My FiveFingers

A fan site all about Minimalist Running, Barefoot running, and Healthy Living!

Join the Community


Why Do I Wear FiveFingers?

by Brian Patterson » on Jul 14, 2011 4

We’ve created this post so that when someone asks you “why do you wear those weird toe shoes?”, you have a place to send them.

1.  25% of a Human’s bones are in the foot.  It is a marvel of design and engineering.

2.  The foot sends an enormous amount of data to the brain, including terrain & temperature signals.  Should I muffle this transmission with a bunch of material like this?

3.  The toes of the feet naturally splay out.  Regular shoes scrunch them together. Why would I want to bind my own feet?

Photo from a study published in the American Journal of Orthopedic Surgery, which examined the feet of native barefoot populations in the Philippines and Central Africa. Notice how the toes spread out naturally.

Another photo from the study showing how feet are scrunched and conform to the shape of the shoes worn.

4.  When running, our body wants us to strike with our midfoot so that the foot’s natural shock absorbers take the brunt.  Regular shoes pad up the heel so that we hit heel first, meaning our legs, knees and hips absorb the blow. Why would I want extra injuries from this unnatural motion?

(Don’t believe us?  Take a look at this Harvard Professor’s study titled, “Biomechanics of Foot Strikes & Applications to Running Barefoot or in Minimal Footwear”.)

The runner in front is striking with his mid-foot; notice how his form is naturally upright? The runner in back is heel-striking, which forces you to hunch over.

5.  Because I want the natural design of my feet to do their job.  Because I want my brain to receive as many of the signals my feet send to it as possible.  Because I want my toes to be where they want to be.  Because I want to run naturally and with less injury.  Because all of this…

I wear shoes like these.

Like this? Click This:

Submitted Comments

  1. shaffer says:

    i love providing nay-sayers with the science, but i usually go with 6. “um, because they’re awesome. shut up. have a nice day.”

  2. Jackie says:

    I live in the Dominican Republic and the people here think VFFs are the coolest thing ever. So far I haven’t seen any Dominicans (or anyone else for that matter) wearing them here, but I get compliments all the time on how cool (and cute!) they are. So far, not one negative comment, and about 50 request for me to bring more back the next time I am in the States!

  3. Rob says:

    This is going to sound like I am boasting, but I let my level of fitness explain why I wear VFF. Although my favourite reason is #5. Just the fact bare feet have covered the globe well before running shoes were invented is more than enough reason for me to wear them.
    I actually think my feet have been slowly getting wider since I have started wearing VFF 3 years ago. My boots are feeling tighter now and I have to loosen them halfway through the day. I may be going to get the boots exchanged for a wider pair to see if that helps. Now if I could only wear VFF in uniform…

  4. Russ G. says:

    I like wearing my VFF’s because they’re so comfortable. I haven’t worked up to running in them yet, but they’re perfectly fine for casual wear. Last fall I bought the Trek LS in both black & whiskey crazyhorse leather they’re they go great w/ jeans. Oh yeah, they’re also a GREAT conversation piece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.