The first thing you will notice about five finger shoes is their odd appearance. Each toe has a place in these shoes, similar to a glove for your hands or the ever-popular toe socks. For those who are used to traditional shoes these will take some getting used to! However, if you are barefoot enthusiasts these shoes may just be the best thing since sliced bread.
Returning to their roots as a creator of athletic accessories, Vibram released five finger shoes. The original idea for these shoes was as an alternative to barefoot running. Barefoot running may sound contrary to the advice your mother has given you all these years, but it is gaining quite a following. The idea is that the human foot evolved to perform without the rubber-soled shoes we have all become familiar with. This means the foot and lower leg are natural shock absorbers, and this natural process is impeded by running shoes which force the runner to land on the heal thereby sending the shock waves through the knees and hips. Barefoot running is a way to minimize this effect and prevent common injuries. The problem is you are limited to where you can run because of objects that can injure the soles of your feet, enter five finger shoes.
You see these shoes conform to the contours of the feet and toes precisely and they fit the toes like a glove. The soles of these shoes are quality performance rubber, which offers nice protection for the foot while still allowing natural movement. In addition to protecting the bottom of your feet, five finger shoes also offer you much better gripping power for a variety of terrains. Time magazine has called these shoes one of the best inventions of 2007.
If you are a lover of the outdoors and go barefoot every chance you get these shoes are a great way to protect your feet from damage. Returning to the natural movements of the feet and lower legs may even prevent common injuries to the knees and hips though no conclusive studies have yet been done. It is important to note that while five finger shoes provide more protection than barefoot these are still thin soled shoes and glass or other extreme debris can penetrate the surface causing injury.
Overall response to five finger shoes has been very positive, although some people need a week or two to adjust to them. However, over time you will likely fall in love with these shoes. Some customers say they wish they never had to take them off!