Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vibram FiveFingers

Hobbit FeetAfter finishing the 2010 Dallas Fort Worth 3-Day without having any foot issues, I've been thinking about doing the 2011 walk using Vibram's FiveFingers (or as I call them, Hobbit Feet). 

I'm not sure what my fascination is with these shoes, but one of my good friends absolutely loves them and recommends them to his fitness clients.  I think they would be wonderful conversation starters during my training sessions and may open up the doors for new donations.  These shoes are absolutely ridiculous looking, who wouldn't want to know more?!

The one thing that I lack is a good source of information about these particular shoes and how well they held up during similar adventures.  Has anyone walked all 60 miles in these shoes?  How was the journey?  Did you bring a pair of sneakers just in case?  Did you wear socks?

I ask all of these questions to help me in my decision making process, as I walked in a pair of New Balance shoes and had zero problems (not even a blister).  I hesitate when it comes to major changes and I can't think of a larger change when it comes to a 60 mile walk than a shoe swap.

I've tried to contact the company directly with no luck, so I turn to the my fellow 3-Day walkers for guidance.


  1. Hey Aaron,
    I can only share my own experience, which was that I walked Day 1 in my Vibram classics but not Day 2 or 3. I got terrible blisters and needed cushion for the second two days. I am thinking of trying again next year, with some changes. First, I didn't train enough in my Vibrams pre-walk. The longest training walk I did was around 10 miles so doubling that without training was a bad idea. Second, I'd try a different style of classics that have more tread on the bottom. I now have a pair of TrekSports that I would consider using. My other thought is that while I love, love, love running in my Vibrams, the longest I am on my feet for is 3 hours. When you walk 20 miles, you're on your feet ALL DAY, and I think that your feet really need some support for that. Vibrams aren't really made for long distance walking, but for hiking, walking, biking, etc. But maybe if I was a little more intense with my training I could have built up the foot support, I'm not sure. So all in all, I have to think more about my footwear for next year, and I haven't completely decided. Definitely buy a pair, try them out, do some training walks in them and see how you do.

  2. I am bookmarking this and checking back, I did see a few people wearing these at the 3-Day & was curious too... I would love to read more about them and what other walkers think :) great blog!

  3. Aaron,

    I wore my VVF Bikilas for 2.5 days of the 3-Day. I have foot issues, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and did okay in sneakers for about 10 miles and then my feet get very achy and have a lot of burning. While on vacation, I bought a pair of the Classics. Wore them for short trips ~ shopping, mile walks, etc.. Since I got along well with them, I decided to bump up to the Bikilas. I bought them at the beginning of September, and it was love at first site walk.

    At the 3-day I wore them the first day without any problems. On day 2, my sister and I were going to walk fast since we had a lot of family meeting us at a cheer station, so I thought the cushioning would be better. Keep in mind I trained in the NE Georgia mountains on both paved and gravel roads and was walking the 3-Day in Florida.

    After meeting family at a cheer station, I switched back to my VFF. My feet were in heaven again. Day 3 I treated my blister and put on my VFF and we finished the walk together. Day 3 I didn't put as much Body Glide on as on Day 1 and ended up with a hot spot on my little toe and big toe and another blister by the ball of my foot. (Size wise: larger than a grain of rice but smaller than pea.)

    I did also tape my feet when wearing both VFF and sneakers with Kinesio tape. Also, have always been a barefoot or flip flop girl, so had good foot tone to begin with. I also think it helped with walking on the different road surfaces to strengthen my feet.

    For me the worst part was the swelling. I had a little swelling Sunday night, but by the time I got back home in Georgia on Monday evening, they looked like small Macy's inflatable floats. I was warned this may happen because of sports drinks and change of altitude from flying.

    Hope this helps,