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    • I'm sponsored by couple of companies and one of them uses a marketing company to do all of their reaching out to potential 'influencers' (hate that word BTW)

      I get an email one day and and I'm asked if I could be sent some Vibram Five FIngers, the shoes shown in the image below.

      I had been interested in them as a few friends use them and swear by them, the price kept me away but this was an opportunity to try so I accepted

      Not so quick, I was advised to go and find a store that sold them and get an accurate size fitment as they aren't alway like your standard shoe size. I did this and a few days later a box appeared and the Five Fingers were inside.

      now if you aren't familiar, there are instructions about wearing them, most notably

      "only wear an hour or two initially"

      Noted and complied.

      I found them similar to wearing flip flops except that the piece that is between your second toe and big toe is now kind of between each toe. The reason for the minimal wear I'm guessing is to get that area of your foot used to the sensation and rubbing that occurs, it becomes OK very quickly.

      They are comfortable, yes you do notice each and every step you take and if you stand on a rock that you might not have felt too much in the past, NOW you feel it.

      Balance improves, running improves...you find yourself gripping the floor I really liked the sensation.

      ...but, after a few hours of wearing them, like normal, taking shoes off immediately my feet smell!

      Now I AM NOT a person with smelly feet, never have been, but these make them smell, and very quickly.

      I'm comparing this with wearing MX boots for 8 hours a day in every condition and having no noticeable smell (most of the time), maybe my $20 MX socks are really that good

      I asked a few friends who use them their experiences, buy the socks ($10+) or wash the inner soles, or get used to having smelly feet!

      Sadly none of the three options seemed like a good idea to me for traveling, are these just for people who have or like smelly feet, or should I just spend a bunch of money on the specific socks?

      Oh and BTW if you think people never look at your feet, in these, all the time, comments are made whether you want them or not!

      I mean, really, how often do you look at a man's shoes? - The Shawshank Redemption.

    • I've wondered why people wear toed socks, shoes, slippers, or whatever but never researched it. You answered that question and for some sports I bet these are the ticket. They certainly aren't anything I would try even without the smell. The odor issue certainly doesn't help. I don't wear flip flops either and I don't like anything between my toes. Perhaps you do get used to it rapidly but I'm going to pass.

      Thank you for always providing honest reviews on the products you try.

    • Good review Paul!

      I tried wearing these things back on '11. Some guys I worked with in Virginia Beach swore by them. I got use to them, but, as you noted, your feet SMELL! And I mean they gave off an odor cloud like Linus' blanket in Peanuts (never smelled his blanket but the odor was well illustrated by Schulz). Tossed them in the circular file after several weeks. Likewise, I don't have smelly feet and I couldn't stand my smelly feet after wearing these things. BUT, if the person seated in front of you on the airplane reclines their seat into your space at an inopportune time, these may be the ticket to fix the problem...just take them off and put your feet under their seat!

    • I've never worn them myself, but I have been intrigued by them. It seems all you have to do is wash them every couple days to keep them smelling okay. Or get the socks, which seems to be the best the option that requires the least maintenance - that might be the best thing if you've got leather shoes.

    • The reason for the one to two hour a day break in isn’t for toe feel, it’s for foot strength. Most people in western countries have been wearing modern shoes for the entirety of their adult lives. Modern shoes are stiff sensory deprevation chambers for your feet, and the stiffness and “support” does a lot of the work your foot would be doing if wasn’t in a shoe. So the reason for the break I’m period is actually to not over stress your foot as it’s getting used to really working again and building up strength.

      Part of the problem Vibram had a decade ago was that people who could handle them sang their praises, then people who couldn’t handle them would buy a pair, wear them all the time for intensive things, and then destroy their feet. You need time for your foot strength to build up before you can really get the most out of them.

      I started wearing them in 2008, and it took months before I could wear them all the time. Eventually I could do everything, including run for miles, in them. I rarely wear them anymore, but all my shoes (except my cordivan leather Aldens) are zero drop minimalist shoes. (Most are Vivobarefoot.)

      In order to stop the stench, I started wearing Injinji socks, which I still wear today with normal shoes. After a while it feels weird for your goes to be mashed together and not separated. It’s similar to the difference between gloves and mittens. And you’re right about the comments. I would get comments on my shoes every day, and on the odd day I didn’t wear them I’d get comments about not wearing them 😉