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Living in a Fashion Holding Pattern

by Daniel Dessinger » on Mar 24, 2010 7

If you have a pair of the new KSO Treks, this may not apply to you. I hope to get a pair of those someday. I’ve been wearing the Classics and Sprints since August 2009. And for now, I’m “like completely over” the design of standard Vibram Fivefingers. They’re fine for sports. But I wear mine to work, to church, to restaurants, to everything. I wear them because they’re comfortable… NOT because I think they look good.

Granted, I only think about it for a few seconds a day, but for those few seconds, I am embarrassed by how unprofessional I look to those who assume competence can be discerned by professional appearance. Because honestly, I fail that test hardcore.

Taking a Stand

I refused to buy new clothes until I lost weight. That was a year ago. Do the math. I’ve looked the same for a long time. In a poverty stricken nation, that’s no big deal. But in the corporate world where I meet with clients and prospects on a regular basis, it’s not so hot. Still, I’m committed. I’m not going to buy a ton of clothes and either get comfortable at this weight or lose weight and have wasted my money on clothes that don’t fit. So I’m in a fashion holding pattern.

I guess in a way it’s good that people stare at my shoes. It probably distracts them from the fact that I wear the same clothes so often. This one butch guy at work always chuckles (no, he actually giggles) when he sees my shoes. Every single time. He never said anything to me directly, though. Probably a good thing. Well, he was fired this week. In a totally unrelated circumstance, of course. It’s not like there’s a penalty for not liking my shoes (or is there?).

Need Your Feedback

What about you? How long have you worn your VFFs? Do you wear them every day? Do you ever feel embarrassed or inappropriately casual? Or is it just me?

Submitted Comments

  1. Charles Martin says:

    I was at REI last night and another guy checking out was just purchasing a pair of VFFs (I still haven't worked them into my budget yet). He wanted a particular color and was told that it would not be available until July. The cashier informed us that they are actually selling faster than they can make them, so limited choices will be the standard for a while until they can catch up.

  2. Yeah, I know they're selling like hotcakes, Charles. That doesn't surprise
    me. I'm also not their average customer, I bet. Most people probably wear
    them specifically for exercise, so they won't face the same dilemmas I face.

    I really am curious how many people wear their VFFs all day to work and
    such. I'm curious to know if they get tired of the limiting fashion options.

  3. 1_Amy_Stewart_1 says:

    Huge VFF convert here, also from the Dallas area. Glad to have found your blog! I wear my KSOs to the gym twice a week, and I run outdoors in them a few times a week (3-5 miles at a time). It was excruciating on my calves at first, but I seem to have adjusted and now have no pain at all.

    I actually wore my KSOs to the Meyerson, to the horror of my friends. I've worn them to restaurants, movies, wine bars. I would wear mine literally everywhere if I could get away with it. Being female, it's even more of an anti-fashion statement. But I find myself totally intolerant of regular shoes now, and my heeled shoes are gathering dust. My alternatives are Nike Free 5.0s (my former running shoe), Chuck Taylor's, and Simple Shoes (with a Nike Free insole to replace the crappy one that comes with the Simple shoes).

    FYI, They also carry VFFs at Whole Earth Provision Co. in Dallas (Mockingbird and 75, next door to Luke's Locker). But like everywhere, they are often out of sizes and styles. I bought a pair for my grown son there (size 14) last week, and even managed to get my bunioned, flat-footed 67-yr-old mother to try some on yesterday. She agreed they were more comfortable than anything she's ever put on, but told me that she would never, ever wear them because of the weirdness factor.

  4. “But I find myself totally intolerant of regular shoes now, and my heeled shoes are gathering dust.”

    I hear you, Amy. Every time it rains and I have to wear “normal” shoes, my feet and knees ache before day's end. It's no way to live.

    Thanks for letting me know about Whole Earth Provision Company. I'm going to create a page on this site for DFW locations and this will now be on the list!

  5. I wear VFFs EVERYWHERE. I commute to NYC everyday from the burbs. So I have them on while on the bus and subway. The subway is the best. Everyone looks at the floor in order to avoid eye contact, so the ALL see my feet. I'm working on a “hidden” camera so I can capture video of the reactions. It's so funny.

    I am SO over caring what people think. It's their loss for not being interested or laughing at them. I know I am doing something healthy for my body, and enjoying the great feeling of the ground everywhere I go.

    I just bought my third pair of KSOs. I have a black pair I wear to work and on weekends when I'm out of the house. A second pair is grey which I've been running in for about 9 months. They are on their last legs (pardon the pun) so I bought another pair (also grey) because racing season is coming and I need to break in a new pair and not get caught without a functioning pair.

    I think I've only worn regular shoes about 6 times this calendar year, only when there are important business meetings or when the weather was really bad and I didn't want to get my feet wet. If I could get away with it I would never wear conventional shoes again, ever.

  6. I find it interesting, Bob, that you wear dedicated VFFs for exercise vs daily life. Do your workout shoes get too dirty? Just wondering about your reasoning.

  7. Daniel,

    Here was my reasoning, for what its worth. I bought a grey pair for running and got a size based on not wearing socks. I ran in that pair in the Autumn last year. When it started to get colder I wanted a pair that I could fit Injinji socks under. So I bought the black pair. But at about the same time my employer changed the dress code such that I could wear VFFs to work. The black ones were in good shape and black goes with almost all of my work clothes (green and grey sorta didn't) so I just dedicated them to work. They have stayed really clean because I don't run in them.

    Then I discovered a thinner toe sock that would fit under the grey pair. So I made it through the Winter that way, with dedicate pairs for work and running.

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