Running barefoot is the new trend?

by Mark R

These are some interesting shoes/socks that you might have seen before.

They look a lot like aqua-socks, except they have room for the toes in their design. Apparently, “running without shoes can strengthen your feet, ankles, and lower legs and improve balance”. Now we know why Frodo and Sam never wore any shoes.

Apparently, they have been on celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George wears them for beach football. Also, the Vibram FiveFingers are so popular is having a difficult time keeping them in stock, and there are knock-off brands coming out of the woodwork.

I suppose these are the shoes for those who really long for the experience of running barefoot. However, it isn’t for people who are just starting to run or returning from a long layoff, and you need to ease in slowly. There are those who think these five-toed shoes aren’t worth your time or money, and others that swear up and down by them.

Right now, I would like to hear from our readers. If you have tried these five-toed shoes, and have either good or bad results, let us know. Also, can you answer me this question: can you stub your toe with these guys on?

Vibram Fivefingers are available from various online stores, including


20 reviews or comments

chrisco_kid Says: August 21, 2010 at 9:59 pm

i am an absolute fan of these, its all i wear, when i first stated wearing them i had separated ligaments on my left knee, aftert about a month of wearing thee my knee seems to heal its self and i cancelled my surgery, now days i go up and down ladders and stairs, in and out of a car all day and not once has my knee bothered me since then, after about six months my abnormal ankle became normal, my ingrown toenail had gone away, and general aches in my feet are gone. almost a year and a half later and i wear them through snow and rain, my circulation isnt restricted by these and so my feet will keep themselves warm even in snow, i actually have stood and melted snow once to test it, with the fivefingers of course, barfooted in the snow is a bad idea, ask me how i know.

Edwin Says: August 22, 2010 at 12:53 am

Thanks for the input, Chrisco 🙂

hukiworld Says: August 22, 2010 at 11:27 am

I too have a pair and can say everything talked about them isn’t hype but true facts. They do strengthen foot muscles, prevent knee, leg, lower back and most bodily injuries because you are finally running naturally and not unnatural by landing on your heel which causes the body to lose forward momentum and if you look at a runner with regular running shoes and sees the shock absorption when landing on the heel, you will never run with sneakers ever again. Think about it for one moment, kids in poor countries don’t wear shoes and run outside all day and have no knee or bodily injuries nor do the adults- why?

Haven’t you see professional train completely barefoot to increase speed and agility? That should be a big red flag to the public why in the world would professional coaches let the athletes train WITHOUT shoes to make them better champions! I’ll tell you why right now… Running with regular sneakers is like wearing pillows on your feet. Try it one day and tell me if you can walk normal with pillows on your feet. “I rest my case!” This whole expensive Nike and other brand names just find ways to lie to the consumer to get you to buy their product MAKING you think your better off than running barefoot.

God made man in His image with perfect parts. Monkeys never wear shoes and have no knee injuries- funny huh? Now go throw your stupid sneakers out the door because their causing your knee and back injuries- of course their company will never show you those studies.

chrisco_kid Says: August 22, 2010 at 11:01 pm

hear hear!

chrisco_kid Says: August 23, 2010 at 7:33 am

oh btw yes you CAN stub them but you dont really feel it, as in the action occurs but the pain is 10% of what it usually is thanks to the rubber of the shoe, if your anything like me tho, i can go barefooted without a problem. i mean totally barefooted, if it wasn’t for the fact that society has this “no shoes no shirt no service” thing in our stores and such, i would never even wear these, my feet have gotten that tough from wearing fivefingers.

YZ Says: August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

My foot got a bit shorter while wearing them (4mm). I really like the way they feel. They are great for weather you’d wear flip-flops in, and better because you don’t have to clench your toes!

At the start I noticed I’d twist my ankles just walking around normally. After I found my feet were so strong and resilient.

kitty Says: August 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm


Matt Says: August 27, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I have a pair and they are amazing. I used to have horrible shin splints and since I have been wearing these, they have gone away completely. I recently moved and could not find where I put them but felt comfortable running completely barefoot because of these. My legs and feet are stronger in general because of them.

Brad Knowles Says: August 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I have a pair. They are taking some getting used to. I think they have the same problem of all shoes — if your foot isn’t exactly the right shape for their design, you’re going to have problems. If you have German-style feet that are very wide at the toes and narrow at the heels with hyperpronation or weak arches, ask yourself if these shoes will fit you — odds are they won’t. If you have Italian or French-style feet that are extraordinarily long, with hypo-pronation or extremely high arches, ask yourself if these shoes are likely to fit.

Neat concept, but I’m not (yet) convinced that the design is adequate for the majority of people. We will see.

ian Says: September 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm

these are great. only ran on treadmills as hard surface hurt my knees. had my vibrams almost 4 months now, i now run 4 times a week with a 10 miler on weekends, no pain at all.

wear them everywhere. will buy the new vibrums bikilas as well.

HOWEVER, take the time ( approx 2 weeks ) to get used to them. your calves and balls of your feet will get a real workout because in normal running shoes, those muscles don’t get used too much.

but ya, they are the real deal. trail, beach, road, everywhere.

Smegle Says: September 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm

My brother has them and he loves them!!!! He wearsntyem allmthe time, but he is a total running person so anyone who is not…eh.

Rahkesh Says: September 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I found the website while stumbling a few years ago and was intrigued, so I bought a pair to try out. Im not a runner, and these things worked very well for just walking as well. Theyre very comfortable–sometimes i forget im wearing them!

I actually used my pair of fivefingers to drive down to N. Carolina from Mass. during a college trip…best idea I ever had. It was great driving with them as well so they arent JUST for running or whatever they are specified for. I would recommend them to anyone

Lorraine Says: October 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I wear these at work all day. I’ve worked up to running 5k in them. Fantastic. Like walking around barefoot, but your feet don’t get dirty. Yes, hurts like hell when you stub your toe or step on a rock under the arch of your foot. But it’s worth it. Removing the heel found on traditional shoes and having a mid-sole (rather than heel) strike is much better biomechanically.

Olivia_T Says: January 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I have a pair and they are all I run in. I get horrible shin splints in regular running shoes even specially fitted ones but these have totally solved the problem totally in love with them. n yes you can stub your toe in them but you don’t feel it nearly as much as you would true barefoot

Chelseags Says: March 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Well, how about some valuable information like website? Where to buy? How much do they cost? Online or in-store sales? Went to Vibram website and it’s not responding. Seems more like an Internet hoax to me than a real product.

Matt Says: March 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm


They are awesome! I have had the KSO for over a year.

Al Says: March 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

@Chelseags It’s certainly a real product, I’ve updated the post to include a link to Amazon where they can be purchased from

Kyle Says: March 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I’ve run barefoot for years (it seems to be better for my back) so I’m looking forward to trying these. A friend of mine swear by them.

Sarah Says: March 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I hike in these mostly. I also bike in them and walk/run… You can do a ton of stuff in these, check out their site =) I’ve never been happier with a shoe purchase! I have pretty wide feet and other shoes made for hiking/running/etc hurt my feet eventually and make it hard to walk. I’ve never had any troubles with the Fivefingers though. It’s great to feel the ground under your feet, and I’m a lot less clumsy.

The Running Ginger Says: February 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I love my Vibrams! They are very difficult at first, so don’t expect to just go out and kill it on your first run! Also, expect your calves to hate you for awhile. The key is that these shoes help you transfer to a healthier stride, so even when you are wearing minimal shoes, you are landing in a better place on your foot. This stride is much better for your feet, ankles and especially knees.

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