I had the pleasure to get a hold of these Vibram FiveFingers Flow shoes and let me tell you, they are amazing. Today marks the second week of wearing them and I am completely in. Before I get into the details of how these shoes are superior to others, let me tell you how I first came to the decision of gettings these bad boys on my feet.
There has been a lot of buzz in the strength and conditioning profession about the benefits of Nike Free's and other minimal design shoes. With the Nike Free's... I think they deserve all the accolades they are receiving. Nike Free's are excellent shoes with the flexible soles and lightweight design. What makes these Vibram FiveFinger Flow's superior to other shoes is the very flexible and thin sole. Not only that, once you add the benefit of their flat sole, they because the ideal footwear for gym and running training.
Olympic Lifters may find these shoes a bit uncomfortable because they may be use to the heal height associated with Olympic lifting shoes. However, powerlifters on the other hand who often wear Chuck Taylors and other thin, flat soled shoes for squatting and deadlifting will slide into both Nike Free's and FiveFinger shoes with relative ease.
If you up to you readings from individuals like Mike Boyle (who is one who praises these shoes) and Christopher McDougall (the author of "Born to Run") than you probably already know the benefits of these shoes.
Now your probably saying right now, "Alright Adam, but tell me HOW they feel?" Alright, I can do that for you. These shoes feel crazy good. It reminds me of the little booties you would wear as a kid. They are like the crazy offspring of water shoes and Nike Free's. Lifting in these shoes was awesome. You really have the ability to "feel" the ground beneath your feet when your pushing through the heals. These shoes also accent those exercises that require you to rise up on your toes.
Running in these shoes have been an experience that came with two nights of extremely sore calves. Born to Run author, Christopher McDougall talked about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons who are probably the world's best long distance runners, who also run barefoot. What I learned from the book and from my experience running with these shoes is that your stride will HAVE to shorten. However, even with a shorten stride my running technique has drastically improved. I'm running more on the ball of foot w/ shorter more powerful strides. If you’re curious about my running technique Google "POSE running" and you will find tons of videos that will help you understand how I am running.
What is my ultimate opinion of these shoes? They… Are… Completely badass. If your looking for a shoe that will improve your running, connect you with the world, invoke stares and random conversations & questions from strangers, then pick up a pair of these Vibram FiveFinger Flows. I'm loving them and will continue to wear them until my boss tells me I no longer can. Until next time, Lift Strong!