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Author Topic: So that night  (Read 633 times)


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So that night
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:29:03 PM »

                                     &nbsp,vibram fivefingers kso;                                  &nbsp,Vibram Fivefingers Speed;         My first pair of toe shoes!
For the longest time, I thought about buying a pair. The first time I saw VFFs was in a mall in Manila back in 2010. Back then, I was still wearing Nike Equalons and distance running was something new to me. I tried them on and ran a few steps and decided against buying them mainly due to the fact that they look like gorilla feet. That and I was clueless about this minimalist running concept.
Last week, while shopping at Ron Jon's surfshop in Cocoa beach, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have a VFF section. Selection was limited to KSO, Flow, Jaya, Trek, and Speed. I was a bit disappointed because I had it in mind that the first pair of VFFs that I'm buying are the Bikilas (LS or otherwise).
So that night, I pulled out my trusty Blackberry Playbook and hit up (the authoritative source for all things VFF) and was very pleased to find out that the Speeds are built on the Bikila platform. The only difference is the aesthetics and materials used in the upper.
I really like the retro styling on these
I wore them throughout my trip and, admittedly, my feet and calves were pretty sore after the first two days. I would still put on my Inov8 155 for running but for everything else, I decided to wear the Speeds.
As a first time user, I had to get used to the looks that my feet were getting from other people. I didn't mind it actually because I love how they look. The other thing that I had to get used to is the separation of the toes. With the individual pocket sleeves for each toe,Vibram Fivefingers Flow, it just feels like its splayed all the time. I don't notice it all the much when I'm walking around but definitely when I'm sitting.
The sole is built on the Bikila platform.The upper is made up mostly of mesh material with accents on the front and sides. I believe these shoesd are meant to combine a bit of fashion and functionality. Out of all the VFFs (pics and otherwise) that I've seen, these look the most shoe-like. Actually reminds of a Vans or similar type of skateboard shoe design.
It is built on the Bikila platform so running in these wouldn't be a problem.
There's virtually no cushioning but it doesn't bother me since I've also been wearing my Merrell Trail Gloves for walking. The Speeds are totally flexible and the laces allow for those with high arches to feel comfortable in them. My feet are pretty flat so I think I'll fit well in either strap or lace versions.
I did have some difficulty putting my toes into their correct sleeves. I'm not sure if this is because the toes aren't as rigid as those found in other models but I found it much easier to slip them into the KSOs in the store.
As expected, this is the most minimal pair that I have and I feel it with every step I take. The mesh is light and airy and easily lets the cold in. Since these are usually worn without socks, my feet get really cold quickly.
Cold notwithstanding, I was too excited to run in these to wait for warmer weather. I went out for a quick 4km jaunt one afternoon and the shoe delivered on everything I expected. It was light and flat with just enough protection for my feet against stone, gravel, broken glass, and the elements.
It felt very similar to Merrell Trail Gloves in terms of flexibility albeit not as cushiony. It was really easy to run with a midfoot strike in these because of how thin and flat they are. I consciously attempted a heel strike and I can tell you that it wasn't pleasant.
It was quite painful. If you're a heel striker, I really would caution against running in VFFs until you correct your stride.
In addition, I found my toes curling up on very stride; similar to what happens when I run barefoot. I don't know if it's a subconscious reaction of my body to somehow protect my toes but without knowing, I find my toes spreading wide open and curling up just before impact. For the barefoot runners out there, is this just me or do your toes curl up too when running unshod?
I finished my run in 18 minutes and it felt great. I was brave enough to try it out or that long only because I've had over a year to adjust to minimal shoes. I remember running in Trail Gloves in the summer and found that it hurt my heel. Since then, I've worked hard in correcting my stride (hundred-ups really helped!) and now, I find that I am most comfortable running in anything under a 3mm heel drop and minimal cushioning.
The best thing about this is since I've gotten over the weird gorilla foot look that VFFs deliver, I'll be more comfortable buying their other models in the near future.
As always, if you're thinking of getting one for running, please be sure to transition carefully as there is little cushioning found in these and if your running style is suited to clunky shoes, you might hurt yourself very badly.
Overall, this is a great and solid shoe and it's no wonder that it has a huge following that will only grow in years to come.
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