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1  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Re: Vibram sizing for size US15 shoes on: June 08, 2012, 01:46:36 PM
Hey all,
I'm in a similar pickle, in that the Bikilas in 47 are a little snug on my sizeable big toes, however i'd suggest that the "give" that paulr and I are interested in is more to do with the sole than the upper - at least in my case it's certainly more the cap on the end of the toe pocket pushing on the end of the big toe that's the problem.  Is the sole likely to lengthen at all with use (thereby easing this pressure)?
2  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Re: Damn you, non standard feet. on: May 01, 2012, 06:48:14 AM
Something I forgot to mention - my heel really didn't naturally sit tightly at the back of the Bikilas, regardless of what I did with the strap. If I pulled my heels snugly back into the shoe then the big toe started feeling a lot better, maybe like it was just right. I wonder if that LS might help in that respect?
3  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Re: Damn you, non standard feet. on: May 01, 2012, 02:58:06 AM
So not a glowing recommendation then?  Wink  I think i'll be happiest if I can find some KSOs, and I guess if the black ones are indeed tighter too that'll probably play into my er... feet  Grin
4  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Re: Damn you, non standard feet. on: April 30, 2012, 06:35:33 PM
Well, a bit of haring around the house has brought me to some kind of conclusion.  I just can't shake the feeling that the Bikilas might be a tiny bit too snug in the big toebox dept, despite the fact that all other toes are echoing around their respective pockets.  I'm having a premonition of minimalist joy curtailed by a numb big toe.
I'm going to take these back to the shop, and see if I can find something in a 48 (not Classic or Sprint though) to try, maybe with a pair of toesocks just in case.  If the worst comes to the worst and I can't find any 48s, then it looks fairly easy to find another 47 Bikila at the moment, so I can always go back to that, and maybe think about stretching the big toe box like the Morton's Toe Mod.

So if anyone spots a 48 for sale, give me a shout!  I spotted a site claiming to let me preorder a Treksport in a 48 - any ideas how that might fare for pavement running?  I have no real plans for off-roading - would the lugs get on my nerves?

Cheers for all your advice so far, i'm much obliged.
5  General Category / New Members Say Hello! / Re: British beginnings on: April 30, 2012, 09:45:31 AM
I think i'll be ringing around a few places in the coming days.  I'll stick Naked Ape on the list.

Ta for the GSS list, but i'm not sure i'm sold on the Classics and Sprints, so might have to give them a miss.
6  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Re: Damn you, non standard feet. on: April 30, 2012, 09:37:28 AM
with the barefoot running gait, you tend not to be pushing with the toes, so there's little pressure on them. As someone else has said, once the weight has transferred off that foot, you'll be lifting it off the ground.

That is a very good point.  I'll bear that in mind whilst prancing around the house this evening.  Still tempted to try some KSO 48s though, as I could then have the option of toesocks for the winter...  As long as I can be sure to find another pair of Bilika 47s easily if the KSO 48s are no good, then I guess that's the most sensible path to peace of mind...
7  General Category / New Members Say Hello! / Re: British beginnings on: April 30, 2012, 07:30:08 AM
I think Bristol to Sheffield counts as a little more than a bit of a trip!   Grin
8  General Category / New Members Say Hello! / Re: British beginnings on: April 30, 2012, 04:23:03 AM
I'm not too proud to wear another man's cast-offs!  Sadly I think a 47 would be little use to me unless the KSOs are notably roomier (specifically longer) than the Bikilas (see my thread over at ). 
9  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Re: Damn you, non standard feet. on: April 30, 2012, 03:44:54 AM
Well, things have certainly moved on since yesterday. I opted for progress over procrastination and bought the 47 Bikilas with the intention of wearing them around the house for research without spoiling them for returns.
So far in all honesty I'm none the wiser.  The only problem with the fit is the big toe, everything else is great (albeit pretty roomy in all other toe pockets).  Big toe is fully touching the end but not pressing hard.  My concern is that when I lift the toe, i can feel the toe cap and sole restricting the toe from fully lifting up. This isn't uncomfortable, but I'm conscious that this motion is exactly what'll be happening every time the big toe leaves the ground when running.
I guess this might be fine, as it surely must happen with any big toe that "grazes" the end as per the Vibram literature.  Can anyone identify with what I'm describing here? Is that a normal thing for a well fitted VFF?  Might stick some pics up later.

I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to track down one of the mythical KSO 48s in black on mail order to try... Man, this is not straightforward.
10  General Category / New Members Say Hello! / Re: British beginnings on: April 29, 2012, 07:37:26 AM
Hmm.  I am admittedly kind of stuck on the idea of getting VFFs if at all possible (I am nothing if not a sucker for novelty and gimmickry), so the prospect of "settling" for some Vivos or Merrells is not exactly appealing right now (yes, I am being a bit of a baby about this).  Sadly there doesn't seem to be anywhere handy where I can try on the full VFF range, so i'm kind of stuck with KSOs or Bikilas... I think i'll see if I can find a KSO 47 to try today and if that doesn't work i'll buy the Bikilas and see how they go around the house for a few days.  Photos likely to follow at
11  General Category / New Members Say Hello! / Re: British beginnings on: April 29, 2012, 06:23:02 AM
Hey Sablewings,
Nice to meet you, and thanks for the advice.  Sounds like my Vivo Gobis for work are going to really help me strengthen up then over the coming months; I always put in a good 30 min walk at lunchtime, which is crippling me at present (in the good way).  Looking at the Primal Lifestyle UK stockists list, I see the shop i've been using in Bristol is on there (Easy Runner), which is reassuring, given the proliferation of fakes around.  If you've got a minute, i'm gagging for some prompt advice on Bikila sizing over at

12  General Category / Vibram Five Fingers Sizing and Fit Discussion / Damn you, non standard feet. on: April 29, 2012, 04:54:33 AM
Having some problems in procuring some VFFs in the UK for my stupid feet.  Measuring a modest 5ft10 in height, I have been cursed with a pair of monster size 12s, featuring a quite stunningly gigantic pair of big toes.  I'm in the process of trying to find the right size VFFs to fit these beasts, and at 100 a go I can scarcely afford one pair in the correct size, so finding out after a couple of weeks of use that they're the wrong size isn't an option for my meagre finances.

Options for actually trying on a pair in my home town of Bristol are limited, but i've managed to find a shop that has some Bikilas in a 47, which I've tried on a couple of occasions, thereby generating my quandary:

The first time I tried the Bilkila in a 47 I was concerned that it was too big, as it was a little loose around the heel.  However when I tried them yesterday it suddenly seemed as though they might actually be a bit small.  I guess the difference might be that yesterday i'd walked up a long hill to get to the shop, so my feet had warmed and expanded moreso than the first time.

As you can imagine, the issue lies squarely with my big toes.  They fit into the toe pocket and are perfectly comfortable, but the material is tightly stretched across the toe, no room at all.  It looks as though my big toe is a good 8mm or so wider than Vibram were expecting  Roll Eyes  I've read the official text about how the longest toe should "graze the end of the toe pocket", and I *suppose* that's what is happening, in that the end of the toe is fully touching the end of the pocket, but not exerting any undue pressure on it when standing. 

I had a quick run in them for 50 yds up and down the (fairly steep) road outside the shop, and they felt great uphill, but possibly started feeling a little restrictive on the downhill slope as the toe started to naturally push the front of the shoe.  Difficult to know what to read into this as I have no clue how things are meant to feel.

Ordinarily this would be easily resolved by ordering in the next size up for a comparison test, however the 47 seems to be as big as the Bikila goes, so my options are:

1. Buy the 47s, they'll stretch a bit with a bit of use
2. Try a different model (the only other models available in Bristol seem to be the KSO and KSO trek)
3. VFFs are not for me  Cry

The shop is open again in a few hours time, and if buying the  47s is the right thing to do I sould really get in there ASAP, as these shoes are like gold dust around these parts.  The guy in the shop says that the consignment that they recieved this week was as a result of an order that they placed in *January*, so if I miss these ones I could be in for a serious wait...

All thoughts and advice will be gratefully recieved!

13  General Category / New Members Say Hello! / British beginnings on: April 29, 2012, 04:14:42 AM
Hey all,
Greetings from miserable England.  I'm a recent covert to the barefoot ethos, and to say that i'm in the early stages of learning how to do this properly would be a gross understatement.

- Not a runner (until now)
- Not fit
- Lower back disc problems have put a swift halt on previous excursions into jogging
- Came across barefoot when reading online about why I shouldn't have just bought some Air Max; thought that it might be a means by which I could run without ruining my back.
- Tried some short runs on the forefoot in some too-big cheapy sponge Reeboks (built up to about a mile over a couple of weeks) which confirmed my suspicions: no back problems.  Pleased, I resolved to pursue this with vigour.
- Read up on good form etc, realised that my impressive inflexibility would need to be addressed to avoid injury (exceptionally tight hamstrings, achilles, and probably calves too I shouldn't wonder).
- Bought some VivoBarefoot Gobis for work (aching feet all day long suggests that they're providing a great foot workout)
- Embarked upon a few weeks of as much stretching, one legged balancing and squatting as I could find the time for, along with some fully barefoot runs on the local pavements.  Built up from 0.3 to 0.8km over a couple of weeks.
- It seems that this was too much too soon for me  Roll Eyes
- Mild acute achilled tendonitis in my left heel right on the bone, and significantly more of it on the right heel.
- Currently 2 and a bit weeks into waiting for the pain to subside so I can mount my second attempt at easing myself safely into things.  Frustrating.
- Also in the process of attempting to procure some Fivefingers for when I get back on the roads.  Living in the UK, this is no easy task, as VFFs are rarer than the proverbial hen's teeth, and buying at a distance is particularly difficult for this kind of shoe.

So there it is, or rather, there I am.  In terms of what i'd like to get out of this forum, my two current issues in need of your collective wisdom are:

1. Management of achilles issues and safely building into barefooting
2. VFF procurement and sizing for my outlandishly proportioned and shaped feet

For the time being i'm going to post about 2. in the sizing forum.  Quick responses would be most helpful, as i'll explain in there.

As you can hopefully tell, I am totally bought into the barefoot idea, and am really eager to get up and running, but definitely in need of a bit of community support to make sure I don't screw this and/or me up in the process!
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