Earlier today Sweet Baboo and I hopped into the car and headed up to Santa Fe to a store called, "On Your Feet" where they had Vibram Five-fingers in stock.
Sweet Baboo voice who suggested that perhaps it was unseemly for a civilized, educated woman to consantly be picking thorns and briars out of her blackened feet. I relented--to him, and to the thorny, sandy, gravelly terrain, and stopped going barefoot.
What I did instead was to wear socks everywhere. Not everywhere, I mean. but around the house, for just running out and getting the mail, or into the garden to dump coffee grounds or ask Baboo if he wanted dinner soon. My poor, poor socks, with their tattered, grey-brown bottoms, no matter their original color. And, my children picked up my bad habits.
Then Vibram came out with these shoes. DP and Bones each got a pair, and I was envious, but I figure that if you're unemployed, you don't get to buy expensive toe shoes. Sweet Baboo had other ideas, especially after reading, "Born to Run".
My reason for wanting to try these on before buying them was because that I fully intend to wear them always with my Injinjis. I have reasoned, and Baboo has read or heard, that they can get a little smelly otherwise. The physics of adding an extra layer to ones feet inside shoes would suggest a different size, but how different? We aimed to find out.
The shoe store ("On Your Feet") for anyone who visits here, is awesome. It is the best place, in my opinion, to get whatever
But anyway. They carry Clarks, Teva, Merril, and Keen - I could have easily taken out a 2nd mortgage to do some serious shopping in here. The salespeople know shoes, too. They didn't just sell them, they knew their product.
I tried on the KSO model (KSO = Keep Stuff Out) and Oh, My, Gosh - they felt great. I felt like I was barefoot, only better, because I wasn't going to pick thorns out of my feet. Wow.
We each got a pair of the KOS model, and then drove back to Albuquerque. Immediately Baboo and I went for about a 2-mile hike up and over some sandy hills containing some gravel, and I could feel that my ankles are going to need some work, because with each step my feet were so firmly planted that everything else rotated and moved over them. I could feel some of the gravel under my feet, but it wasn't painful. Nevertheless, I can tell that I'll have to work my way up to wearing these for long distance hikes and/or jogging on trails. Running up and down short inclines I felt pretty secure, even the ones covered with slippery sand and gravel.
I've been wearing them all day, including around the house, and they feel great - snug and comfortable, but not in that creepy, sweaty sort of way that some shoes can be. Vibram also makes the TREK. I will definitely be looking at these for trail running. Look at these soles:
I'm under no illusions that my spine and feet will have some adjusting to do. SOMETHING has to adjust to that lack of stiffness and padding. I was told in the recent past by the guys at Albuquerque Running Shop, that I have an advantage in the long history of running around barefoot and in the nine years I spend standing and walking around on a slab at work, but even so, it will be an adjustment curve to get to wear these for running trails.
In the meantime, I'm of the opinion that once you hit 40, you get to be as weird as you want, so I consider these completely acceptable for my bluejean world of school and for seeing clients, as well as workouts and yoga.
For more fancy or formal occasions in the world of non-profit, like interviews and meetings, I'll hang onto my Keen Mary Janes.