questionsdo you have any experience with "minimalist…

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I've worn vivo barefoot shoes. I like them quite a bit but you really, really have to break your feet in. Five fingers don't fit me right because of my longer second toe so I tried the vivos and was sold. I don't wear them a whole lot anymore, I've found skechers go runs to be easier on my plantar fasciitis.
I really like Birkenstocks for wearing around but I've noticed the shoes (nonclog variety) are pretty hard to find. I've got some nice suede ones and a nice looking cap toe dress shoe that I really like.

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I wear a pair of skeletoes and five fingers. Fore-foot strike technique (even walking) is very different from your typical heel-toe walking, so as said above, be careful and work up to a ‘full time’ wear. I find it to be equally comfortable, and fortunately with most minimalist shoes you can skill walk heel-toe if you get worn out :) I didn’t have any problems running before, so I can’t say I run better/safer/etc, but I do find them to be comfortable-they just feel good (and are fun, fwiw).

As far as other brands go, vibram has some five fingers in leather which I think are more discreet than their normal offerings. I will say that the change in your gait will likely be as equally noticeable as the shoes themselves, so you are going to have to own your choice no matter what they look like. Of course if you are in an environment with dress requirements it may limit your options. I wear traditional shoes in those circumstances, though I may have to check the vivobarefoot out!

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I used to run in five fingers and Merrell barefoot shoes. I really liked them for running but did not care for them for just wearing around. Minimalist shoes are made to land forefoot first which was easy for me to do while running, but pretty much impossible while walking. I'd always get sore feet whenever I wore them for something besides running.

I injured my foot (not running) and now have scar tissue in my foot that makes running in minimalist shoes painful so I'm back to my trusty old ASICS.

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If you're wearing FiveFingers, AdiPure's or the Skeletoes, do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor and get the toe socks :]

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I have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers that I wear in the gym. For resistance training and the elliptical work that I do there, they are fine. I would not want to try running my usual distances on the concrete sidewalks we have around here in them, though.

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I debated my purchase for a long time before finally purchasing the Vibram Bikila LS and I couldn't be happier. I didn't have any pain or problems, but I wanted to change the way I ran and I think the minimalist shoe helped with that a lot. I love running in them because they are so much lighter than my old shoes. I was surprised at how natural they feel, even if they do look a bit different. I don't wear them casually around the city, but I have taken them to Yellowstone and on a backpacking trip and they were perfect. I still hiked in boots, but at the end of the day, it was nice lounge wear.

@zuiquan: My second toe is longer too and I found different styles have much different feels. I wanted the Vibram Speed shoes because they looked more normal, but they just didn't fit right. I hate the Fila versions and some others were just okay. It sounds like you found some you like, but if there are others in the same situation, just know it's best to shop around (in person).

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I run in Vibrams and think they are pretty great. I was half-expecting my feet would take a pounding in them, running on concrete, but they actually are very comfortable. I can definitely feel my calves work a little harder in them. They are liberating to run in. I do try to pay a little closer attention and watch a little more closely for rocks and cracks, etc., to prevent stumbling or tripping.

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I have minimalist shoes by Merrell, but they're not toe shoes. They have less top-foot padding and a thinner sole/arch bed, which I prefer. Finally my feet don't feel suffocated by shoes! Traditional running shoes constricted the bones in my upper foot and caused pain. My Merrells are much lighter and yet still support some, allowing for a more traditional foot strike when running and walking.

They're technically trail running shoes, so there is more traction on the bottom than their non-trail shoes have. They're a good in-between, in my opinion, from traditional running shoes to full out minimalists.

Here's the link to the ones I use

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i like the five-fingers, but have since given them up for zero-drop minimal cushion runners. while the five fingers were great, they weren't versatile enough. You'd need a different pair to comfortably run on pavement vs off-pavement/ nature running. And neither pair was comfortable for the other if your course involved both (specifically the road models vs the kso - kso killed my knees on pavement, but was very nice for trail running). Then there's cold weather running. Sure you can get toe socks, but if you sized them right for barefoot use, they won't fit with the toe socks, and vice-versa.

i've used new balance zero drops as well as merrel, and both suited me well. Both the five fingers and minimal zero drops will change your running style, just be aware (if you try to force a heel strike running style on these, you'll just wind up achy.

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@aafalke: Thanks for the info on Merrell. I definitely agree with the feeling of suffocation from most running shoes. In fact, I very rarely wear tennis shoes at all because, no matter how carefully I have them fitted (and I don't have unusually shaped feet or any foot problems) my feet start feeling tired in most tennis/running/walking/whatever shoes within an hour or so of putting them on my feet. I finally realized that I am more comfortable in nylon shoes than in leather or even canvas, that I need to avoid the heavier soles that so many sports shoes seem to offer. I have been considering minimalist shoes, but don't feel up to the five-toe variety. I will definitely check these out!

Edit: Meant to add that my current favorites are a pair of incredibly light New Balance shoes I picked up at Sam's.