Comment from: LtFisk [Visitor]
LtFisk

Publicity is good, I just hope they don't become some kind of fashion fad like crocs. All it takes is one person with way too much money wearing them and suddenly you're stylish... for a month or two. What isn't in style can't go out of style.

It is only a matter of time, though. Guess we just have to rely on the fact that VFFs are in fact better than most other subjects of fads. Maybe they'll become standard footware...

11/11/09 @ 13:55
Comment from: [Member]

I understand how VFFs evoke thoughts of Crocs -- both being weird looking and stories of rapid success. However, I believe the the comparisons are superficial.

- Crocs are akin to shoes whereas VFFs are a reinvention of footwear

- Shoes go in and out of style, new product paradigms don't (See for example, how Nike changed the sneaker industry; or see how iPhone changed the cell phone)

- VFFs, as popular as they are amongst us fans, are still a far cry from reaching mainstream acceptance, much less becoming a style fad

- Even if they become stylish and people buy them for style purposes (and not for the ethos behind the product -- to strengthen your feet, experience more things effectively barefooted, etc.) VFFs inevitably change the way you understand footwear -- this is sort of a reiteration or amplification of the second point above.

- Also, Crocs are sort of uniquely faddish -- they ascended incredibly rapidly to fame and then oversaturated the market. Crocs are so eye-catching and, well, ugly, that there's this notion now that shoes can "Go Croc." I don't think this is really the case though -- how many other examples of shoes becoming that popular, that quickly, and then subsiding have we seen? I can't really think of any other examples but maybe others can chime in.

And a couple of reasons why it doesn't really matter even if VFFs do mimic the rise and "fall" of Crocs:

- Even as Crocs were a fad, I still see people wearing Crocs on a daily basis. I'd guess the same would happen with VFFs.

- Most of us got VFFs not to be stylish but because we like what VFFs allow our feet to be -- more free. This won't change no matter how popular VFFs get.

I suspect the real concern about VFFs going Croc is that we'd lose the instant connection we get with other VFFers now -- the sorta head nodding "yeah you get it, too! Cool!" that we get to do because we're still part of a fairly small club of FiveFingers wearers. And I'd definitely lament the loss of that -- sorta how I lament when an obscure band that I love becomes famous. But I also relish in the success and hey, who doesn't like being a trendsetter?

11/11/09 @ 14:17
Comment from: scott [Visitor]
scott

If you are looking for another example of fad-ism on the level of Crocs, you could probably look at Uggs. Or going back further, probably Tevas. I guess it depends on what you consider to be a fad, or creating a new market. Sport sandals didn't really exist until Tevas came along, so that started a new category. Keens sort of brought in the whole heavy-duty sandal concept, which has made a pretty big impact on the industry, but I'm not sure I'd call that a fad; again, I think it's more of a "created a new market segment" thing.

Anyway, the whole Crocs thing is sort of overblown for a number of reasons:

A) A very big part of the Crocs success story has been kid appeal.They lost some sales as Croc clones started selling for half the price. But a big part of the "Crocs for Kids" view is how easy they are for the small kids to put on; I doubt there'd ever be a VFF for kids based on the price for a pair of VFF, and the hassle of putting them on. In fact, I doubt anyone could make a VFF clone at a reasonable Walmart price, as there is a lot of tight corners going on in the stitching. I guess you could lose the toe pockets, and do a more generalized mocassin-type shoes or something.

B) Crocs actually still sell a lot of shoes, just not at the exponential rate that they were selling them at and not at the obviousness level that one was accustomed to.It should also be noted that Crocs has a pretty wide lineup of shoes now; many of which are not garden clogs, and are not even recognizable as being "Croc-like." So while you might not be seeing the clogs around as much anymore (well aside from kids), they are out there in other styles.

I'm not convinced that VFF will ever be a fad outside of some athletic circles, (and I'm not really sure why anyone should care about that point either). Too many people think they look too weird. If Nike couldn't get people into some kind of critical mass into buying Air Rifts because of their strangeness,I doubt anyone is going to get toe shoes to hit a fad level.

11/12/09 @ 09:39
Comment from: Carl [Visitor]
Carl

Re: VFF and bunions

I actually got my KSOs because I have bunions and I thought it might help my feet. So far I would say they have, but I have no good way to prove that. I do know I haven't had any bunion related issues with them. There are a couple different types of bunions though so that might not hold for everyone.

11/16/09 @ 04:29
Comment from: Patrick [Visitor]
Patrick

In terms of the Crocs vs VFF fad debate, both Justin and Scott have good arguments.

Also, I think it is safe to say that the barefoot/minimalistic movement has been around - it seems like the awareness and market have simply continued to develop. It doesn't seem like VFFs have or will explode with unsustainable growth that is so common with fads (eg. crocs). Hopefully VFFs will simply continue to grow based off long term trend.

07/15/10 @ 09:17
Comment from: glenn [Visitor]
glenn

my wife has bunions from toe surgery she had when she was younger she even has a couple screws in there she has one of the most screwed up feet ever but she loves here five fingers the only problem her bunion gave her is sometimes if she wears them alot it may start to rub it a little but the strength build up in her feet is starting help her back pain

07/15/10 @ 11:35


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