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Author Topic: Have you ever been told that your VFF's are unprofessional for work  (Read 1055 times)
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Applejack54
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« on: March 19, 2012, 01:56:15 PM »

Good day to all  Smiley I have a situtation that I need some assistance with. I have looked through the forum and have not found any other discussions on this issue. I have been wearing VFF's for over 5 yrs now. I used to wear them to work and did so for over a year. I am on my feet most of the day as I am an Instructor. I wore the KSO's (Black) with the yellow vibram on the side. I felt that these were a little unprofessional myself with the yellow writting.  So, I bought a pair of KSO Treks (Black), because they looked more professional than the KSO's did. Shortly after I purchased the KSO Treks, I was informed that my KSO's were unprofessional for wearing at work and was asked not to wear them anymore. Now, I have worn them for over 1 year at the same place and no one had any issues with them. Not even my direct supervisor and his direct supervisor. My supervisor infact said he liked them and understood why I wore them. Has anyone ever had this happen to them? I currently have four pairs of VFF's. 1 classic, 2 KSO's and 1 KSO Trek. I use my KSO's for walking on trails and Kayaking. KSO Treks were used for work, and some trail walking. I am not a runner but these shoes really help my feet and they don't hurt at the end of the day after being on them all day. Just looking for some guidence and assistance in this issue if anyone has had the same problems.  Thanks to all!!!  Grin
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« on: March 19, 2012, 01:56:15 PM »

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Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 02:17:20 PM »

I have not experienced this personally, but there are countless stories of people being told they cannot wear VFFs at work without any real justification or with bogus justification.  Most people are forced into another brand of minimalist shoe in order to conform to what the bosses deem appropriate.  If you are absolutely forbidden from wearing VFFs, I personally recommend Leming (formerly STEM) footwear.  They are roomy with a wide toe box, very comfortable and offer great ground feel.  They recently (March 1st) came out with an all black version that should be deemed appropriate by the powers that be. 
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Cubicle51
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 08:47:09 AM »

I have had the same issue at my work and I had to change to LEMing (formerly STEM) footwear and they have been a great second choice to VFF's. while I have the earth brow pair, I plan on adding the black to my LEMings. I completely agree with Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 10:03:48 AM »

I am going to try the Crocs Yukon Slip-On and the Harborline Boat Shoe. Both are "Regular looking" and my Crocs clogs have been great.
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 10:03:48 AM »

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jpcolson
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 01:59:28 AM »

I am currently in the US Army and wore my VFFs for about a year before the Army came out with a policy saying we could no longer wear them and their only excuses were because it gives the wearer of the shoe an unfair advantage for the Physical Fitness test and that they looked unprofessional. They Army is the only branch of service that has a policy against VFFs all the other branches leave it up to the commanders. I'm going to start wearing Merrels.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 12:40:28 AM »

Just today I was told I had to discontinue wearing mine. I have been wearing Vibrams at this place of work since I started 9 months ago, and even to my 2 interviews. Saturday I happened to wear the wrong pair for the weather and off-handedly commented to a coworker that my feet were wet and it was a little uncomfortable. My supervisor at the time happened to hear that and told logistics who then asked me to not wear them anymore. Had I been wearing my Trek LS (Full leather) I would have been fine and this wouldn't have caused an issue.
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 06:47:10 AM »

I'm a little concerned Merrell won't keep them around but for $120 bucks (sometimes less if you have access to a Merrell outlet store in your area) you can get a pair of black tough gloves and the'll do ya just fine for passing while still giving you much of the bff fore/midfoot strike while you walk. You can cut the loop hanger on the back off to make them more passable but I've just left mine on.  They seem to run a little snug so if a half size larger is an option for you I'd do it.  I went most of my life thinking I was 13 in normal footware but after having my feet measured after about 2 years of minimalist running I was a solid 12 (think part never really being a 13 and part arch/foot adaptation).  I tried to order tough gloves in 12.5 but wasn't an option so had to use very thin black dress socks in the size 12s at first but now 13 months latter they still look great and the leather has gotten much softer and are a real joy.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 02:35:35 PM »

I have a hard time understanding how VFFs are unprofessional.  Especially something like KSO treks.  I understand if there is a safety concern, but minus that, I don't get it.  My argument would be that women get to wear open toed shoes during the warmer weather.  With those, you can actually see their toes.  Are they going to ban those also?  I know there would be a huge uproar in my place of work if the women were told they could no longer wear sandals in the summer. 
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 07:43:26 PM »

I guess it would have to do with how much you want to challange the rule. The Treks are full leather with a non skid sole and I would certainly take it as high as I could but everyone's circumstance is different. Just because they are different isn't a good enough reason but again, do you want to start a battle? I agree with the comparison about women wearing sandals and teetering around in heels. If it were me, i'd fight. Luckily my employers and coworkers just think i'm quirky and understand the health benefits. I've convinced both the president and VP to go minimilist. Diane wears Nike Free's (not to work) and Nick wears Vivo BF Aquaus to work. Little by little the world is turning and learning thanks in part to the Fila Skeletoes billboards all over CT. Not the same product but a huge picture of toe shoes helps exposure. Good luck. Possibly try a doctors note for back health or a non toe option like the Merrils.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 05:22:14 PM by koffeekev » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 11:25:18 AM »

I have a hard time understanding how VFFs are unprofessional.  Especially something like KSO treks.  I understand if there is a safety concern, but minus that, I don't get it.  My argument would be that women get to wear open toed shoes during the warmer weather.  With those, you can actually see their toes.  Are they going to ban those also?  I know there would be a huge uproar in my place of work if the women were told they could no longer wear sandals in the summer. 

My old company actually had a very strict policy that no open toed shoes were allowed at all.  But I agree, there is a double standard in the workplace when you compare what women can wear.  Pants, long skirts, shorter skirts, long sleeve, short sleeves, even T-shirts and no sleeves if they are "neat enough".  Men don't get these options, many companies it is considered a luxury if you can wear a golf shirt.
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 10:37:36 AM »

Haven't had to face this issue due to not wearing my VFFs at work, (too shy to - plus they are white Speeds so wouldn't go well with pinstripe office trousers!) but my colleague brought in her pair of KSO's to show off once. Others thought them freakish, sadly.

It seems ridiculous though that even a pair of black KSOs or Treks are not allowed, especially when women wear huge heels, or flip flops which are a serious trip hazard! (I recall taking the skin off my big toe on tarmac wearing flip flops when I was a kid - very painful.)

I've worn a pair of Vivo Barefoot Lucys (black leather) in the office for years, obviously with no objections from anyone. I've even been wearing the red and pink style pair in the office - still with no objections! It's obviously the individual covered toes which people have issues with...

 Standard Vivobarefoot shoes have 3mm sole thickness when you take the insole out.
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 02:09:17 PM »

I have been lucky enough to not have this issue. Wearing mine has helped to reduce the frequency of gout attacks that I get which means I miss fewer days. I convinced a coworker to buy a pair but they were not happy. They said something along the lines of "great now soon everyone will want to wear them." I work at a grocery store with a uniform policy.
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