Sometimes a healthy gift can be hard to find. From November 12th through December 12th, I will be featuring great fitness-related gift ideas for the holidays. I've searched long and hard for gifts that fit the bill for people who like to exercise and appreciate fitness!
Day 3 | Vibram FiveFingers Footwear
Feet need a lot of love, especially for those of us who like to stay fit and healthy. Vibrams are just the ticket...especially if you're looking for a gift for the runner or fitness enthusiast on your list.
Ideal Gift Candidate?
Anyone who likes to stay active and wants the best for their feet. Vibrams are made for runners, fitness buffs, kids and people who just need to get from point A to point B.
What is it?
Vibrams Five Fingers are a glove-like minimalist shoe that allow the foot to achieve a natural, as-close-to-barefoot style of movement as possible. According to the company's website, "Vibrams allow you to land on your forefoot, directly below your center of gravity, resulting in optimum balance, increased stability, less impact and greater propulsion. Running in FiveFingers delivers sensory feedback that improves agility and equilibrium and allows immediate form correction. In addition it stimulates and strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs."
No one should go from 0 to 60 in a pair of Vibrams if just transitioning out of a traditional athletic shoe. Because traditional shoes inherently give out feet and legs support, we lose strength. Until strength in the foot and leg are where they should be, it's important to break Vibrams in slowly until your foot is comfortable enough for long walks, runs, or classes at the gym.
Why it made the list?
For years...actually most of my active life, I've been a "pronator," and have worn shoes appropriate for that style of running. While I have no horrid injuries to complain about, I always struggled with my foot and leg strength. I enjoy running and this has been a concern. What's more, my toes have been massacred after every season of running. Enter Vibrams. Even though I wasn't able to jump directly from a shoe made for a pronator (with a relatively high heel in comparison to a very flat shoe), I was able to make the transition to Vibrams after a while.
I always thought I needed a shoe with a lot of support to help with my less-than-perfect running style. Guess what...I don't. My Vibrams and I are just fine!
My prediction is you'll see a lot more people wearing these Five Fingers shoes as the benefits of getting the foot into minimalist shoes is hugely beneficial for the body (and well beyond running!).
How much does it cost?
Between $55 - $110
Where can I get it?
You can find stores that sell Vibrams right here.
Recap of previous days
Traci D Mitchell is a Chicago-based health and fitness writer and spokesperson. She's on-the-go everywhere trying out new and healthy things with a Chicago appeal. You can reach Traci through ChicagoNow, on Twitter @tracidmitchell or at www.tracidmitchell.com.