VFFs Are the Worst shoes for your feet

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Second Wind, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Second Wind

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    According to Podiatrist Dr. Hillary Brenner...

    She wrote a feature for WebMD where you lays out the "Worst Shoes for your Feet" slideshow. All of the slide show is exactly what you'd expect: spike high heels, pointy toe dress shoes, the roller 'fit' shoes, etc.

    Then, on slide 24 you have a picture of a pair of FiveFingers?

    Then it gets worse, as she attempts to describe what makes them "The Worst shoe":




    "Fitness Trends: Minimalist Shoe
    Newer additions to the shoe scene are minimalist shoes. They aim to mimic the natural feel and mechanics of walking barefoot. Brenner is not impressed. "There's no support for your heel or arch and no shock absorption," she says. In addition, in some brands, the "fingers" separate the toes, interfering with the natural walking position."

    uh... what?



    But, at least she then goes on to tell us how pick out a great shoe:

    "If you're ready to do right by your feet, Brenner offers these three tips:
    Make sure the shoe bends at the toe box, but is not too flexible.Make sure there is a sufficient arch support.Choose a chunky heel that is less than 2 inches high."[/list]


    /facepalm

    http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/slideshow-worst-shoes-for-your-feet
     
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  2. Shaun Mac

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    Im surprised she didn't

    Im surprised she didn't recommend everyone going to your local podiatrist to get fitted for a pair of $400 orthotic inserts also.
     
  3. Barefoot Gentile

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    Actually they are the worse

    Actually they are the worse shoes for your feet.

    I own two pairs, but hate running in them. I only run in them in extreme desperate measures, like snowstorms and when temps get down into the teens.
     
  4. shock.absorber

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    I'm surprised to read one

    I'm surprised to read one poster that says VFF are the worst shoes for running. Surely a conventional shoe would be much worse then a VFF.

    I can't stand VFF shoes for many reasons. I tried two styles, and ended up trading them in a timely manner. Sweet super silver haze trade. I felt bad trading them actually, but the trade was well worth it ! It's not the worst shoe, but the company/products have numerous flaws.

    The only good thing about these shoes is it showed other companies the potential for the min shoe industry. I'd suggest not wasting money on VFF. Let this trend die peacefully.
     
  5. Barefoot TJ

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    She doesn't get it, which is

    She doesn't get it, which is bad. But what is worse is she's giving out the wrong advice, and because she is who she is, people are going to buy that crap! I'd like to see some pro-barefoot/minimalist podiatrists confont these negative podiatrists face-to-face. BTW, how did that convention turn out? Anyone know or have a link?
     
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  6. jackie hayes

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    Shaun Mac, see slide

    Shaun Mac, see slide 9...



    Also note the slide about how great Skechers Shape-Ups are, right after the VFFs slide. It's pretty clear from her arguments that this is someone who would object even more strenuously to bare feet than VFFs. The more padding, the better. A different list, same doctor, same themes (though no VFFs discussion):



    http://www.oprah.com/blogs/Summer-Shoe-Threat-o-Meter



    It's still strange to me to read a doctor who believes the body is designed so badly, in such a fundamental way.
     
  7. Barefoot TJ

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    We should be wearing leg

    We should be wearing leg braces, back braces, neck braces, gloves, and helmets too! Man, we're so screwed up!
     
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  8. NickW

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    For me, VFF's are terrible

    For me, VFF's are terrible and hurt my feet. I have long fat toes for my shoe size so I have to go up at least three sizes just to get my toes in, and then they don't let my toes move properly. Injured myself in them because only half of every toe moved normal and messed up some of the joints where it was not allowing the movement. Took them back, thank you RoadRunner sports for your return poilcy(man I hate this store), and now I run mostly just barefoot, occaisionaly in my homemade huaraches.

    It's funny, I can run in almost any shoe (including huaraches) and have some sort of foot pain, but take them off mid run and within a couple minutes, that pain has gone away. Bare is the best way to go for me.
     
  9. Elvisbloom

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    They work just fine for me! I

    They work just fine for me! I wear them out pretty quickly but thats just because of mileage and the fact that the soles are so minimal. Besides TOFP, I haven't had any problems with them at all. Way better than any running shoe I ever tried. I guess different strokes for different folks. Its whats moves the world.
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

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    Same here, Nick, about being

    Same here, Nick, about being able to run better and without pain barefoot, where shoes just add pain. I always say... To run my best, I have to run barefoot!
     
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  11. NickW

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    I don't know what it is,

    I don't know what it is, exactly, even the most minimal shoes seem to cause me some pain, more often than not in the toes area and the arch. It's amazing to me how fast the pain goes away though when I take off the shoes. I think I've ticked off almost every running store here because I apparently am so picky and all the shoes seem to hurt me. There's one store that I just found near me that sells the TP Vivobarefoot Neos and those don't bother me as much, although I prefer to not run in them. Just mainly over to inlaws house and to stores as I am the weirdo for liking to be barefoot. ;-)
     
  12. Jonny00GT

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    I used them in the beginning

    I used them in the beginning when I first started to run for the sake of running, with success, to strengthen my feet, ankles, calves, etc when I couldn't go bare. If you can't go barefoot to work and they want your feet covered, they are a good alternative, IMHO. If you use them as a tool, understanding the risks and what to watch for, I don't see a problem with them.

    That being said, you are always going to have issues with ignorant poeple leaping before they look, but you can't blame the shoes for that.

    -Jonny
     
  13. Barefoot TJ

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    Although I think this thread

    Although I think this thread was mainly created to bring attention to the ignorance of this podiatrist, I think it's important to point out that Barefoot Ted (even before Born to Run was released) was instrumental in planting the idea in everyone's mind (most importantly, the shoe makers) that other solutions in footwear could be possible (first with the VFFs, then with the huaraches). Of course, Chris McDougall's highlighting them in his book put them over the top. Without those chain links, where would we be in terms of minshoes now?
     
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  14. Smelph

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    yeah no one shoe works for

    yeah no one shoe works for everyone. Some will have a great time in VFFs while others will curse Vibram and the grandchildren of everyone who works there.

    Anyway, podiatrists damning minimal shoes are a dime a dozen. These are people who make money off orthotics and the injuries that "normal" shoes contribute to (please note that I didn't use the word "cause"), so if they can keep the misinformation flowing from "credible" sources to keep the gravy train rolling, they will.

    Seems liek every time there is a news piece on BFR they set up the two sides a bit lopsided: the pro-BF person is usually just a runner and the anti-BF person is usually a podiatrist with some credentials on the wall... who is joe blow going to believe? Some guy or some guy with a 'spensive educationin'?

    sorry... got a little conspiracy theory-y there....
     
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  15. Barefoot TJ

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    I will say it.  Traditional

    I will say it. Traditional shoes cause injuries. I have Morton's Neuroma directly caused by the types of shoes I used to wear.
     
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  16. Dirtbag

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    I dig my VFFs. Fixed my knee

    I dig my VFFs. Fixed my knee issues and made running fun again (for the first time). I'm kind of a Vibram whore now, actually. I've got a pair for running, Bikilas, a pair for teaching, KSOs, and a pair for hiking, TrekSports. And yes, the kids trip out on the toe shoes at the begining, but now they are cool with them. Even have one kid, fourth grade, who wears his own pair of KSOs to school 2-3 times a week.
     

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  17. swedishpimple

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    One of my first stops when I

    One of my first stops when I decided to take up BF running last year was the shoe store. It seems odd to me now... knowing what I know.

    I often wonder what would have happened if I had been able to fit my feet into VFF's. Would I have ever tried true BF running? Would I have gone out and found online forums and sources for learning how to run sans shoes? Would I even know about BRS?

    Having never worn them... I don't know if VFF's are bad. I'm just glad... that in my case.... they aren't for everyone.

    S. Pimp.
     

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  18. Suzanneingod

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    I love my VFF's. I am a

    I love my VFF's. I am a barefoot runner on the treadmill but to much of a whimp to go outside and run barefoot so for that I use my VFF's. I tried running in New Balance and had horrible shin, knee and foot pain. Switched to the VFF's and have had no issues at all. Same thing happened to my husband. Here's a prime example of their goodness. I was in high heels all day long and in so much pain but still had a ton of walking to do that evening. I slipped on the Vibrams and immediately the pain went away. It felt like I had new feet. I was able to walk the rest of the evening without discomfort or pain and my feet weren't sore the next day. I understand that their not for everyone but for me they work.



    And for what it's worth...I don't listen to "traditional doctors" anyway.
     
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  19. swedishpimple

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    I just re-read my post and it

    I just re-read my post and it sounded a little like I'm a BF snob. I'm not. I have nothing against minimal shoes including VFF's... heck when it comes down to it I don't even have a problem with "normal" running shoes. I'm a fan of the thinking that shoes are tools.

    What I was trying to say in my earlier post was that I'm happy about where my barefeet have taken me because they led me here. Had my first trip to the shoe store put me in those "toe shoes" I heard so much about ... it may very well been a different path for me.

    Thx.

    S. Pimp.
     

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  20. Barefoot TJ

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    Hey, Poff.  It's okay to

    Hey, Poff. It's okay to quote other people, but please don't add words to the actual quote. Can you correct that for me please? Thanks.
     
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