While I was browsing through the shoe department of one of my favorite stores, I noticed a pair of shoes that were shaped exactly like feet, toes and all. My first thought was, “How odd!” Since I have been seeing them more and more, I thought that I would research them to see what the deal was with this shoe.
At http://www.rei.com, they have a huge selection of these “toe shoes” in different styles and colors for both men and women. The Vibram Fivefinger is designed to have the feel of going barefoot, but with the protection and grip of an athletic shoe. With this design, they promote your body’s natural motion, increased stability, and an enhanced muscle development through a totally unique way.
The Vibram Fivefingers have lace-up, slip-on, and Velcro closure styles depending on whether you will be hiking, cross training, running, rock climbing, or just walking. The “KomodoSport Multisport Shoes” for men are designed for cross-training and have a polyurethane foot-bed, along with an EVA arch for greater support. The rubber outsole has individual traction and padding on each toe that extends across the foot-bed, back to the heel. There is also odor control with an antimicrobial treatment, a stretch upper that fits the foot, and an adjustable Velcro closure. For $110, this shoe has a 4 ½ star customer rating and is able to be machine washed and line dried.
If you are into running off-road, then the “Vibram Fivefinger Spyrider LS Trail Running Shoes” would be for you. These have the same “five toe” construction, but include “toe bumpers” for more protection when running over rocks and twigs, a slightly thicker rubber outsole, and laces for a more tailored fit. These will run you $120 and also come with a 4 ½ star rating.
Whichever style you choose to try at REI, they do have a special sizing procedure in order to get the perfect fit. Also, after watching the video, most of the wearers recommend wearing them for shorter periods of time until you get used to how different from regular athletic shoes that they feel.