Vibram Shoes? The Gear That Works

Oct 14, 2012
Vibram Shoes? The Gear That Works

A review on the Vibram Five Finger shoes. Are they right for you?

I get asked a lot regarding to certain items that are marketed as a "game changer" that can take your workouts to the next level. Of course there are so many fitness related products in the market that offer the latest and greatest results by just using or taking them. Rarely do you ever come across certain products that truly live up to the hype.

About a 3 years ago I was at IHRSA, which is a expo exclusively for the latest fitness equipment/machines and fitness gear in the industry. This show is definitely a site to see as the latest gadgets that you will probably never actually see sold in stores as well as equipment that will never show up in a gym are showcased to the various retailers and consumers at the show.

During my walk through I came upon a shoe company that was marketing and exploiting these shoes that looked like gloves on your feet. After a brief conversation with the guy at the booth, I walked on with our then Editor In-Chief of Muscle & Fitness and said, "those things will never sell."

Needless to say 2 years later, after that conversation I was astonished to see them at the local Sporting Goods store. After my own "foot in mouth" experience I did a little research on the "why" these things were so great as I could never see myself EVER buying a pair or better yet be caught dead wearing them while training. After all, I take my training serious and don't want to look like one of those "I know more than you so look at my unique shoes" type of a guy. You know who I am talking about. That one guy in the gym who does everything different in the gym only to try to draw attention to himself. Well, I would be damned in I was that guy with a pair of these Gorilla shoes.

Anyway, I looked into the reason and the conclusion that the Vibram people were coming to as to why you needed to wear these shoes especially when Training.

I had to try them. I will tell you this, walking into the gym the first time with them I was more concerned about the aforementioned than anything, until I started my dreaded leg day. I trained with them. Squats, Power Cleans, deadlifts, the usual and walked out of the gym. I thought, "yea those were ok." I just felt like I was lifting barefoot. No big deal. The day after my feet and Soleus were really sore and I attributed the soreness to what the company had been marketing regarding using muscle in your feet that had never been used before. "So What, I thought"? I am not really looking to get results in my feet right?

Either way I continued to train with these new shoes for the next several days and started to like them. However, I fell in love with them when I Finally went to the gym WITHOUT them. Leg day again. Squats, Power Cleans, Deads the usual. As soon as I stepped under the bar to unrack the weight and start my Squats.......I almost fell over. I felt so unstable and the movement pattern seemed to be altogether different. I hated the way I felt after that workout. I felt like I couldn't keep balance and that something was off. Not having these shoes when I trained was definitely the culprit and Now I cannot train (especially Legs) without them.

Take away-

So here is my take-away message. If you are considering these weird looking soles, let me first be the one to tell you that the concerns you have, I had as well, however once you train with them you will likely never go back to training without them. Now, personally I only use them when I train legs and other sessions where I am on my feet alot. Upper body and used for just walking around, ill stick with the traditional footwear, but these are a must have in your gym bag.

You can pick them up here at the Vibram Website, however I would recommend trying them on in the actual store first to get the right fit. If you have your own Story post a comment below int he comments section. I want to hear you.

Take care, a
Mike McErlane

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