Alternative shoe :: Five Fingers review

The Five Fingers alt-shoe by Vibram are like motorcycles. I like motorcycles.

I used to ride daily and experience the same responses from people when walking around in motorcycle gear that I do now walking around with these weird “shoes” on my feet. So here’s the Top 5 ways Five Fingers are like motorcycles:

  1. Five Fingers are riskier than a normal shoe, but still serve same purpose to get you from point A to point B. You have to watch where you step, just like on a motorcycle you have to pay 30% more attention to your surroundings.
  2. Five Fingers are galvanizing; people self-identify to me when I’m wearing these things: “I have some at home!” “I’ve been reading about those!” Same thing for bikes. Fellow riders (and those who just geek out for such things) will go out of their way to self-identify and start conversations about motorcycles.
  3. Five Fingers elicit excited responses from others. Those statements above really do always seem to end in exclamation points. Same for bikes.
  4. Five Fingers draw extra attention, mostly positive, whether you want it or not. Just as “What kind of bike is that?” is a common inquiry at roadstops, the question “What kind of shoe is that?” is a frequent inquiry from complete strangers.
  5. Five Fingers make some people mad. Really. Some people have illogical, belligerent reactions to you walking by wearing these things. It is like you are personally attacking their idea of what a shoe can and should be. Why are these people so passionate about footwear? Weird. But you get the same thing with motorcycles, especially when debating the merits of cruisers versus bullet bikes.

I don’t actually wear these to town much as I’m almost always wearing my clipless pedal bicycle shoes that look fairly normal. But I wear Five Fingers daily outside at home for food production chores. Check out the myriad of blogs and fan sites to learn about their benefits.

Only three hassles with these shoes:

  1. You simply can’t quickly slip these on/off for quick trips in/out of your home. Even after months of practice, I still have to bend over to shove my useless pinky toe in its slot.
  2. Your feet get wet no matter what, which is a hassle considering the annual rainfall where I live. I’ve got the Flow model with insulation for winter work outside in the garden, food forest, and hiking, but you still end up with wet feet.
  3. The tan lines on your feet look downright goofy when wearing normal thong sandals showing off your sparkly white toes. See attached photo taken by my daughter; she thinks it is hilarious.

Highly recommended if you find yourself with consistent back pain or other problems that better posture might remedy.