Vibram FiveFingers: Worse Than Crocs?

Posted 62 months ago|20 comments|19,130 views
Written by
New Orleans, LA
Vibram FiveFingers are a unique type of shoe that mimics the feeling of bare feet. Wearing them is supposed to be good for your health, because they are the closest things to going barefoot. However, the Vibram FiveFingers are the only shoes that are uglier than Crocs.

I’ve never worn the Vibram FiveFingers, but various web sources say that they protect the wearer from the elements and balance your body weight for optimum balance, stability, and impact. I say they look like nasty rubber-coated toes that only a whacko would design.

Hilariously, the Vibram FiveFingers website (first link) has a list of various sports you can play in their squishy polyurethane booties. I suppose that some people might like them better than Water Sox, which I also hate – because of they’re not waterproof.

If you must have a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, you can find them online at (second link) for about $75.

I’d love to see a marathon competitor tell us that Vibram FiveFingers are the only thing he’ll wear. I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Hopefully, Vibram Fivefingers won’t catch on like Crocs, and we won’t start seeing them on the streets. Ew!
62 months ago: Nothing like another quack shoe to ruin a person's appearance and feet. Croc's are notoruius for causing children to fall and injure themselves, I'm sure these are no different in their ability to cause injury in ways that are not natural.

And the price!!!! Totally out of line with the cost of manufacture.
62 months ago: Actually I'm going to change my opinion of them. They could have some therapeutic value! I have a toe that wants to lie on top of another and these would help reposition it without surgery. After studying the photos I see that they are not just vacuum formed like crocs, they are actually "manufactured" or "assembled" from many pieces. I still wouldn't wear them out of the house or work in them and unless they are rated for water wear I wouldn't wade in the river with them but otherwise they are better than crocs' and a thousand times better than flip-flops.

Still a quack shoe but what do I know. As for the price, they better last more than a year and not deteriorate in the closet or they are over-priced.
47 months ago: You will never learn about a shoe from a web picture. "Oh they actually aren't crocks?" - good for you for finding that out. Try the thing, then be opinionated. If it doesn't work, get back to your squeaky clown Nike shoes. Good luck!
62 months ago: I'd love to buy a pair, but I'm waiting for the price to come down
Barefoot Ted
Barefoot Ted
Seattle, WA
62 months ago: It is perfectly obvious that this writer is not aware of the paradigm shift occurring in the sports shoe world...a flight away from padded, arch-supporting shoes that have dominated the scene for 30+ the disadvantage of many of the wearers.

You might want to check out the current best-selling book titled "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall and have a look into minimal footwear movement in sports shoes...if you want to be truly up-to-date and useful to the general public.

You might also want to check out some of the latest data showing the minimal or even barefoot runners put LESS IMPACT into their bodies by being able to feel the ground, naturally, and thereby adjusting their stride and running form to avoid pounding the ground.

If you qualm is with fashion...well, that is another issue..and as we all know, fashion is in constant flux...but the human body and particularly the human foot and its evolution as a running vehicle is not new at all.


62 months ago: BT, what has being up-to-date in sports footwear have to do with being useful to the general public? I could do a rant on just that!

Fashion is never the issue, safety and protection of feet is much more important. The advent of Croc's brought with it a butt-load of problems for children who need to be dressed in well fitting shoes that are tied tight or they should be left barefoot. Not to mention the adults who kept tripping over their wide and floppity Croc's.

As for the sports worlds move toward less fancy footwear, it's about time. It was nothing but an advertising gimmic to get people to think they needed $150 running shoes, $200 golf shoes, $175 Tennis shoes, and $75 walking shoes, a pair of shoes for every activity and the more expensive they are, the better your game would be, right? Oh yeah, I left out the $300 basketball shoes.

Sorry, I made all those prices up just to make the point, did I get as close as I think I did to the true price? Or did I low-ball them?
Barefoot Ted
Barefoot Ted
Seattle, WA
62 months ago: Yo Sixholdens, I think you missed my point...or perhaps I never made it.

I am not a fan of the Croc.

I am a fan of the Vibram FiveFingers...because...they let your foot BE what it is...allows you foot to become strong, flex and move like it should, feel impact like it should, yet still protect you from punctures and tough terrain.

To be honest, in my humble opinion, barefoot is the very best.

You might enjoy my blog...just Google "Barefoot Ted" will clarify my position a lot.

62 months ago: BFT, fair enough. I never could go barefoot and after getting hurt in 05, can't stand to go shoeless at all, just too painful.

They seem to be more like a second, tougher skin and I agree that that is good, I did say I changed my opinion of them after my first post.

Croc's should have had to go through FDA approval and then they never would have been allowed on the market, they are worse than a car with drum brakes and leaky brake lines, just an accident waiting to happen.
Atlanta, GA
62 months ago: It's ironic to me that VFFs are compared to Crocs - obviously they share something in common from an aesthetic point of view: many people find both fivefingers and Cros to be offensively ugly. However, these two pieces of footwear are completely opposite otherwise -- one numbs your foots sense of the world, making your foot more clunky and clumsy. The other one is form fitting and will increase your awareness and make your feet more nimble than most any other piece of footwear (excepting being actually barefoot, which is achieves maximal foot awareness).
Atlanta, GA
62 months ago: BTW barefoot Ted failed to mention (too modest I presume) that he's run marathons and ultramarathons in his fivefingers.

And others have also run marathons in them (just see stories of such at )
61 months ago: Actually, Vibrams (and Crocs for that matter) are very comfortable and are not the cause of injuries - I am not sure where the Croc data is coming from, if any? The Vibrams and Crocs for that matter are probably not for people who worry about how they look. Have any of you who have slammed the look and the functionality of Vibrams actually worn them or run in them? I have run in them for two years and have had none of the problems i had in running shoes. When I do not use them, I run completely barefoot on good grass. They allow your feet to strengthen, not get injured, and the only way to run barefoot or in Vibrams is to get off the heel and run naturally in the mid-forefoot with an efficient stride. There is no need for all the high-heel, padding, bulk, gel, shocks, etc because the ankle and especially knee and hip absorb the shock of foot strike the way that they were meant to. Running barefoot has helped my athletes get over arch problems, achilles and calf problems (although after time and conditioning, since the runners actually engage their calf and achilles more without the large heel), shin splints, knee pain, etc. You are faster and more efficient in vibrams, even if you run slowly - you have more strength in the foot, ankle, and gastroc/soleus complex, as well as the elastic energy of the fascial tissue of the plantar fascia and achilles tendon. You ought to give them a try and not worry about how they look, unless that is the over-riding concern of running or whatever activity you pursue.
61 months ago: Good info Coach M. I would be the last person to worry about my looks and after my initial post I did approve of these shoes, not Crocs, never for children.

The injuries I've seen in Crocs is because they are ill fitting, very wide and have no sidewall support. I have seen children trying to run and play in them and they just won't stay on their feet or the wide footprint causes them to trip over their own feet. Children are naturally clumsy when learning how to walk, run and play and to put Crocs on them or Croc knock-offs and expect them to be safe so far as their feet are concerned is foolish.

These shoes may do all you say and I hope they do, but I still say the cost is too much for general wear. How would a family of two or three young ones, mom and dad afford to buy them on their wages that barely keep a roof over their head and a vehicle to go to work in? And these are not daily wear shoes, these are for running and walking and playing.

If you can afford them, good deal, if not, be sure and buy something that will support you and not cause further problems.
61 months ago: Actually, I just hiked about 40 miles in 4 days in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Vibrams, and what we do is go around barefoot in the house at all times. I don't know if you have kids, but the everyday shoes for mine (not to mention the sports shoes) run about $50-75 anyway. I got my Vibrams for $70.00 and have used them for two years and they just now suffered a small tear on the fabric. The sole is good as new. These last 3-4 x longer than $100-125.00 running shoes. I understand the budget issue because there are four of us. The best thing for kids anyway is to go barefoot when and where they can and wear minimal, inexpensive shoes when they must.
61 months ago: I can't go barefoot, feet are too sensitive due to injuries and surgical scars, nerve damage, lost padding. Only one kid left at home and he goes to college in 10 days. Grandkids are another thing. One set's mother is in her second year of full time employment (stay at home dad) and the other group, mother is looking for work while getting her masters, husband is National Guard and works infrequently. Other words, money is tight. $15 - $25 per child is about all there is for shoes so cheap ones it is. Our money is tight too so usually end up with $35 - $55 invested and that is per year. I've never wasted my money on $100 shoes. Never saw any that lasted longer than $50 ones and I don't buy brand names for the sake of buying brand name. Work boots/shoes are a different matter but I haven't had to buy those since 2005 cause I don't work anymore (see first sentence).
Orem, UT
47 months ago: The OP might want to change his avatar, as the 5Fingers would be a perfect (visual) fit for that person ;)

Then, before ranting, maybe he should check them out in the flesh so he knows what he is ranting about. I put on a pair at an REI store, and while they were a bit difficult to get into (like a tight-fitting glove), they felt like non-existent once they were on the foot and in action. Bliss!

However, I have yet to believe that quasi-barefoot is better for the joints than a well-fitting, properly cushioned walking shoe, and once I do, I might even buy a pair. Then, I wouldn't run the risk of the OP stepping on my toes, haha.
47 months ago: Expressing an opinion about a product without even giving it a chance and trying it is at least unfair and makes your opinion worthless. What makes you so hostile towards a shoe you have never tried? It doesn't work for you (and you know that how?), but it might for many people otherwise it wouldn't be available. In my personal experience these shoes actually corrected my running form by a lot, and prevented from injuries. It's not for heel striking, cotton wearing, iPod joggers. It needs work, but it pays off later.
45 months ago: I adore these shoes...and I'm wearing them in a 5 MI race tomorrow. I've been wearing them since last May without returning to a regular pair of running shoes. Granted my calves hurt as they warned me about so you were to wear the only 15 minutes at a times until your body get used to them.

I'm with BarefootTED. These shoes rock!!! They're quiet, no jolting of the body and they are doing what you're body is supposed to do sans shoes.

I was actually looking to see how many people have used them to run marathons or any races for that matter and came across the rant of the stupidity of these shoes. I love may not. (I wore them all day at an amusement park and it was the best!!) I've ran, hiked and gone through springs and mountains and they are the everything I love in a shoe since I have to wear shoes so as not to injure my footsies.

Great idea here...if you don't like them, pass them by. If you love them and they work for you... do what you must!!

I give them an A+!! I put on my "regular" running shoes today after wearing my vibrams for all these months and felt like I had clogs on :( So I'm going to do the race with the VIBRAMS!!
Bemidji, MN
45 months ago: those are the uglest shoes I have ever seen in my life ...
Blacksburg, VA
43 months ago: Since when does fashion have any affiliation with fitness? FiveFingers are meant for people that actually want to utilize their feet for what they really are. You don't buy FiveFingers to look fashionable, you get them to improve your physical fitness. So, who cares if they are different looking?
vibram five fin
vibram five fin
41 months ago: Do you like vibram five finger shoes, now it is very popular and has many fans, if you like it, don't wait but choose it.

Post a Comment
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.