“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
I’m sure many of you have already seen this story, which appeared back in late February:
ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2009) — Ancient footprints found at Rutgers’ Koobi Fora Field School show that some of the earliest humans walked like us and did so on anatomically modern feet 1.5 million years ago.
But why do I bring this particular subject up now? Ahh, because I’ve just recently purchased my first pair of Vibram five fingers footwear — the KSO model, to be exact. With help form TTP readers Mark Lepper and Ryon Day, I was able to hone right in on the model I wanted, and was able to predict how to account for accurate sizing (which is European, and you’ll tend to have to get a size smaller than you normally would in a European fit). My recommendation about sizing is this: you’ll want to go to a local supplier, if at all possible, and test out a few sizes. Take your time, walk around a bit. I bought mine at a Great Outdoor Provision Co., in Greenville, NC; the folks there were fantastic, indulging (encouraging, even) my want to try various sizes and models to pinpoint the perfect fit.
Putting the Vibrams on is a bit of a chore the first couple of times, at least until you get the hang of sliding into them, while at the same time spreading and working your toes into the individual “finger” wells. Now, though (after about a week of ownership), I can get into my Vibrams just as quick as any other pair of shoes. I have to say that initially I was pretty sceptical about the whole fit and performance issues of the product. I just couldn’t imagine that the fit would be snug enough to prevent blisters and chafing, especially when utilized in hard sprinting efforts. And if the snug fit was there, surely the comfort factor wouldn’t be. Both of those concerns have been roundly eliminated, though, as I’ve put my Vibrams through the paces — both in the gym and on the track — and they have performed well above my expectations. And talk about a conversation starter. If there’s been any drawback to wearing them, it’s that I’ve sacrificed quite a bit of valuable workout time in talking about them to the curious.
All in all, I have to give the Vibrams a big thumbs-up thus far. They seem to be of good, solid construction as well, so I expect to get plenty of wear out of them. There’s just no substitute for lifting and sprinting “barefooted”.