My FiveFingers

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Do You Wear FiveFingers at Work?

by Brian Patterson » on Feb 14, 2011 45

Are you one of the lucky ones who are able to wear FiveFingers to work on a daily basis? That is the question we recently posed to our Twitter Followers (you can follow us on Twitter: @myfivefingers). We also asked them to send us a note or snap a pic of their FiveFinger experience at work. This is what we received:

B. Cogswell wrote us saying:

I have been known to wear my 5 fingers to work (but as an attorney I can’t wear them on days i have court – when will be able to buy a “dress” pair?).  But, I did just get back from Jamaica where we hiked trails over razor rock and then went up Dunn’s Rivers falls. The 5 fingers were the best shoe i could have hoped for – everyone else either had shoes that worked well for the trail or for the waterfall but not both. I was already a believer in these shoes but that trip made the people I was with believers.

B. Shields sent us the pic below, saying “Me in my Bikilas at work!”:

@brianspatterson Tweeted us saying that he works from home with Online Trading Academy and wears his FiveFingers.  He sent this pic:


H. Rudiger emailed us and said “In the School Library!” with this pic:

vibram-fivefingers-at-school-libraryDana P., a PE Teacher, sent us this pic with a note that “her kids love the shoes”:


Z Powell says “Worn them every day for the past year” and snapped this pic:


In one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time, high school English teacher @rustypants submitted the following two pictures. The tweet with this one was:  “In my dreams recently, I’m assigning the students in my English classes the above essay. Strange.”

wearing five fingers at school as a teacher

Great assignment! Write a persuasive essay on why everyone should wear Vibram FiveFingers.

The tweet with this one was, “My students have been asking me all week, “Are we having a class Christmas party Friday?” My response:”

A Classroom Christmas Party? Hah! Get to work punks!

@theyurtingyeti tweeted us this picture, saying “here’s the pic of me “kicking back” at work. I work in a lab/cube setting but since nothing is heavy duty I can get away with VFFs all day every day :)”:

wearing Vibram Five Fingers at work

@dbuckham tweeted, “I preach in mine…even wore my kso treks with a suit (dont wear suits that often) !”

@ljredeye sent us the tweet, “I wear mine during cleaning days and/or slow days at the family b&b in Big Bear. LOVE THEM!!!” and included this pic:

cleaning in 5 Fingers

Kristen, and English Professor, commented below and then sent us this photo. Nice Reservoir Dogs poster in the background!

Jamie emailed us to say that, “I’m a comfortable animator, keeping warm at work during February in Minneapolis. I’ve got a pair of Treks, and Injinji’s to keep my feet warm. Snow and Ice are not as slippery as used to be! Everyone in the studio gets a kick out of them, and the elevator chat is entertaining to say the least!” He included the pic below to show just how comfortable he really is!

Kent sent in the following picture, saying, “Notice my huaraches by my computer? :)  There are at least 5-6 (including my team lead) other people in my office of about 200 who also wear their VFFs to work :)  ”

Chris Says, “Wear mine every day!  Switch between the bikila ls and kso trek” and sent this pic:

We recieved this pic from Dan at  Dan said, “I try to wear to them to work once a week.  People always ask what they are or how I like them!”

Bradley says, “Shoes at a School Library”:

Jay says, “I own and teach at Texas Boot Camp Fitness in San Antonio, so being the owner and head trainer, I get to wear my choice of Vibrams daily!”.  He sent in this pic:

Andrew wrote in saying, “wear VFFs every day to work. Wearing my Speeds in the picture, I also am known to frequent work with KSO Treks, and KSO Originals.”

William K. wrote in, “Been wearing these Trek Sports for the last 4 casual Fridays to my job at a Big 4 accounting firm.  Today my manager finally noticed and exclaimed “What the hell are those!?  They let you wear those??”  Ha!  And I thought it was HIS job to say “NO.”  Dress code challenged:  Me: 1, Them: 0″.  Pic below:

Thanks to everyone who submitted their pics and stories thus far.  So now its your turn!  Are you able to wear FiveFingers at work?  Why or why not?  Let us know in the comments below!  And feel free to send us a pic:

Submitted Comments

  1. rustypants says:

    While I certainly appreciate the love, the English teacher / grammarian in me needs to point out: I’m a high school English teacher, not an English high school teacher. I was gonna leave it alone, but it would have gnawed at my brain in the middle of the night. :-)

  2. Brian says:

    Of course I would mess up the title of an English teacher :-) Its fixed

  3. Kristen says:

    I’m a college English professor, and I bought a pair of Performa Janes to teach in and am completing my fourth week of wearing them every day to work. I’m not sure my department head has noticed yet, but my students have been super entertained by them (I catch them staring at my feet during class sometimes) and several of my colleagues have chuckled about them and asked about them. One wants a pair of the pink ones for herself.

    (Since I have been getting away with wearing them to work, I’m likewise up to four weeks of either VFFs, flip flops, or no shoes at all, minus about seven hours a few weeks ago while helping paint a house. My feet are very happy right now!)

  4. Patrick says:

    I like it that many of the photos are of people with their feet up. Is it the shoes?

  5. Brian says:

    I think it is the shoes! If you work in a cool enough environment that you can wear FiveFingers, I’m guessing its ok to throw your feet up on your desk….at least for a pic.

  6. Bailey says:

    I wish I could wear Vibrams to school, but I work at a retail store. So I need to have shoes that can protect my feet. Any ideas on how I can loophole my way into wearing Vibrams at work?

  7. Bailey says:

    i mean work… sorry

  8. Jeff says:

    I’m one of the unfortunate ones that can’t wear Five Fingers at work. I have to wear dress shoes. I tried Earth shoes, but the arch supports just killed me. Anyone have any suggestions for flexible men’s dress shoes that don’t have high heels and arch support?

  9. rustypants says:

    Jeff – check out some of Birkenstock’s dress shoes – before going to VFF’s full time, those were all I wore in situations that called for dress shoes. No high heels, minimal arch support in some models (and crazy high arch support in others – check into various ones before giving up on them).

    They’re a bit expensive, but comfy and last a long time.

  10. jamie g says:

    I am a chef who works 16 hour shifts most days, ive been looking at VFF’s for a long time and was hesitant to buy them for work. Does anyone know if they are slip resistant and does anyone know of a chef who wears these??

  11. Jeff says:

    Thanks, I’ll take a look at them. Last time I checked, though, they really weren’t “dressy” enough for my work.

  12. Zachtlopertje says:

    I injured a tendon in my foot and can’t wear any normal shoes. Because they give pressure on the tendon. I only wear VFF’s. Anytime, anywhere and I love it!

  13. I wore my KSOs from the day I bought them until the day I had back surgery. Couldn’t bend to put them on for the last 5 months. Started wearing them again a couple weeks ago. People at work are entertained by them and I just say “they are for my back” no one questions me on it :). But I’m super bummed today I noticed the fabric between my big toe and second toe or the one that stayed home and the one that went to market has worn a hole. Probably 2.5 months of constant office wear hope the next pair lasts longer.

  14. Dillon Schubert says:

    i’ve seen a site where a man was not allowed to use his VFF’s at the local gym, but after writing an extensive email to the manager about the protection differences of the VFF’s and regular running shoes, they got un- banned. here is the link:

  15. miranda says:

    My husband just returned home from a deployment in Iraq and one of our first stops was to get his VFF. He loves them and has commented on how much better he feels that he can walk and such! His unit has actually just approved them as acceptable footwear for the guys during PT! Jason is thrilled! We both have a pair and im trying like crazy to find some for our kids!

  16. Dan says:

    Send MFF or post on their Facebook Wall, a picture of the whole family when you all get a pair! Awesome that he gets to wear them for PT!

  17. Brad says:

    OK, I was “talked” to for my inappropriate footwear. My feet are killing me.

    I work in a law enforcement training environment where even physical training managers seem so locked into the box that they will not allow me to wear my KSOs in the mat room. I have even been banned from wearing them in the office under threat of receiving a written reprimand for insubordination.

    Again, my feet are killing me, my back, my knees and ankles. HELP ME! I have been told, that without a doctor’s note I will not be able to wear them to work.

  18. Kristen says:

    I would look into getting a doctor’s note, then. I know I’ve been worried that someone in charge would get onto me about wearing mine, but I have a friend at church who is a physical therapy nurse (or something like that) who has seen my feet pre-VFF when I had strained my posterial tibial tendon (she said, “You know you have fallen arches, right?” and I was like “This is how my feet always look.”). She’s kept up with me and my foot improvement since then (I’ve started to develop an arch, which I’ve never had before!), and told me to just ask her if I ever need a note to justify wearing them at work.

    I would imagine that if you went and talked to a doctor about your situation, they’d probably write you a note.

  19. onitsukabyasics says:

    yeah,i think i have to go for now and pick up a vibram fivefingers,so i can wear it at work,ha

  20. Attila says:

    I serve on a submarine… i tried wearing my first pair (brown KSOs) one day while we were underway but the COB (chief of the boat) wouldn’t have any of it. he said, “change them because i said so!” (btw, i thoroughly enjoy seeing such exemplary leadership skills…) i wore them for about half a day on a submarine. :-)
    When i first purchased VFFs back in march 09, i took them to PT first thing. No problems or complaints from the higher ranking ones… strange i thought, but good.
    ever since, i have converted nearly 10 other submariners to wear them. about 5 of us wore ours for our semiannual PRT. 4 of us managed to run the 1.5 mile in <9 minutes wearing VFFs (trksprt for me, trek and bikila for the two others). thats stellar by PRT standards! im really proud to say i have helped bring some health and happiness to some of the guys!

  21. Jackie says:

    I work from home, so I’m barefoot most of the day as it is.

    I used to work doing video relay interpreting for the deaf, and although there is a strict dress code, what mattered most was from the waist up, so I imagine if I went back to doing that I could get away with wearing VFFs to work.

    What do you guys think is the best model for casual, everyday wear? I own a pair of Bikilas I got solely for the purpose of running, but I love them so much I want another pair with a little less structure for everything else!

  22. Melanie says:

    We are allowed to wear them in our outpatient clinic at school, but are not allowed to wear them in student clinic. It’s funny because we look professional in our VFFs, and are promoting talking to our patients about proper gait and posture, etc. when they ask about them. However, in student clinic we are dealing with friends, family, and other students yet the head of that clinic says they are “unprofessional.” I wear my black performa jane’s in clinic and the tan jaylas. Also the black KSOs in winter, and use injinjis. Better balance and proprioception for adjusting patients. Most people don’t even notice, but they are FABULOUS! I’ll have to post a pic eventually.

  23. Phil says:

    I wear my black KSOs with a pair of DIY dress toe socks with my suit and tie to the office for a month now… one has noticed yet

  24. Jeremy says:

    As wonderful as your situation may be, most people may be hard pressed searching for a doctor to write a note for VFFs. I came across this thread searching for doctors notes and vibrams.

    I have spent the last 2 days arguing with doctors in order to get a note for my 6 year old son to wear his Kids KSOs to school. After the pediatrician refused to take any stance (citing no actual medical problems and not knowing enough about them) I started calling podiatrists. The problem with this is that most podiatrists are orthotic pushers (probably big money in it). I had one office tell me that the Dr. researched VFFs in order to respond and decided that evidence shows they are likely to cause injury and future problems. My high instep and moderate arch that were found by barefoot running after 26 years being flat footed would tend to disagree with him. ;)

    I thought everybody knew by now that kids need tactile feedback for foot development, but apparently I was wrong.

  25. Sarah says:

    I work for an inventory company, and the shoes that they offered were killing my back. I’d been eyeballing the Classics for some time anyway, so I jumped in a bought a pair. I wore them to work right off the bat, which probably wasn’t too bright. I’m finishing my second week with my Classics, and they get more comfortable every day.

    Incidentally, none of the supervisors at work have said anything about my shoes. I did get asked by a co-worker where my shoes were. On my feet, of course! :-D Oh, and the back pain–and need for chiropractic adjustments–have gone away.

  26. Jessica says:

    I’m a massage therapist and I wear my black KSO Treks to work. In fact, I purchased this model specifically for work. As long as they’re not shouting for attention like my Sprints did, they’re acceptable. As a bonus, they’re a nice little conversation piece when the clients notice them. They seem to tell everyone, “Here stands a human.”

  27. Ian says:

    I wear my vff’s for the commute to work, but as I work the night shift at a ‘hip’ internet company I take my shoes off as soon as I get to work every night. I bring a pair of flip flops with me for visits to the bathroom, but the rest of the time I am barefoot. I did try with vff’s initially but they were just too hot to wear inside. Everyone else I work with is used to it by now, and 4/5 now kick their shoes off too, though they haven’t got as far as ditching the socks yet!

  28. Michael G says:

    I’ve been wearing my TrekSports to work nearly every day for the past four months now. Currently, I work in a grocery store doing anything and everything there is to do. In the beginning, the manager of the store wasn’t convinced it was a good idea to allow me to wear them (in fact there are four others who work there and wear vff’s). After explaining the basics of what they are and what they do, and telling him I would accept full responsibility in the event of a foot related injury, the manager reluctantly allowed the others and I to wear them. I constantly get questions from customers, usually the same ones everyone else gets. The most frequently asked question, however, is ‘Where did you get those?’ All I can say is from the vibram five fingers website. On another note, before I began wearing vff’s, I did not have an arch. Now, I do.

  29. Hay.
    Am an osteopath in London and always wear my five fingers. Love working in them as I feel more connected with my patient enabling me to treat more effectively. thanks for a great product!

  30. Edward Morris says:

    I am a middle school math teacher in lower Alabama, and have found the Bikala LS to be extremely comfortable and thus alleviating much of the distress and pain that I get from wearing specialty diabetic shoes and orthotics. I am 5’8″, and 220 lbs., which is quite hefty. My principal says that the teaching profession models for students what is proper and conventional for work attire, and the VFF are not suitable to wear to school. I don’t want to cause a rift nor buck my school or the school system, but if I can experience comfort and better mobility with the VFF, shouldn’t I be allowed to wear them to school? Do I need to convince my podiatrist that these are awesome, and try to get him to write a script for me to wear them per “medical treatment?’

    How do I proceed with this issue in a way that preserves my good relationship w/ my school/principal, while asserting my needs for foot comfort and mobility?

  31. Kristen M says:

    Greetings from east-central Alabama. :) I would try the podiatrist first and see if you can get a medical excuse of sorts for them. To me that would be the most objective way to approach it; you aren’t whining or being stubborn, there is a medical reason for you wearing them. I would have a hard time imagining your superiors taking you asserting a medical need as a personal affront. If that doesn’t work, maybe consider finding something more shoe-looking but still barefoot/minimalist like the Merrell barefoot shoes. (I haven’t tried these yet but am about to just because I wear through the sole of each pair of Vibram Performa Janes in less than a year and that’s getting expensive to keep up with.) I have my suspicions about them really feeling as barefoot as VFFs, but I’d guess they are much better than going back to “real” shoes.

  32. Brian Patterson says:

    Hi Edward, trying to get a script from your podiatrist sounds like a good solution, but if he won’t budget, I think this podiatrist may we willing to provide some advice:

    You might also look at some other minimalist shoe options that are available. Merrell makes a casual brown shoe that would work in most environments. If you need to go more dressy, the Primal Professionals are an option:

    Please keep us posted on how it goes, and good luck!

  33. Dan says:

    I am also a chef and am wearing vff’s. Dangers include dropping a knife of a prep table, pan of scalding stock, slipping, etc. Seems worth it for the way my feet feel.

  34. larissa says:

    I live in oregon and am a bartender at a local grill.. I want to wear mine at work but am not sure if our health code allows it?

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  39. Pat V says:

    Check out VivoBarefoot, in particular the Lisbon Mens. It’s quite pricey but worth checking out as it fits your description exactly.

  40. RMILLS says:

    Dan from has hot feet and ankles!

  41. D says:

    I wear mine almost every day! I’ve been wearing them since 2011! I had back surgery in 2012 and when I woke up, my left leg and foot were numb. These shoes help me balance and I don’t know if I could go back to wearing normal shoes again! Please make a “work appropriate/business casual” equivalent!

  42. Melanie says:

    I work at a restaurant as a busser and the one time I wore them to work, I slipped on a spilled cup of water on a hard floor. The manager says I need to have proof that they are slip resistant to wear them to work. I got the vibram spyridons. Does anyone know what I can do?

  43. Michael says:

    If it is a flat hard surface without any bumps, usually you get vibrams with greater contact to the floor like a SeeYa. Make sure that they have a lace or strap system and not the ones like El-X since you’ll have higher locking position.

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