Vibram Five Fingers SeeYa LS : Funny, Functional or Fraud?

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Vibram Five Fingers

Vibram Five Fingers SeeYa LS

five fingersFun, Functional and even Funny to many or at least to me.  Some have even claimed them to be a… Fraud!  Well Let’s get to the bottom of this! When I first tried on a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hide my feet or show them off.  Years ago I had tested out some basic black five fingers KSO.  I remember them being a bit challenging to put on.  One shoe would always take ten minutes more to put on, but once they were on I was ready to move about.  I had never gone running in the KSO versions.Vibram Five Fingers KSO  I had only worn them a few times while I was either giving massages or teaching Pilates.  I enjoyed wearing these shoes because I would forget that I was even wearing shoes.  The barefoot feeling was exciting! The only down side to these specific shoes were that one shoe was a tad bit too small for my left foot.  The toe dividers were pressing into my toe webbing causing discomfort and eventually I had to let them go.

I was bummed because I really wanted to get more wear out of them.  I liked the idea behind the Vibram Five Fingers and I was curious to experience what others had been talking about.  I’d heard a variety of theories behind these shoes and other minimalist shoes.  Some positive and some not so positive.  Being a lover and appreciator of feet and foot strengthening I was confused by such controversial views of Vibram Five Fingers.  Some people claimed them to be the best thing ever and swore by them and wore them everywhere.  Vibram Five Fingers at work, five fingers in the gym, Vibrams at church, in the woods, in the water, at home and oh my!  Vibram Five Fingers Shoes On a first date!

I’d also heard others stand out against Vibram Five Fingers.  Some would say that they were bad for your back and bad for your body.  They lacked support.  They made peoples’ arches collapse.  These people however did not speak from personal experience, it had all been hear say; and because of that, I grew more curious to get to the bottom of such controversy of these funny five finger shoes as well as the ever increasing trend of minimalist shoes.

A few weeks ago at The Running Event in Austin, Tom and I were given some samples of Vibram Five Fingers Shoes to test out.  I was ready to get nerdy with these shoes and test them out everywhere!  I tried on a few different sizes to find my best fit and I recieved Vibram Five Fingers SeeYa LS.

The SeeYa LS are much different from the KSO version that I had years ago.  SeeYa LS style are much lighter and easier to slip on.  The leather fabric is much softer and easy to maneuver in and out of.  It takes me five seconds to put the shoes on.  Already my new experience with the Vibram Five Fingers Shoes were looking bright!

Not so fast!  What now?  My left foot again.  The SeeYa LS felt comfortable and fit like a glove, except for when I stood up and walked or ran around in these shoes.  I felt pressure from the fabric just beneath my left ankle bone.  Determined to enjoy these Vibram Five Fingers, I ignored the pain.  Sure, it may not be the wisest of decisions but the scientist within me had to test, research and discover what was going on.  I went for a short run and I was able to forget about the pressing pain below my ankle bone and the run felt amazing.  More amazing than any other run I’d been on.  My feet felt awake and secure within these shoes.  My calf muscles got the best workout they’d ever experienced.  I was convinced with that first run that there really is something to these minimalist five finger shoes. Now these shoes may not be the best ones for me considering I did get mild bruising from where the fabric touched at my ankle, but I was getting closer to understanding the controversy of the five fingers.

seeya ls fabricI hoped that I just needed to break in the shoes to soften the leather, but each time I slipped on the SeeYa LS Shoes the left shoe pressed up too hard to my ankle.  I made an executive decision to cut out a small area where I had been feeling pain.  SUCCESS!  I ran in my Vibram Five Fingers SEE Ya LS again and Hooray!  I experience no pain in my feet or ankles.  I experienced a clean, fun run with major calf muscle engagement and my feet were getting stronger with every stride.  I’m curious if Vibram Five Fingers company has received feedback or complaints about the cut and sizing around the ankles.  Perhaps they have other varieties that fit lower from the ankle bones for consumers like me, with pointy protruding ankles.

Despite this particular fabric placement issue, I am pleased with my SeeYa LS shoes.  Yes, they are a bit dorky or super hero looking especially when I look down at my own feet, but I must admit that when I see others wearing these shoes I am more often than not inspired to put mine on and wear them anywhere.  They spark curiosity and promote education and strengthening for your feet and for the rest of your body.

Vibram Five Fingers ~ What They’re All About

  • Encourage more natural forefoot strike while running
  • Allows foot to work and maneuver more naturally
  • Provides grip and protection from ground surface
  • Helps strengthen lower leg and foot muscle
  • Delivers sensory feedback *which improves propreoception

sole of vibram seeya lsVibram SeeYa LS

  • Easy to slip into!
  • Very flexible
  • Protection from ground elements
  • Tie / lace up shoe
  • Funky design
  • Soft leather fabric
  • Machine washable

Vibrams Five Fingers Guidelines For Safe Transitioning and Strengthening

  • Visit the Vibram Five Fingers site to learn more about their transition guidelines
  • Hold off on running right away!  It’s recommended to wear the shoes for a few hours simply walking around the house or at work
  • Exercise your TOES!  Do your foot strengthening and stretching exercises to help you fit into your five fingers shoes
  • Gradually increase the distance you spend wearing your shoes

Other Recommendations on Foot Strengthening and Running Shoes

  • I recommend getting a pair of Vibram Five Fingers Shoes to add to your repertoire  of running shoes!
  • foot exercisesDo your foot strengthening exercises!
  • Alternate your Vibram Five fingers with other running shoes such as other minimalist shoes, split toes, running sandals such as Luna Sandals and even a pair of running shoes with more cushioning.  Challenge your feet to wake up to sensing the ground and sensing the variations of foot support / protection.  Too often, many of us tend to find one type or pair of running shoes and stick with it and rely or depend on that one shoe to solve our foot, leg and back aches.  It’s not all about the shoe, but the shoe can certainly help us regain control and awareness of our balance and alignment.  The rest really is up to your own practice and dedication.
  • Also, found a really great site on barefoot running!  Check out BirthdayShoes.com

To order your Vibram Five Fingers SeeYa LS go to the Vibrams site.  Look around and learn more about their other products and history.  Enjoy and let us know how you feel in YOUR Vibrams!

 

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About Author

Kathleen Crandall

Hello there! Kathleen Hilker Crandall Speaking! I work as an Independent Pilates/Yoga teacher and Massage Therapist in Austin, Texas. Check out our Service Page for more details on what I offer. I truly love the work that I do and am glad to share with others what I have learned! Move Well. Eat Well & Nourish to Flourish :)

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