Have you heard about these puppies at all?…
I’ve read a lot about this new-fangled footwear over the past year or so. They’re becoming more and more “mainstream,” especially with the latest “barefoot running craze” that’s been evident within the running world.
Barefoot running intrigues me. I can’t see that I’ll ever actually run barefoot myself, but I’m interested in edging closer and closer to mimicking the experience. Since I have high, stable arches:
…and am a neutral runner, minimalism footwear + me = possible fun times! Vibrams are not for everyone – if you have your second toe longer than your big toe, I don’t think they’d fit. If you have flat feet, you might have issues. If you think they look dorky, you WILL stay away, right!!!
I was under the impression that the Vibrams were only available at MEC, locally (well, the closest MECs are Burlington or Toronto); then I heard through a customer that Adventure Guide in town here carries them! So I popped in there today to try them on.
Happily, I had excellent customer service and the dude helping me was very informed. He was especially knowledgeable about getting these on your feet – seriously! not easy!
It is like putting gloves on your feet – wiggle your toes in first…
…then insert your heel – voila!
Trust me, this went a lot better than when I tried them on at Adventure Guide. At one point, I had three toes in one toe spot – oops! Luckily Buddy the Shoe Guy was very cool and it was a good laugh as I tried to jam my foot manoeuvre them on.
How popular have the Vibrams become of late? My sales guy told me that Adventure Guide gets about 15 inquiries a DAY about them. Luckily for me, they had my size in stock (7.5 US sizing, 38 Euro – in the shoe world, this is smaller of the sizing centre). Right now they have a TOTAL of about 7 pairs for men and 10 for women when initially they had an entire wall of shelves, full. We both think that this is the Footwear of the Summer of 2010 (better than Crocs of 2007-2008?!). I know I have seen a few people wearing them in Uptown Waterloo of late.
My initial impression? Very comfortable, actually! And you DO feel like you are barefoot. We’re talking just a layer of rubber between your feetsies and the ground. So light! Sales guy told me he bounced around the store in them for an entire day the first time he wore them – the next day his feet and legs were screaming at him!
As to price, I paid $80.00 at Adventure Guide. Since regular running shoes retail, on average, for $139-159, I didn’t think that the price of the Vibrams was too insane. PLUS, due to backorders and the surging popularity of the shoe, sellers on eBay are commanding $160.00 for a pair!
My Sales Guy told me the Vibrams’ lifespan is shorter than for running shoes – likely 6-12 months (a running shoe is about the same, actually, depending on how much you wear it).
I intend to build up my wear time very gradually. I did this when I started transitioning to the Nike Free 5.0′s, too. I’ve had the Nikes for over a year – at first, I just wore them across the street to the mall and back. Then I wore them on longer walks. Then I introduced them to running. Now I can comfortably wear them for a 5k run and walk in them for over an hour with no ill effect. Have NOT tried them on the Stairmaster, though! I think I’ll follow the same “training plan” with my Vibrams and not rush.
In fact, I love my Frees so much, I recently bought a second pair!…
(And I secretly covet a hot pink pair I tried on at Runner’s Choice – it’s still there in my size – I called again today…oooh to purchase or not to purchase, that is the question!)
OK, I’ve been wearing my Sprints as I am standing here, typing, and now my big toes are buzzing. Think that’s enough time for today!