Ok, here is a confession. I was just like most of you. In the past I would have looked confused at people who wear the kinds of shoes I am going to write about today. I never in a million years thought that I would dedicate a blog about split-toe shoes
and me joining the barefoot movement. Please hang in there and give me a chance to explain myself…
Throughout my life I tried to get into (trail) running multiple times. I’ve never really found a pair of sneakers that would allow me to change terrain very quickly and still be very light on my feet. I’ve tried multiple pairs of Nikes and Salomons that fit the trail running category. I would always end up hurting (from discomfort not muscle ache) – I’d get painful knies, sore ankles, blisters or cramps under my feet. This resulted in me giving up on my running progress time after time to prevent harsher injuries.
So in order to still be active outdoors and find my calm I’ve fallen for stand up paddle boarding recently. I love being out on the water, exploring new streams and to be active in nature. The person who inspired me to actually buy a sup of my own always wears these split-toe Vibram shoes
and at first I judged him for it. I thought it looked weird and I should have known that when I asked him what shoes allow you to balance on a sup board he would recommend these monstrous beasts. As I couldn’t seem to find any other option I went ahead an ordered them – ain’t nobody noticing these crazy shoes on the water anyways.
From the moment I put on these shoes I was sold. They’re comfortable, solid, stable, enduring, very light, they dry quickly, and do not require socks (I hate socks, even the cute ones). So I put them to the test. I went out and did a 3k of trails on them. I tried the shoes on many types of terrain, from sandy to rocks and from grass to fallen trees. I have never been more stable on my on two feet. I guess Vibrams slogan is true: “the more a shoe looks like a foot, the more it acts like a foot”. My normal running pains did make place for actual muscle aches and I am stoked to finally get my trail running going.
To make things even more perfect: I never intended these shoes to be my next pair of reliable go-to travel shoes, but I am going to take them everywhere I go. These shoes are fit for every kind of activity you can think of. Boating? Check. Hiking? Yes. Running? Definitely. Mountaineering or scrambling? Hell yes! So please do not judge their funny looks. These are the shoes every adventurous traveler or backpacker needs to take with them. Weren’t normal hiking shoes were too heavy for our luggage anyways?
How did this brand become so awesome?
In the outdoor and sports worlds Vibram is praised for its comfortable and enduring shoe soles. Chances are big that your (hiking) shoes have a Vibram sole without you knowing it. Big brands like Lowa, Hanwag, The North Face, Salomon even sneaker brands like Nike and Vans all make use of the innovative Vibram soles. These soles were invented by mountain climbers in 1937, and first submitted K2 (the second highest mountain on the planet) in 1954. Vibram soles made history and 75 years later the band is still worthy of its quality label. Soles and shoes are being adopted by many walks of life including the military, mountaineers and ordinary folks.