Over the winter, I purchased my very first pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes.
You may have seen other people running, working out, or grocery shopping in these babies. Before I purchased them, I did a lot of research and reading (I'm sure you would expect nothing left from Nerdie McNerderson). I decided on the Bikila model.
I read a lot of information about taking it slow when starting out wearing them, but I'm not one to start anything slowly. I put them on the second the box arrived at my doorstep, wore them to Crossfit classes, ran in them, grocery shopped in them, and wore them to school. It has been love at first step. I miss them when I do not have them on my feet and have seriously debated wearing them out to the bar.
The truest test for me was wearing them for the Broad Street Run- a ten miler in Philadelphia. They were like butter. I had a couple of blisters, but no pain- none at all. This was miraculous considering last summer I had given up on running altogether because of the excruciating hip pain I was experiencing during my runs. The pain was the reason I started researching Vibrams in the first place. The shoes force you to run with correct form. Since I run for sport and have never had a trainer teach me correct form, my form was off and causing pain. My Vibrams helped me to achieve correct form. The second test was running them through the washing machine- they passed with flying colors. No shrinkage (get your mind out of the gutter) or color fade. Not only are they great for running, but I love them for lifting weights. I feel so grounded in them and I love that I can spread my toes to get extra stability when I am really lifting heavy. The price point for me was great- the Bikila's cost 100/pair- which for me is significantly less than what I usually spend on running shoes.
The downside I have found with the shoes is unwanted attention. If you don't want people to ask you about your shoes constantly, I would recommend purchasing a neutral color or black. I went hot pink which seems like the signal for everyone and their mother to ask about them. I'm a social animal, so it doesn't bother me, but if you are not so into random discussions with strangers, you may not like this attention grabbing shoe.
Vibrams may not be for everyone, but they sure are for me and have been the best running/work out shoe purchase I have ever made. I have been an Asics girl for YEARS and my poor, jealous million dollar Asics are collecting dust.