Vibram FiveFingers cult a few weeks ago. I’d actually been thinking about it for months, but I held off for a while to make sure that hipsters weren’t going to start wearing them. I ended up getting the Sprint variant, not because I plan on running in them, but because my heels are quite narrow, so I favored a strap rather than a pure slip-on like the Classic. Strap aside, I wanted the most minimal shoe possible, and the dull gray color is nicely inconspicuous. Of course, I’m talking about Austin, where people wear flip-flops to weddings; even gray FiveFingers might attract comment elsewhere.
If you’re not used to walking around barefoot, there is definitely a learning curve. Barefoot walking and shoe walking are very different. Even I felt a bit footsore after an hour-long walk around the neighborhood.
There are other options in the “minimal shoe” movement, like VIVOBAREFOOT and Wushu shoes, and even big name brands like Merrell and Nike are getting in on the market. Some of them look a bit more like normal shoes; the downside is your toes don’t get to move independently as much. How much of a health benefit there is to totally independent toe movement, I’m not sure; I just know that I tend to wiggle mine when they’re not constrained, so the “foot glove” approach seemed appealing to me. © mathew 2017
© mathew 2017