I was running on a narrow trail and caught my little toe on a protruding ledge of rock. Felt like I nearly ripped it off, making them, well "Vibram Four Fingers." At first, I thought it was broken, but it's healing more quickly than that.
It's a dangerous fad, these "barefoot" shoes. Mankind developed actual decent walking shoes and boots for just such occasions. If you'd hit that outcropping with a nice pair of ASOLO's or something comparable, your toe would be in great shape.
You might want to wear the ToeSox along with the vibrams. This helped my case where I needed a bit more padding and a little bit more structural support. It's not much but it made a big diference. This hits close to home for me. Speedy recovery +Tim O'Reilly !
+Tim O'Reilly Oh, I'll keep you in there. I'm just providing contrast to all the other replies on this thread. It's very interesting to watch, psychologically. It actually helps me to see who isn't worth circling.
Would that have happened if you were barefoot? It seems that those shoes make people feel safe enough that they don't look down while they walk. I don't run, but I have hiked barefoot and believe me, you walk with your eyes glued to the ground (or at least continuously scanning it like a nervous pilot does to his gauges.
Seems more like an argument for being more careful when running on a narrow trail. I'm not a runner, but I do have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers that I walk in, and while they do provide some protection in the sole from things like pebbles and other stuff that would hurt your bare feet, it was very clear to me that they wouldn't provide much protection beyond that. Even though mine are technically a "trail" model, there's no way I would even consider wearing them in an even remotely hazardous environment.
Plus one to +Wolfgang Rupprecht. I use these and while getting a rock or pine cone under the arch can be painful, you just need to re-learn to look where you put your feet.
Are people really arguing that shoes are some kind of evolutionary step, rather than a commercial product? Are people born with shoes? Do pediatricians now encourage kids learn to walk in shoes vs barefoot? Evidently some aren't aware of how much feet and shoes can vary and how much damage you can do with improperly fitting shoes?
I do understand your thinking... But if something looks broken it does look different besides that relax if the toe is in the same position as before and only hurts take it easy it will be gone within a few days... Normally it is just a bruise and nothing to worry...
Hmm, on this side of the pond probably everyone who did any hiking knows that brand. Italian rubber makers, specializing in mixtures for hiking boot/shoe soles. Famous enough that any pair of sturdy boots with threaded soles becomes 'vibrams' for my parents (and probably more than a few millions of other people).
I love it when "professionals" tell us who they work for and what company they represent publicly and then proceed to make a fool of themselves on the internet. It is a warning label I wish more businesses came with.
Always appreciate your posts Tim. Hope your foot heals quickly. I had a toe injury once and was surprised to realize how often that little bugger gets used! You notice in hurry when it hurts every time it moves.
bruised? when something like that happened to me before, i just let it be, i made sure it's always dry and i massaged it lightly with some lotion. For a couple of weeks i wore japanese slippers :p I patiently waited for it to heal by itself but i always make sure it is always clean and dry.
To all those who took my post seriously as a criticism of Vibram Five Fingers - please do consider trying them. I like them a lot. I will say, however, that used without socks, I get nasty blisters on the side of my foot. And that's a bigger problem than an occasional problem like this.
That being said, I am considering trying Terra Plana or another barefoot shoe that doesn't leave the toes quite so vulnerable.
This was something of a freak accident, as I was hurrying to catch some people and not paying as much attention as I should.
I also didn't expect the rocky edge, since the trail was mostly sand.
Merrell Barefoot shoes are much healthier for your feet and provide the same benefits as true barefoot running. Vibram ignore the different shapes of people's feet when designing their shoes. Still use them for surfing but never for running.
I have just started running with my five fingers; from my limited reading I understand that this type of injury is not that uncommon, but it sounds like it wasn't a deal breaker for you. I do wonder if Fila's (patent infringing?) four-toed design would alleviate the occurrence of those types of injuries.
I personally know two people who used to run with their Vibram 5-Fingers and who subsequently received toe fractures. They weren't positive that the Vibrams were the cause, but it was the common thread.
I purchased a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, but I will not be running in them. They are intended for camp shoes on long distance self supported bicycle tours. The standard sandals I have been using are much bulkier and heavier. My main concern prior to actually reaching camping weather and using them is - will I be able to get them on in a dark tent to make a restroom trip?
+Dave Sill , not so. I too have a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers, but I also bemoan the sillyness of the pocket for my little toe.. they should have merged the last two little toes IMO.
However, there are many "nearly barefoot" variants out there, of which Merrell's version that actually have Vibram soles are my current favorite. I don't particularly like the "toes" in the shoe personally, but the barefoot (thin soles) is what I'm after.
Yeah - I recently broke my little toe with an audible snap - wow! The pain... the endocannabinoid buzz! - I wasn't wearing my five fingers at the time, I was au naturale... But I use my Five Fingers a lot for casual walking around Hong Kong - and the stares I get! One woman literally jumped in fright!
But I find Five Fingers essential for my feet to recover from all the walking I do in shoes - bare feet around the house only goes so far... I need to walk / run in bare feet or five fingers to keep my feet healthy and pain free.
I have been thinking about trying those. +Tim O'Reilly would you say it wouldn't be as bad if you were barefooted? What I mean is - do they actually increase risk of such injuries (and make them more serious) when compared to bare feet?
I've worn Five Fingers every day for at least a year, injury free. I doubt the claim that you're any more prone to injury than you would be wearing regular shoes. An anecdote or two doesn't come anywhere close to evidence.
+Chris Robinson I definitely would not have injured my toe if it wasn't for the VFF's - I simply would have given up running a long time ago. So yeah - I blame the Vibrams (along with the endorphin induced slumber I was in at 7km into the run).