Why Vibram FiveFinger Shoes Are Great For Traveling

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For hundreds of thousands of years, humans (or whatever our ancestors were referred to as) walked around barefoot. As a species, we evolved to be barefoot (if indeed you believe in evolution).

One of the major problems today is that we haven’t evolved quickly enough (in a physical sense) to keep up with the changing environment.

In simple terms, because we wear shoes that elevate our heels, to compensate for this elevation (so that we can balance ourselves) our posture suffers, and this is part of the reason why so many people develop back pains.

Vibram FiveFinger shoes (see the picture) go a long way to solving these problems, and are often dubbed ‘the barefoot alternative’.

VibramsNot only are these shoes great for everyday life, they’re also great for traveling, and here are 4 reasons why:

“The human foot is a work of art; a masterpiece of engineering.” — Leonardo Da Vinci

The Pros

1. They’re Better for Your Posture
As I mentioned earlier, the main purpose of Vibram FiveFingers is to help improve your posture and return your body to its ‘natural state’.

After a week of wearing Vibrams I noticed that I seemed to be walking more upright (almost to the point where it felt like I was leaning backwards).

2. They’re Compact
Vibrams are incredibly small, compact and lightweight making them perfect for travelers who want to travel light, and since you don’t need to wear socks with them you can pack less and save more space.

3. They’re Versatile
I’ve worn my Vibram FiveFingers walking down the street, hiking in the wilderness and when doing water sports in the sea.

Their versatility enables them to do the job of several pairs of shoes.

4. They Dry Quickly
You can wear Vibrams in the rain or when you’re doing water-based activities as they dry so quickly (so it’s not a big problem if they get wet).

The Cons (and Things to Watch Out for)

It’s not all good news, however, and there are some cons associated with wearing Vibram FiveFinger shoes:

They Need Easing in Gently (So You Don’t Overdo it)
Fivefingers heelIf (like me) you spent your whole life growing up wearing Nike and Adidas trainers with large, padded heels then it’s going to take a while for your to revert back to your ‘natural state’, and this can be frustrating, so it’s important to be patient.

It’s best to ease your way into wearing Vibrams so that you don’t overdo it and hurt yourself. As a rule, I’d suggest not wearing them for more than 30 mins a day for the first week.

Even after wearing my Vibrams for a couple of months I still find it hard to wear them for more than 3 days in a row, so the adjustment period can be tough.

Be Careful with the Sizing
If possible, go to a store that sells Vibram FiveFingers and get fitted there as opposed to buying them online (although this isn’t always possible depending on where you live).

This is because the sizes of the shoes can sometimes be a little inaccurate, and it’s a pain to have to send them back. If you do order online, make sure that wherever you’re ordering from has a solid returns policy so you can switch them over without any problems.

You Can’t Wear them with Socks
This isn’t really a ‘con’ per-se, but it should be noted that wearing Vibram FiveFingers is extremely uncomfortable (particularly in between the toes), so your only viable option really is to wear them barefoot.

The problem with this, of course is that they’re not the warmest shoes to wear during the cold seasons, and wearing them barefoot doesn’t help this.

In Conclusion

So are they worth it? Well, if you’re going to wear them a lot, then yes they’re definitely worth buying for the benefits listed above (and at the very least they’re a great icebreaker).

However, if you’re not going to wear them a whole lot, then your money is probably better spent elsewhere as they don’t come cheap.

Please note that I am not in any way affiliated to Vibram FiveFinger shoes nor did I receive any free shoes for writing this article.

Here’s what Tim Ferriss (of ‘The Four Hour Workweek’) has to say:

Tim Ferriss on Vibram Shoes from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.

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