Resources, Reviews, Frequently Asked Questions, Guides, Mods/Repairs, and How-to's

For something as simple as moving around with bare- or close-to-bare-feet (This being how we first learned to move about as toddlers!), there is a remarkable need for information and resources regarding "toe shoes," minimalist footwear, and "barefoot running shoes" — all are footwear intended to allow your feet to function as they would in their natural, naked state. The Vibram FiveFingers (toe) shoes, for example, require a six-step process just to nail down your size, and that can even be hit or miss as far as accuracy. The truth is that most of us have adapted to a cushy existence — one spent moving around in high-heeled (as with Nikes and other athletic footwear), heavily padded shoes with built-in arch support (Since when did arches need support?).

Because of these ingrained habits, when switching to barefoot or minimally shod walking and running, we have to reprogram our bodies and retrain and rehabilitate our muscles and bones. It takes both patient and guidance.

By the way, if you're new to the concept of toe shoes or minimalist footwear and the growing trends around barefoot-like movement, let me suggest you start with this primer/pre-history on toe shoes!

Below are listed the most sought-after guides and resources on this site. Or if you prefer, jump straight to the "guide" category blog posts.

If you would like to see a topic covered on this site, please contact us!

Read all posts in the guides category below —

Category: "Guides"

Inov-8 Bare-XF 260 Review

Inov-8 Bare-XF 260 Review
Inov-8 Bare-XF 260 Review
While I've been getting more minimalist with each passing day, choosing mostly to run in thin huaraches, I definitely think there's a time and a place for full coverage. Most especially in cold weather and in the gym. In those cases where I need full co… more »

Let’s talk about (toe) socks, baby.

Let’s talk about (toe) socks, baby.
Let’s talk about (toe) socks, baby.
Introduction Following up on a recent post on ToeSox Ultralite socks, I got to thinking about the many pairs of socks I use for various activities and weather conditions. While many people prefer going sockless when running or exercising, I almost a… more »

Why Vibram FiveFingers Work for Wide Feet

Why Vibram FiveFingers Work for Wide Feet
Why Vibram FiveFingers Work for Wide Feet
Vibram FiveFingers work for wide feet by featuring a sole that can expand width-wise as needed due to the rubber wrapping the foot at the sides; stretchy uppers and toe pockets also work to add width when needed. Guest post by Ted In the fall of 2009 I donned my first pair of VFF, the KSO Trek. I did a long hike in them and one huge difference soon became apparent. My feet didn’t hurt! On the typical ho… more »

VIVOBAREFOOT Barefoot Running Technique Course

VIVOBAREFOOT Barefoot Running Technique Course
VIVOBAREFOOT Barefoot Running Technique Course
"I agree with you completely. After looking at what is involved, it looks like a money making scheme to profit on the barefoot movement." This was the comment I posted on Jason Robillard's Barefoot Running University website in reply to his blog post,… more »

How to Walk Barefoot [FAQ]

An image of what it looks like to fox walk, a method of low-impact walking that may provide some answers to how to walk barefoot
An image of what it looks like to fox walk, a method of low-impact walking that may provide some answers to how to walk barefoot (Source: TrackerTrail.com)
How do you walk barefoot? Given most of us have learned to walk in heeled shoes, learning to walk barefoot requires listening to your body and retraining your biomechanics to minimize impact and walk gently. more »

Vibram Five Fingers Sole Repair Using Shoe Goo

Guest post by ChadIt was an unhappy day when I threw out my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSO shoes. I had gotten them for Christmas in 2008 and they served me faithfully throughout many miles of running in 2009, including the Hatfield & McC… more »

Barefoot Running Shoes

Nike Zoom Streak XC 2 with Bare Foot Superimposed
Nike Zoom Streak XC 2 with Bare Foot Superimposed
Barefoot Running Shoes aren't an oxymoron. What else could you call minimalist footwear that mimicks the biomechanics of barefoot running? We define barefoot running shoes by weight, flexibility, style, and more! more »

The Definitive Guide to Cleaning Vibram Five Fingers a.k.a. How to Get the Smell out of your Vibrams!

A massive load of Vibram Five Fingers (Plus some Injinji socks!) ready to be thrown in the washing machine. All models of Vibram Five Fingers are machine-washable (though should only be left out to air dry).
A massive load of Vibram Five Fingers (Plus some Injinji socks!) ready to be thrown in the washing machine. All models of Vibram Five Fingers are machine-washable (though should only be left out to air dry).
One of the first discussions on the Birthdayshoes.com forum was on perhaps the most widespread problem with Vibram Five Fingers — they can develop quite a stench, "VFF Stank," or Vibram funk. It's enough that VFF fans so afflicted with smelly Vibr… more »

The Guide to Spotting Fake/Counterfeit Vibram Five Fingers

A collage of many of the common fake Five Fingers that are out there available for sale over the Internet.
A collage of many of the common fake Five Fingers that are out there available for sale over the Internet.
I have some bad news: there are Fake, non-Vibram Five Fingers at large masquerading as our favorite five-toed shoes. These pirated copies are duping would-be VFF fans into buying low quality, black market goods, sometimes at pretty high prices. Buy… more »

Pants on the Ground? A cheap and quick fix to stop jeans from dragging behind your heels while wearing Vibram Five Fingers and other Minimalist Shoes.

A side-by-side comparison of me wearing jeans with my KSO Vibram Five Fingers.  These jeans would be the right length for normal footwear, but with KSOs, they drag behind the heels.  By using an S-Biner, I'm able to keep my pants off the ground!
A side-by-side comparison of me wearing jeans with my KSO Vibram Five Fingers. These jeans would be the right length for normal footwear, but with KSOs, they drag behind the heels. By using an S-Biner, I'm able to keep my pants off the ground!
A quick fix/minimalist shoe or Vibram Five Fingers hack to keep the hem of your pants from dragging on the ground behind your heel, a common problem when you take away the heel as is the case with most barefoot-style shoes. more »

Cut the Cord - Vibram Five Fingers Classics Strap Removal [modification]

Modify your Classic Vibram Five Fingers by removing the elastic bungee cord strap to make them more casual and more comfortable!
Cut the Cord - Vibram Five Fingers Classics Strap Removal [modification]
Some have wondered how a pair of Classic Vibram Five Fingers would function if you removed the elastic bungee cord strap that cinches behind the heel — is it possible? Advisable? Will the Classic Vibrams stay on your feet? Learn more about this permanent modification to your Classics Vibram Five Fingers! more »

Barefoot Running Ultramarathons: Possible? Of course!

Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University demonstrates barefoot running on the trails in Michigan.
Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University demonstrates barefoot running on the trails in Michigan.
Jason Robillard discusses the advantages (and disadvantages) to barefoot running (or minimalist shoes running) an ultramarathon -- things like moisture control, proprioception, and injury prevention! more »

The Pose Method of Running - An Introduction

Photo Nicholas Romanov founder of the Pose Method of Running.
Photo Nicholas Romanov founder of the Pose Method of Running.
A overview and introduction to Dr. Nicholas Romanov's Pose Method of Running by Barefoot Benny. Includes tips and common running errors as well as an introductory drill and links to additional resources. more »

the Beginner's Guide to Vibram Five Fingers

the Beginner's Guide to Vibram Five Fingers
the Beginner's Guide to Vibram Five Fingers
How-to guide to Vibram Five Fingers for beginners, this free PDF talks about the background to the barefoot running movement; the standard Vibram shoes - Sprint, KSO, and Classics; sizing and fit; where to buy; and links to user reviews and photos. more »