Gear & EquipmentJanuary 23, 2014

Exactly where do you want me to stick my toes?

By Ryan Herrington

ORLANDO -- At the risk of you not reading past this first sentence, I have a confession to make: I have average-looking feet. Indeed, if my feet had a handicap index, I think they'd be about a 14.5, which (sadly) mirrors my actual handicap index.

Vibram V classic (350).jpg

Rather than the traditional rounded toe of an ordinary shoe, what you have with Vibram's assorted offerings are five actual toes that you stick your own little piggies in. (They refer to them as "five fingers," which seems to suggest somebody missed anatomy class, but I digress.) The shoe looks like an actual foot, and if you have average looking feet, well ... you see where I'm going with this.

Vibram V Classic LR (350).jpg

The "Five Fingers" design, according to the company, lets your feet and toes curl and flex as they would if you were walking barefoot. In turn your balance and stability are honed in a natural way, allowing you to strengthen your lower leg and foot, and, in theory, reduce injuries. 

The shoes have found a niche among runners. Logically, given the amount of walking done on a golf course, there would seem to be a market here as well. Maybe you recall old photos of Sam Snead hitting balls while barefoot? By being connected directly to the ground, he said it allowed him to make a more proficient swing. In theory, the Vibram shoes would do the same thing. 

Plus, by wearing them you wouldn't have to see my average feet.


That's me in the Vibram Speed XC Lite.