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Vibram FiveFingers

7 February 2011 55,549 views 3 Comments

The theory goes… our bodies are designed to be able to run barefoot. Our feet and ankles naturally have the mechanical capabilities for shock absorption at all levels of impact, including running. However, because we overprotect our feet with ‘hi-tech’ padding and cushioning the natural mechanics adapt to the new shoe environment and become weaker. As our feet, ankles, knees and all the little tendons, ligaments and pieces inbetween become weaker, we’re vulnerable to injuries. You can read about this in much better detail in “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall which I have already banged on about in another post. And you can look at this helpful picture for a better explanation too.

I liked what I’d read in “Born To Run”, and I don’t have injuries but I’m very interested in preventing them, and in improving my running style. So, I found out where Vibram FFs are stocked in Sydney (list here or at the bottom of the page) and I went to go play…

different styles

  • Classic: the slip on shoe. Good for walking I guess but I don’t think it would stay on for running or much more. Mostly comes in dark colours: grey, navy, black.
  • Sprint: the Classic but with a strap over the foot so, better for running/ activities. Grey with red or blue.
  • KSO: I like this one – it means keep stuff out :) There’s a mesh fabric over the top of the foot, and a strap, so this is good for all sports/ activities. Comes in all black which is really nice and a couple of two tone greys.
  • Flow: I think these ones are for water – fishing, wading etc, I didn’t pay much attention…
  • Bikila: the suuped up version of some of the previous KSO, using new fabric and materials for a better, more comfortable fit. Comes mostly in grey with luminous second colour or hot magenta & pink! These are the ones that I have, in grey/ luminous green.
  • Speed: now these are really odd looking because they have laces across the top of the foot. Comfy yes, but seriously odd. Black with white or white with blue.

I chose the Bikilas but didn’t get them straight away, I had Colby ship them over from the States at half price instead :) So, today I took them out for their first spin.
There’s no denying they look odd. Flippers. Hobbit feet. And I’m sure I’ll hear more and worse! They feel odd too. Years ago I had some socks that were like gloves for feet – I loved them – but it is strange getting used to fabric between your toes. I’d been told to build up slowly with training in VFFs so the plan tonight was just to walk on them and I can’t run at the moment anyway so that suited. I walked up and down Manly beach and then over to the harbour to check on the penguins.
To start with I did feel a bit vulnerable, like I was walking in socks and would feel the ground or get really dirty. Once I got used to that it was very natural. My feet felt nice & free, the movements felt right, I couldn’t feel the ground at all and there was no sensation from impact. By the time I got home (80 minutes?) I felt a little tender/ sore in my feet and around my hips as if I’d used some new or different muscles.
No residual aching/ soreness so I’m happy they’re good. I’m looking forward to going running…


On my way home today i saw a guy wearing VFFs, he’d just finished running, so I asked him what he thought of them. He said to defo take it easy and build up distance – he had to chop from 22km to 3km to start with because his calves were sore. Plus, he said, be careful of where you go cos any grit in them really hurts. Good tips, thanks, see you on the tracks…


List via barefootinc.com.au, you can see more here.

Adventure Megastore 505 Kent Street

Sydney NSW 2000

T: 02 8280 9000 www.adventuremegastore.com.au
AOK Health 52 The Avenue,

Maryville NSW 2293

T: 02 4963 9555 www.aokhealth.com
The Athletes Foot Shop 2040, Level 2

Westfield Bondi Junction

NSW 2022

T: 02 9389 5513 www.theathletesfoot.com.au
Barefoot Inc

(Head Office &

Concept Store)

266 Bronte Road

Waverley NSW 2024

T: 02 9387 1000 www.barefootinc.com.au
Bushcraft Equipment 29 Stewart Street

Wollongong NSW 2500

T: 02 4229 6748 www.bushcraftequipment.com.au
Camp Hike Climb Suite 1 Ground Floor

20 George Street Hornsby

NSW 2077

T: 02 9476 5767 www.camphikeclimp.com.au
Coast Runners Shop 140 Wyong Rd

Killarney Vale NSW 2261

T: 02 4333 6064 www.coastrunnersshop.com.au
Children of the Revolution 637 Darling Street

Rozelle NSW 2039

T: 02 9555 6001 www.childrenoftherevolution.com.au
Europhysio 1/11 Church Street

Moruya NSW 2537

T: 02 4474 0500
Footpoint 563 Military Road

Mosman NSW 2088

T: 02 9960 7986 www.footpointshoeclinic.com.au
Head Academy Kung Fu Unit 6, 71-73 Lords Rd

Leichardt NSW 2040

T: 02 9568 4623 www.jowgar.com.au
Maclean Outdoors 255 River Street

Maclean NSW 2463

T: 02 6645 1120 http://macleanoutdoors.net.au/
Manning Shoe Store 189 Victoria Street

Taree NSW 2430

T: 02 6552 1177 http://manningshoes.com.au
Motio Shop 59/61 QVB Walk

455 George Street Sydney

NSW 2000

T: 02 9264 1027
Northside Runners Shop 1A, 6-8 Clarke Street

Crows Nest NSW 2065

T: 02 8065 3583 www.northsiderunners.com.au
Outdoor Shack 1131 Pittwater Rd

Collaroy Beach NSW

T: 02 9981 6933 www.outdoorshack.com.au
Performance Sport Shop L02 52/53

Mid City Centre

197 Pitt St

Sydney, NSW 2000

T:02 8078 9020 www.performancesport.com.au
Plunge Diving 11a Chowder Bay Road

Mosman NSW 2088

T: 02 9969 5733 www.plungediving.com.au
Port Camping World 4 Bellbowrie St

Port Macquarie NSW 2444

T: 02 6583 2390 www.campingworld.com.au
Professional Whey T: 0406 893 105 www.professionalwhey.com
Runnulla Shop 1, 57-61

Cronulla Mall NSW 2230

T: 02 9523 2221 www.runnulla.com.au
Sole Bros Footwear 1/20 Brigantine St

Byron Bay NSW 2481

T: 02 6685 5420 www.solebrosfootwear.com.au
The Athletes Foot Bondi Junction Shop 2041,Westfields Shopping Town Bondi Junction  500 Oxford Street

NSW 2022

T: 02 9389 5513‎
The Athletes Foot –

St Ives

Shop 41, St Ives Shopping Village,

St Ives NSW 2075

T: 02 9440 5614
The Athletes Foot – Hurstville Shop 220 Westfield Shopping Town

Hurstville NSW 2220

T: 02 9579 6600
The Running Company 6/157 Curlewis Street

Bondi Beach NSW 2026

T: 02 9365 5485 www.therunningcompany.com.au
Trek and Travel 447 Kent Street

Sydney NSW 2000

T: 02 9261 3435 www.trekandtravel.com.au
Warlord Industries Unit 31/3 Kelso Crescent

Moorebank NSW 2170

T: 02 9602 4194 www.warlordindustries.com.au


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