It’s hard to miss that bright yellow on a sole. You may have noticed that many of our products, from Alden Mocc’s to Merrell Moabs to Wolverine’s Courtland 1000 Mile boot feature Vibram technologies, and for good reason. Vibram’s founder, Vitale Bramani, developed the first rubber sole on a mountaineering boot in the 1950’s, and the company has continued to lead the way with high-performance rubber soles that are world-renowned. In 2006, Vibram released FiveFingers, a sole and shoe that allowed for the most natural and barefoot motion of the foot.
Vibram, along with may barefoot and minimalist running proponents, believe that running in FiveFingers establishes a greater connection with our bodies, making us healthier and stronger. Runners in Vibram FiveFingers have been shown to imitate the shorter ground contact, shorter strides, and reduced impact forces that are observed when a person runs barefoot. It is also noteworthy that although the strides are shorter, they are also more frequent, meaning that the runner spends less time on the ground. The shoes are designed with five separate spaces for your toes and a flexible sole that allows the foot to curl and flex naturally.
If you’re interested in running with Vibram FiveFingers, here are some tips for beginners:
- Take your time. The transition to running in FiveFingers can take up to a year for some. To avoid injury, give yourself time and space to adjust.
- Keep traditional footwear on hand. You may need to revert back to cushioned running shoes. If you don’t want to carry your old shoes with you, you will want to stay close to your starting point in case you need to stop during your workout.
- Walk or run up a hill. It is nearly impossible to land heel first when running uphill, so this will help you adjust to the different style of running that FiveFingers require.
- Listen to your body. There is a difference between adjustment due to weaker muscles and the strain that causes injury. If something hurts, you should stop until you can diagnose and correct the problem.
For information on getting started, VibramFiveFingers.com.