Five Fingers - awesome or skeevy? Is there a gender divide?

I think they’re horrible. I was just breathing a sigh of relief that Crocs had gone out of style (I went to WalMart on Saturday and didn’t see anyone wearing them) and now this comes along.

Exactly what I was thinking - neither fish nor fowl. They just look a bit… off.

I like them. Crocs are the most moronic, ugly item of footwear ever - just big plastic slabs of crap - but Five Fingers look high-tech, they look functional and futuristic and like what we ought to be wearing in 2011, goddammit!

A friend of mine was wearing them in Thailand. I was fascinated, and he loaned them to me. I have to say that walking in them, while weird, is pretty cool. But I looked like the winner of the biggest plum at the plum of the year competition in Plumland. Never again - I get enough grief from wearing Crocs.

I’ve only seen capoeiristas use them, and I like them for that reason. Not aesthetics, just sort of “not playing with shoes but still protecting your feet”, and getting better grip of the ground.

I’ve considered buying them.

I’ve been curious about five fingers for years but I couldn’t see spending $100 on a pair. I finally bought a pair with a 25% off coupon at Road Runner Sports. I’ve only had them a couple of weeks; the biggest problem I have is just getting them on. It’s been a little too cold to try them out properly, but I think I’m going to love them.

Kind of creepy looking but I want to try them. I don’t see the point of encasing each toe individually though. That is where they start to lose their minimalist claim, IMO. Well, that and the price.

I voted skeevy, and I’m male. It may not be fair on my part, because I’ve never worn them, but to me, they come across as a newer version of aqua socks. I saw many people wearing aqua socks in the late 80s out on the streets, and thought they just looked idiotic.

Maybe these five finger things are good for your feet when running, but I can imagine people wearing them to the store, and in place of tennis shoes (or sneakers, whatever your preferred term). IMO, that’s just being trendy, and I dislike trendiness.

In short, I have no plans to ever wear these things, but if you want to, fine. Just as long as you don’t force 'em on me.

ETA: and those who don’t like the price? Wait til the cheap knockoffs start appearing, maybe as early as this summer. I predict by next summer at the latest.

It’s to let every toe move, flex and bear weight individually, as the foot “was designed” (no it wasn’t, but please allow me the metaphor) to do. Most shoes force our feet into odd movements because we encase the whole set of toes in stiff material, forcing them all to move together.

They’re “minimalist” in that they aim to provide minimal *intervention *or change of the way your foot naturally works. They are certainly not minimalist in terms of design or materials - or price!

It depends entirely on what the wearer is doing at the time. Running? Awesome, knock yourself out. Sitting at Starbucks sipping a latte? Ick.

Run in them and love them. I bought a second pair to wear casually. Now that I’ve conditioned to wearing them, I find I can’t wear my Danskos and Chacos as comfortably for much time. My feet don’t require such correction anymore. Kinda sad because I truly love my Chacos, but at least now barefooting around my house isn’t uncomfortable like it had been in the past.

Although I mostly get intrigued comments and lots of questions, I have had one stranger flat out say they were ugly. I don’t care and basically laughed at her. I don’t understand what’s skeevy about them. Is it some kind of reverse foot fetish? What causes so many people to have an extreme foot aversion? I sell shoes and only thing I can think of is that people generally aren’t very good about keeping their feet clean and deodorized.*

  • Shoe salesperson rant: Why, oh why, does almost everyone insist on wearing cheap-ass cotton socks that invariably get nasty within a hour or two of donning?

I’m confused by all the “ick” and “skeevy” in this thread. “Ick” to me is “pus-dribbling sore” and “skeevy” to me is, as mentioned above, the STD-ridden douche who does everything … for the lllllladiiiieeeezzzzzz.

They may be not-quite-socks and not-quite shoes, and they may look funny, but ick and skeevy are reactions I just can’t wrap my head around, for footwear.

Because that’s what they sell at Wal-Mart and Target and K-Mart and TJMaxx and…

And because they *are *cheap. I have two pair of nice wool blend socks I wear for camping. Suckers cost me almost $20 a pair. No way I’m wearing them everyday when I can get a bag of 8 pairs of cotton socks for $10.

Which, actually, brings me to a question I hadn’t thought of before. What sort of socks *does *one wear with Five Fingerses?

Injinji Toe Socks

The cheap knockoffs are already available on the internet as indicated by the warning on Vibram’s own website (linked above) and have been for at least the last year. Last year, Vibram sold 2.5 million units (from 400,000 the previous year) and are looking to just about double those sales this year. If you haven’t seen them in person yet, it’s only a matter of time.

From my perspective, for some customers, it’s an oddity and a trend, but for many people, they are really starting to rethink the way their body responds to Nike’s, et al method of encasing the foot with a variety of technologies designed to alter biomechanics.

IMHO, minimalism in footwear is no more a trend than boots or high heels. The appearance may evolve with fashion and tastes, but the concept will remain and grow in understanding and acceptance.

I’m a girl and think they’re gross. If I want my toes to move individually, I’ll wear sandals. But then, I don’t run. I dance, and I dance barefoot anyway.

I guess my issue is why spend $1.25 for a pair of socks that are a) going to make your feet stink almost immediately because they hold moisture, b) not going to last very long because they’re manufactured very cheaply and not made to last, and c) not going to fit as closely creating chafing issues because they are again made very cheaply; when you can pay a bit more (sales anyone?) for a sock that’s going to last longer, treat your feet better, and not stink even after wearing even 2-3 days in a row?

Sorry about the hijack, it just annoys me when I see people disparage people who wear funny looking shoes and they take their shoes off and fully knock proverbial buzzards off shitwagons with their nasty cheap, cotton socks. It happens frequently enough to figure it’s more the rule than the exception.

I don’t think they’re skeevy, I think they’re ugly.

I never heard of them. I thought you were talking about some sexual activity.

Never seen them in real life, just here in the wacky world of the Internet (mainly just from this board).