I'm a musician as well. I used to play in bands but decided to try to do solo stuff and perform solo. Unlike most other local acoustic performers I prefer to stand up and move around when I perform. I rarely hae the cable-toe issue, although thinking back I used to occasionally get the cables around my ankles when I wore 'normal' shoes when playing in a group. After having the cable-toe thing happen once or twice I eventually set up to where everything I used was near me so I didn't have to move around and taped some of the cables to the floor.
As a side note, I started wearing VFF's regularly around 08-09 and I realized I could work the pedal board easier (especially the Wah and Whammy pedals, and that pesky small-buttoned Dan-Echo that I had squashed between my distortion and phaser pedals). Aside from the funny looks I got from the sound guys and some audience members, people rarely noticed my all-black VFF's (hey, it was a metal band and we wore all black all the time \m/ ).
A few possible solutions. You could try taping the problem cables to the ground when you perform. That seemed to do the trick for me, or you can set up to where you don't have to move around as much. You could also use braided cables as opposed to full rubber ones for your instrument to board cables (to move around with), with the board to amp/di cables being the standard rubber cables (to tape to floor).
I know you're not a runner, but I wear these almost every day for walking and running. I rarely post, but here's my take as I can relate to your mindset on them. Beware: Blocks of Text.
I grew up in Texas heat, where being barefoot is almost a requirement for kids. As a result of growing up barefoot and almost never wearing shoes at home or on my off time I am one of those people who can walk on broken glass (little pieces not big shards), gravel, and hot concrete (the secret is dirt ) with hardly any problem. I can kind of relate to you in how I felt about a shoe that was basically a rubber toe sock. At first I did think it was ridiculous to wear these shoes, and I understand why people may think it is nuts.
As someone who has been running barefoot for about 7 years (give or take, i lost count) I'll have to say that before I got into it I did get shin splints and some lower back pain. I was a young runner and thought that odd, so I switched to flat converse but took them off during my first run with them since they were too narrow. I switched to Vibrams when I tried them on at a store and found out how perfect they fit my feet. To give a little history, I am a barefoot runner, but I'm not 'hardcore' in that I believe totally barefoot is the end all. It has its perks, and it has its downsides. But when it comes down to it barefoot isn't for everyone, and neither are shoes. I'm the latter group. I don't understand our society's shoe requirement, but I do see that Vibrams and other minimalist shoes are a nice middle ground to at least keep it less awkward for those who think barefoot is odd.
Price was a deterrent for me for a while until I realized that it wouldn't hurt to have just a little protection, and I still have my first pair of Black Vibrams that I bought 4 years ago. Considering I don't buy any special running gear (aside from new shorts and shirts ever so often), and that it's probably my cheapest hobby it wasn't too bad an idea. Since they're more popular there are better sales and discounts. One of my friends got her pair for less than thirty dollars a few months ago. My family and some friends thought they looked nutty, but figured they were less nutty than me running barefoot through the streets, bike trails, and parks. (You know those fabled city parks where hypodermic syringes are supposed to be scattered all over. In my 7 years of running I found one, next to a car in the small parking lot. I think I should have bought a lottery ticket that day.) I initially bought them strictly for running, but after a few times wearing them out after my runs I started wearing them casually and threw away or donated my older shoes.
I walk landing on my midfoot whether I'm barefoot, minimal, or with padded shoes (I used to wear Vans casually and they're all worn down at the mid and forefoot areas). I agree with posters on this thread and another thread which discussed walking techniques that everyone has their own style. So there is no 'wrong' or 'right' way, it's really just whatever feels right to you. But in my experience, say "heel strike" to minimalist or barefoot runners and they'll probably cringe in agony. To reiterate and echo BlackFoxSees, don't worry about form when walking. It's not as 'serious' as running, which sparks tons of debate that I choose to stay out of as I see running as a purely personal endeavor.
Anyways, in my years wearing Vibram's the only major issue I've had with them was sizing. I'd say try them on, and if you don't like them some retailers offer a 100% satisfaction on them. If anything they offer the same experience while barefoot minus having to wash my feet off every night, and minus the crazy social stigma that comes attached to being barefoot just about anywhere (unless you're under the age of about 10 in which case hardly anyone here in SA would bat an eye). If the toe separation seems odd there are other options, but I'm not so well versed on them aside from Huraches.
Bottom line is, you can't dismiss it until you try it. I hope this post helped.
To add to what others are saying, I've also hemmed up my pants. I didn't realize how much of a difference a half inch sole on a shoe makes when wearing pants. The first time I wore pants with Vibrams I caused a large tear down one leg of a nice pair of pants and realized that it was because the shoes I wore before had a heel drop of some sort. It's crazy how much a difference a half inch makes.
Anyways, I use safety pins on the pants I don't want to cut shorter. Just roll up to the inside and put about two or three sturdy pins to hold them in place and you should be good to go for the rest of the day. Recently I've been buying jeans that are 29 or 30 inch length (as Leigh said, 29 are kind of rare here too), and also go barefoot to size them since a majority of my shoes are now minimal. Justin's links are great too, I didn't even think about using S-Biners until I discovered this site. Ahh...the wonders of the internet.
Across the spectrum... blacks seem to run smaller. I have two pairs of M42 KSO's and one pair is perfect the other is unwearable.
I can second this. I have an older pair of black KSO's that have been put aside for beach use. They're extremely tight and the only thing that offsets this is if I use them in water.
Another thing to look out for is QC issues, I've recently been having some odd issues with KSO's because of some odd QC Issues. I'm going to have to send a replacement pair back as one of the shoes has the Vibram label on the top of the foot almost going under the sole causing it to fit way too tight.
Also there's a big fat warning sign on the box of my Vibram five fingers, Merrell Barefoot (Like any new exercise regimen, listen to your body and build your Merrell Barefoot activities slowly), and vivobarefoot (TRANSITION SAFELY). So the suit is going nowhere.
You know, I recall the same thing being on the box, but didn't say it in my post above for fear of putting my foot in my mouth (so to speak). I don't have the boxes in front of me at the moment but I recall all three of them saying something to the effect of, "going barefoot is different..." warning you to ease into wearing them full time.
I said this on the Facebook post, and I agree with everyone else...this is a useless/pointless lawsuit meant to waste more money and time. Some people are just lawsuit happy and don't have anything better to do with their time or money.
I don't think this is normal at all, it could be a bad pair. You can contact Vibram or the seller about this. Vibram (in my experience) usually honors their warranty if the case is that the seller won't help you out.
I have two pairs of KSO's both have been through 2 (grey pair) and 4 (black/black) years of abuse and I've had no issues other than the top toe seam on the right foot of both ripping. Something I've remedied with some rather strong glue (i do not recommend this unless they are out of warranty).
Does your Black pair of KSO's fit too tight for you by any chance?
I can tell you that all that treadmill testing garbage is nothing more than a gimmick to sell you into an overstuffed running shoe.
Do listen to the warnings about doing too much too soon. You have to give your body a chance to respond to the new muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments that you have not used until now. Don't be surprised if it takes almost a year to get fully comfortable. It can be a long process, but it is well worth it. Once you've gone minimalist you'll never want to go back.
I totally agree with this. The biggest problem I see with the 'analyzing' process is the treadmill. In my experience running on a treadmill is very different than running on pavement, gravel, dirt, grass, etc. I've pretty much been running barefoot/minimal since I started running. I had a laugh when I went to a running shoe store with a then girlfriend and found out about this weird alien thing involving getting your 'gait analyzed'. For the fun of it I had mine analyzed only to have the sales guy tell me that I have what's called 'neutral pronation'. He asked what shoes I use, and I responded with "normally none, sometimes water shoes, sometimes converse, but in the summer none". This was in 2006, and the puzzled looks had my friend giggling.
Maybe it's just me, but I always remember my track coach and my father (who ran for 10 years before his back injury) telling me: "don't think about it, just run." I'd have to add but don't kill yourself doing it, you feel pain, stop. Pain is the body telling you that you're either doing something wrong, you need rest, or both.
For what it's worth, my track coach would always tell us to buy the flattest shoes we can find to train in and would have us run barefoot or in socks on grass as part of our training. (1)I would highly suggest finding somewhere to run and walk barefoot to help you transition into VFF's or many other minimal shoes. You'll find that you wont necessarily focus on running on the balls of your feet, you'll end up doing what feels right and doesn't hurt you. (2)I've never worn an ankle brace while wearing any shoe, then again I've never had an injury. But as toh-shu said a brace will limit the movement that a shoe like this would provide. (3)It is beneficial to wear them around casually. Heel striking when walking is normal. It's all dependent on the individual really.
Today I had an interesting comment from a kid (about 3 or 4). Me and my girlfriend were walking by and this kid slows down slows down looking at my shoes. He looks up at his dad and says: "COOL!" his dad pulls him along and they keep walking past us. As we walk by I hear the kid exclaim something to the effect of: "Did you see his shoes? They look like... crazy shoes!"
Years back I had problems with sole separation in other shoes, and found Barge Cement. On Vibrams I use the E-6000 for the seams and the Barge for the sole (glued on the heel of the sole on the KSO where it cups under the Achillies). Never had any problems...well...just don't do what I did when I first used it and remember to use it in a well ventilated area.
Also, due to crappy quality control, different pairs of the same size and model can be slightly different. So, unless you find a store that has free shipping or you don't mind paying to send a few pairs back and forth, you really just need to try them on. Also, when you do try them in a store, don't be embarrassed to ask for multiple pairs in the same size.
This was my biggest issue with buying VFF's online. I recently bought another pair of KSO's and they fit smaller than both of my previous pairs, and had to send them back. I'd strongly encourage trying out pairs, it might be more economical to buy them in a store at retail than online because of the risk of racking up the shipping charges because the pairs can be so different.
About grip I've never had a problem with my KSO's on any surface, but it might vary from person to person. About the colors and looks, I agree with you some of the color choices are insane (yellow/blue/grey, ...seriously? and dont get me started on the Spyridon's looks). I don't know what it is but people here tend to notice the Black/Black pair more than the Grey pair. Maybe it's because lighter colored shoes are more common here than completely black ones.
I tend to keep all the boxes, receipts, and tags of the stuff I buy too (still have my converse boxes, vff boxes, pedal boxes, and every box to every component in my computer). It's at the point where I have boxes inside of boxes stashed in a corner of a closet.