Vibram Five Finger Shoes - Making the Switch

I got a pair of the Vibram Five Finger Shoes when I saw them onsale at REI Outlet for $30, down from roughly $100.  I hadn't wanted to dish out full price for the suckers (because I'm a cheap ass) but I really wanted to try them.

I'd also found myself in the market for a pair of shoes to wear to the gym.  My running shoes are all what would be considered racing flats, or something even less supportive than that if possible.  It really wasn't working to wear the old flats as gym shoes.  I started getting these weird aches in the side of my ankle and I knew something wasn't right.  Brooks Green Silence - you will be first off the island.  Going as barefoot as possible seemed like the right direction, since I tend towards that style of movement anyways.

Unboxing: These things came from REI Outlet, in a shoebox and then in the shipping material.  A shoebox.  I don't know what that surprises me.

First time fit: I put these on at the end of the day when my feet were likely super swollen and definitely sweaty and mad at me for keeping them shod as long as I had.  It was super hard to get them on and then even harder to get all the toes in the correct place.  For the first thirty minutes I swore my pinky toes just weren't made to be separated from it's next toe.  Overall, my fourth toe on each foot (ring toe?) felt like a stuffed sausage and it hurt super bad.  So bad I went back and ordered another size up figuring I'd made a mistake sizing myself for the original order.

Second time fit: Eight billion times better.  Still not perfect and I'm interested to see if the bigger size does work better.  I am starting to have hope for while I'll call my thirty-sevens.  Who knows what I'm talking about?  This time the fourth toes had not one single twinge or complaint.  The pinky toes felt a bit odd but not painful.  Just like "why am I so far away from all the other toes?".

Zumba: I've done Zumba once in these.  I think I need to get the soles dirtier and less grippy so they slide across the gym floor.

Circuit: I tried circuit in these.  Between the foot pain and being sad that my regular circuit teacher moved to South Carolina, I have no review.  I wasn't nearly as concerned about dropping weights on my foot as I would've expected.  I could really feel how hard the wood floor was though, especially on the balls of my feet.  Does that make sense?

Outside Running: I haven't seen how runners are supposed to make the switch but I understand it's supposed to be a gradual progression, not just 'ok, wear these all the time starting now'.  I ran with them today and the current plan that I made up in my head is to use them on my 1-2 mile runs now, and probably build up to anything around 4 miles or less.  I think it will make it seem a real treat then to do long runs in shoes.

Advice from others: I have some friends who've worn these.  I've been told how to wash them.  Relevant.  I was also told give the shoes four or five wears before making a judgement because it does take a while to get used to them.  I'm glad I was given that advice, and seeing the difference between the first and second use, I'm optimistic that it will get better and better.

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