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Breaking In a Pair of Vibram FiveFingers Classics

New Vibram fan Katie wrote in the following about her recent discovery of FiveFingers Classics:While still deciding whether or not to buy some VFFs, I browsed the web extensively, finding mostly running and hiking stories. I was looking for an exampl…

New Vibram fan Katie wrote in the following about her recent discovery of FiveFingers Classics:

While still deciding whether or not to buy some VFFs, I browsed the web extensively, finding mostly running and hiking stories. I was looking for an example of Vibrams being great shoes for every day use, since I myself am not a runner, hiker, jogger, etc. I found enough on to convince myself that a pair of Vibrams would be perfectly fine to have for mostly casual use. I bought my Classics (and my husband a pair of KSOs) in late May 2011, and I haven’t worn any other shoes since! I wear them to family cook outs, work, the grocery store, the mall, church—you get the picture. I have tried running in them, and I must say running is a much more enjoyable experience in Vibrams.

However, the first few days of wearing them were discouraging. My big toes were cramped and in pain, and the back of the heel (on the Classics) hurt me with every step I took. I would find myself not even moving in them and having to take them off because of the discomfort (I might have just gotten a size too small). I was so excited about them that I just couldn’t not wear them. I’m glad that I didn’t give up, because, as the clerk at the shoe store told me, they do loosen up with wear. It’s gotten much easier to move my toes around while wearing them, and now I can but them on as quickly as any other slip-on shoes. My heels rarely give me trouble anymore, and my left big toe only occasionally feels strange (remember, I haven’t been wearing these long). I feel very comfortable in them now, and plan on taking them to the beach and maybe walking the cobble stone streets of St. Augustine Florida this summer!


P.S.: My husband loves his KSOs. They never gave him a bit of trouble.

Glad you stuck it out! I think Classics do seem to break in a bit after a few days of wear. One trick to speeding up the process is to invert the heel.

I hope you keep enjoying your new toe shoes, Katie! Certainly a good time to have a pair of open-topped Classics with the summer heating up!

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

12 replies on “Breaking In a Pair of Vibram FiveFingers Classics”

Thats awesome that you got some classics!!! I’ve been debating on whether or not I should get some speeds because I’m not a runner either and don’t know if they are worth geting just for casual wear. Anyway I’m happy that you like your classics!

It’s awesome that you stuck it out. It took me about 2-3 weeks to truly get used to them. The strap would rub the top of my foot and the back of my heel would kill me. I think I wore them a few hours a day at first then I would wear them going shopping. Finally I took them and a regular pair of shoes on a hike just in case. I never took my classics off! My feet hurt when I got home but not for long. Since then I have worn them everywhere but work (not allowed). I love them because they are great conversation pieces. I can’t wait for my bakilas but ill never give up my classics.

I also wear my sprints and kso’s and my flows everywhere ,they make me happy. every once in a while my big toe will hurt and trimming the nail back does the trick. My black kso’s have been to the opera and symphony and they have all been to the golf course . The flows are the most comfortable in cold and wet weather.I probably have sold dozens of pairs from answering all of the curious people ,I do enjoy it.

@ Seth P.

Definitely get the Speeds. They are awesome for casual wear. I am not a runner either, yet I love these shoes. They are my new favorites. Previously I preferred the Classics.

2 things:

1. You’re not breaking in your Vibrams as much as you’re breaking in your feet. For most people (me included) it takes months before all of the muscles and bones in your feet are thriving again (like they were before we all wore shoes all the time).

2. Try on ALL of the Vibrams when you buy a pair. You’ll be surprised at how different the ground feel is from pair to pair. I fell in love with the Komodo Sports. To me, they felt far more “barefoot” than any other pair.

Welcome to the VFF gang!

My toes straightened out after 6 months in vibrams. No wonder they were stressed a bit.
Start easy. do stretching and warm up your muscles.

I can understand that breaking in can really be painfull.
In the beginning i just had pain from walking. My calves hurt as they were stretched after years.
I started really easy, as my feet were not accustomed to the new stress.

Walking in the city is fun, all this different surfaces all my nerves beeing tingled..
but on the beach if the sand is not to hot i would walk barefooted.

after 6 months in VFFs my Asics feel like usles clunkers. They HURT. yes my once comfortable shoes cause pain.
I’ve never worn them again, they feel kinda wrong and squeeze my toes.

Oh and Katie is a hot vibram wearer…
I still feel like I am the only one that got a pair here in germany…

I purchased my VFF’s back in September 2010. I also am not a runner, but with my job I am on my feet 7 to 8 hours a day. I wear these shoes all the time. I have never had a better pair of shoes and absolutely love them.

I actually found that my Classics were causing my feet to cramp up too, so I cut the elastic out of them. I now have no problems and they fit great. I wear them casually all the time, and run in my Sprints. For hiking and other stuff, I have Treksports.

I thought it was my imagination, but I’ve only had mine a short time and I can’t believe the difference. I am not a runner either, but I’m more comfortable barefoot or in hard sole shoes than any other athletic shoe or “comfort” shoe. I’ve now done miles of walking, cardio workouts and the elliptical and no more ball of foot or heel pain! I need to find out which barefoot shoes would be best for rough terrain hiking. Still dealing with sore feet in my boots.

I have just gotten a pair of vibram and i think i have made a bad choice. My baby toe’s are in so much pain. I put them on @ about 3:00 for an hour and a half, when I got home I had to take them off. I have tried stretching the baby toe’s by uotting objects in the toe’s, showering in them useing the hair dryer to dry them in hopes that the toes stretch. What else can i do. please help i really really wanted them an now I feel as im being defeated or just not ment to have them.

I am a barefoot, barefoot fan. I never wear shoes at home or outside so I thought that the Vibrams would be easy to get used to. I bought KSOs and put them on right after I was handed the receipt. My tire blew out on the way home and I was squatting with them on for about 40 minutes and my toes cramped SO bad but after about 3 days of non-stop wearing they were amazing. I have to say they were comfortable right away, my muscles just needed to adjust.

I bought size 41 KSOs and for my next purchase I chose Classics and got a 42 since I heard they run small. They fit fine the first day and at day 2 rubbed my heel raw after a run. They were way too big, luckily the folks at Vibram were awesome and sent me a pair of 41s and they are my every day shoes. I think the KSOs are more easy to wear and break in since the Classics have the cord on them that can be a bit tight.

I would recommend that you break them in by wearing them around the house and on grass for 2-3 weeks (to not void your return) and wash your feet and dry them well BEFORE putting them on to keep them fresh. Everyone I’ve recommended them to has taken about 1-3 weeks to break them in.

Even after breaking in be careful of your surroundings and always mind the ground. Your feet might adjust but you may still not be used to the dangers of the ground: sharp rocks, glass, etc. That takes a bit longer. A good, solid hike should help.

Good luck and congrats on your purchase. You will love them!

Just started breaking in with a pair of Komodosports. Feet. Pain. Arch hurt, toe bleed! I think my little toes have spent too many years bent and curled up to the next toe. I guess i have to wait till it heals before going back to the 5 Fingers? I think my arches are just not used to working so much and I have done some foot exercises (sole training but it’s a bit pricey for the video dl). Going sock foot is the next best thing and regular shoes just hurt. We’ll see, I really want to like them. AndyB, NH.

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