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An argument against Vibram Five Fingers

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.
Khanh Dang's profile photoSterling Udell's profile photoCharbel Aouad's profile photoMichael Smith's profile photo
Ouch. I did something similar a few years ago. Turned out it was just sprained.
I hope it heal so much. take pain tablet
I hope the shoe itself wasn't too damaged either :-) luv those 5 fingers but indeed prefer them post-run mostly
That looks pretty red, possibly due to bruising. Did you get it checked out?
Ouch... I have been going totally shoe less lately. Yesterdays run was the first time I have had issues with blisters. I hope that toe heals up well.
Looks like the force that your pinky hit the rock caused a scrape ~ burn instead of a break!! LUCKY!!
Yeah, that's my biggest fear about those things, made totally real. Forget that, I need a toe shield.
And this is what happens when you try to do the "new hip" thing...
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 !
For crying out loud, get some content in your posts, O'Reilly.
And no, that's not worth a day off!
Now there's a sight to open a browser to. Bam!
I always thought that "five finger" concept was strange. I want my shoes to protect my feet.
+David Crosswell Mostly I publish work-related stuff, but hey, I was just on vacation. If you don't like the mix, no need to keep me in your circles.
Ouch! Besides of accidents like these, are five fingers worth a try? I am thinking about getting some since a while now, but couldn't quite get there to buy em.
+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.
My wife is just as clumsy without VFF shoes. You can't blame the shoes.
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.
Ouch. That doesn't look good. :-(
I don't know what you guys be talking about, but I'm kinda considered that he has no pinky nail on his pinky toe.
Running barefoot or in soft shoes on rocks... and you run a publishing empire. :p
Ouch! Thanks for convincing me to stay with my shoes! :-/
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.
Take care of your pinky toe!
I don't see this as an argument against #VibramFiveFingers. More like an argument against stubbing your toe.

Vibram Five Fingers = exceedingly cool. Stubbing your toe ≠ cool in any way.
+David Crosswell "I'm just providing contrast to all the other replies on this thread."

The phrase you're looking for is pathological narcissist. I suspect you've heard it before.
No, i wasn't looking for it and still aren't.
Interesting contribution.
Mirror image?
Freudian Transference?
Imo it looks like a bruise... Nothing to worry... But what is Vibram? When searching the web I only get copyrighted/trade marked web sites...
+David Crosswell I'm sorry, did you actually just write, "I know you are, but what am I?" Hahaha, thank you, I needed that. :-)
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? 
At first, I thought it was broken

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...
"What is Vibram?"

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).

(And ouch for the toe.)
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.
frotate con aloe vera natural, alivia bastante y cura, saludos
Argh...I have an adventure race coming up and I was going to do the trail running in my Five I'm reconsidering.
At least I have less twisted ankles!! I will keep on using mine, I have far less injuries in general ...
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.
some of us cannot wear them due to webbed toes.
I run in them every day. Cannot run in sneakers anymore! Love Vibrams :D
David L
Tape it to the toe next to it and it should heal quicker, just not too tightly. You sure did a number on it...
+Caleb Cushing And for others of us, our opposable foot-thumbs get in the way. But they're useful for swinging from trees.
ow! i did something very similar a couple of nights ago on the way into the shower. very pretty shade of purple, it was! much better now. hope yours is too, very soon! cheers!
I find these shoes fantastic to train in but would not recommend running in them in non-controlled environments.
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.
eh... lovely imagery to share. charm.
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?
Ouch ... Did exactly that at the start of the year. Transact patches, ice packs and heat packs.
thinks that it may be better to trade them in for a pair of bare feet !
+Tim O'Reilly you should try Arnica (natural, topical ointment) you'll be amazed at the results!
Well, I guess the vibrams would let you tape it to it's neighbor and run that way ;)

I opted out of the vibrams 3 weeks ago out of concern that I might damage my pinky I broke and dislocated last year...
Ouch. The downside to "nearly barefoot".
it was "bed descending while half-asleep" accident, nothing heroic :)
+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.

+Tim O'Reilly , See:
Actually these Merrell Barefoot (trail glove?) that I got was so great that I bought a pair of more work-like versions of them as well. It's all I wear now.

I highly recommend them.
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 am still on one-finger Nike. So, looking at the picture, I can sense your pain but I am sure I don't feel it. I like to be slightly behind the trends, and sometimes it pays off.

Oh, forgot to mention I do not jog either.
I believe it was that little piggy who first said "UNITED WE STAND."
You should rub it with chinese "Small no be sick"
You have long tootsies, just like me. I was wondering if someone with long toes could wear VFFs. You just answered that question.
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).
I just forwarded this gruesome picture to a friend of mine who just started running with the VFF's too. He'll think twice now!
Take care Tim!
Eddie N
You just visualized what had always been my (I thought) irrational fear of what would happen were I to try those. Ouch.

Heal up fast, Tim!
This is the risk of borefoot running but I like my VFF man
Hope the toe healed up good.  Did you see they were on sale?
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