Five Toe Sneakers Better for Walking and Running?

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Can you actually run and walk better with a contoured footwear that has separate toe sleeves?


The Five Fingers footwear from Vibram USA is only one type of shoe in a list of shoes now that allow you to walk in a traditional barefoot style.  These shoes claim to reduce impact on the knees, ankles and ball of your foot as they allow you to walk the way nature intended.  When people walk barefoot they walk with the pads of their feet striking the ground first, but shoes have trained humans to walk with the ball of your foot striking the ground first.  This causes more impact to your joints and is not optimum for natural walking patterns.

The new Five Fingers shoes allow you to walk in natural rhythm while still offering support and protection for your feet from the ground.  They are for hiking, walking, running and just about any other outdoor activity where you need a more natural step with less impact.

I haven’t actually worn these shoes myself but the thought of them really intrigues me, I find myself wondering when I am running how much differently it would feel with one of these shoes.  I myself don’t like striking the heel of my foot to the ground first and I am curious to test this pair of shoes out someday.

Have you ever tried a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSO shoes?  Do you know anybody who has?

I have read dozens of positive reviews on the shoes with there being only two more or less negative ones.  One being that they are uncomfortable to wear in the summer and can cause your feet to get hot, sweaty and stinky more than a normal shoe due to wrapping each toe.  The other is that some of the soles can be slippery on wet surfaces, but they have good traction for just about all other dry surfaces.

The hot and sweaty foot thing is something to consider when you live in the Arizona desert.

-Justin Germino

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Updated: August 6, 2010 — 2:23 pm