Get Vibrant with Vibram Fivefingers and feel the ground!
Fivefingers, the revolutionary Foot Glove for barefoot lovers. Fivefingers was one of the most innovative products of 2007 and the winner of the Italian Creativity ward 2008. Vibram Fivefingers have undergone extensive research, testing and bio-mechanical studies to ensure freedom of movement and a natural grip with total safety.
I was very lucky to recently attend a running clinic delivered by the Vibram European Tester Team. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the clinic and went along with an open mind. I have long believed that our feet are neglected far too much! Often squashed and hidden inside trendy, ill fitting shoes.
What I wasn’t expecting was to be able to run in a completely new way in under one hour! For years I shunned running due to back surgery some 10 years ago. Being a fitness professional I understand the importance of good foot mechanics and have worked with literally 100′s of clients over the years with fallen arches, over pronation and running injuries. So it has fascinated me for some time how neglected our feet are. Especially when it comes to exercise and rehabilitation.
The foot is bare by definition. Vibram Fivefingers helps us to remember forgotten motor skills, supporting movement and making our feet sensitive again.
The drop in running clinics, held free to members of the public, were held all over London and I attended one held at Altimus in London’s, Kensington High street. Upon arrival I was greeted by a brightly coloured team of testers, including the vibrant Corrado, the Fivefinger Tester Team Coordinator.
The team were so friendly and immediately put my fears to rest. Another runner had come along and was keen to find out about his long distance running technique. Meanwhile I stood fearful that our test run would be a marathon around Kensington Park! How would I cope? Would I look silly not being able to keep up?
I could not have been more wrong. I was fitted with the shoe which was a strange experience but I was told I was pretty quick! At first it felt like getting a rubber glove on a sticky wet hand! But once I got the technique and my toes stopped curling under it was plain sailing.
I plodded around the shop floor initially feeling like daffy duck! My feet looked felt like flippers! However, they felt extremely natural and comfortable. The team delivered a small presentation detailing the history of Vibram and Fivefingers.
So what did I learn about Vibrams?
Vibram promote the right sole for the right use. There are plenty of styles and designs all for manor of uses. Weather you choose them for running, sailing, walking, sprinting or just everyday use. With over 2.5 million sold so far, their popularity continues to rise. Vibram have even sponsored two Olympic athletes – a hurdler and a sailor.
Why use Vibrams?
All feet are different and Vibram understands this and the shape of the foot. Did you know that Roger Bannister used a minimalist shoe? He was the first man to break the 4 minute mile! Vibram can help re-educate poor running technique, avoiding heel strike and unnecessary impact to our joints. Each time our foot strikes the ground, three times more ground force is transferred through our joints. With poor running form this can create the perfect scenario for joint problems and injury.
Corrado , the Team Tester Coordinator, demonstrated different warm-up techniques before running including warm-up drills for pronation and supination of the foot. He also explained in detail why and how running in Vibram Fivefingers is different and the benefits to running barefoot.
Then it was time came to take them for a spin! We headed out of the shop and onto the busy high street! Corrado encouraged a smaller and faster stride in the shoes and coached a correct foot strike pattern. Using clapping to help evolve a rhythm, it immediately felt very natural and light. I literally felt I could run for hours.
What I loved was Corrados passion for these products. It was clear that he was an expert in his field and had been running for over 30 years. We headed off to Kensington park where we learnt lots of different drills – including running on uneven terrain, hills and grass. I could feel all the bumps and uneven ground beneath my feet. It was like having a massage on the souls of my feet.
Rather than feeling like the usual Rhinoceros on my feet, I felt like a Gazelle elegantly moving through space and time
On my return back to the shop Corrado gave us a colourful and vibrant demonstration on some of the drills he uses in his running groups. Including running on the outside and indsides of the feet, alternating on the heels and toes. With his Italian exuberance, we were drawn into his obvious passion for this shoe.
It was time to leave the team and head home with my own newly acquired Vibrams. I couldn’t wait to get started with them. The advice is the break yourself into wearing them. To allow your body time to adjust to the new mechanics of walking or running in Vibrams.
These Speed shoes are made with DRI-LEX which delivers moisture management, comfort, total breathability and are quick drying. They are lightweight and protect against odor causing organisms. This Speed pair have traditional lacing for a secure and adjustable fit. The speed tread design offers more grip over a variety of surfaces. The special outsole allows the foot to move naturally without compromising important ground feedback. These are great for wider feet and higher insteps.
Vibrams Fivefinger Website gives you lots of resources and information about getting to know and look after your feet and transition into Fivefingers. You will also see all the other styles and designs for all purposes. You can even download a step-by-step running guide. For now I will simply go and play and allow my feet to feel the ground! Check back soon for an update on how I get on with my Speed Vibram Fivefingers.
Big love, small tummies!
Jill – The Fat Controller