingers are about the price (or less) of a decent pair of running shoes, so I’d like to know that I’m actually able to wear them consistently before I invest in them.
I’ve also heard that sprinting barefoot is considered pretty healthy, so I would imagine that these would be great for sprinting. At the moments, the Asics I wear are terrible for sprinting; they’re heavy and make it impossible to run on my toes. With these, I’d have no problem running on my toes. In fact, the biggest problem I’d have with these would probably be not running on my toes for the longer runs.
In the meantime, I will continue to research these shoes more. I tried to link a review of them to this site, but it contained spam and shut down my whole blog, so I will allow anyone interested to look more into it on their own (Runner’s World has a nice review).
I have yet to decide which shoes will next adorn my feet: Brooks or Five Fingers. I think I’ll probably end up going for the Brooks, since I can wear those for long-distance runs and races without worry. But one day I’d like to own a pair of Five Fingers and become known as my town’s ‘lizard man,’ which will undoubtedly happen according to accounts of new Five Fingers owners. But if it makes me run faster and better, I’m all for it.
Running, as we all know comes with sacrifices. And dignity is often the first thing to go (the first day I wore those new running shorts comes to mind…). So inviting some new reasons to mock my running habit doesn’t worry me in the slightest.