vibram fivefingers…I’m a convert (Sunday life)

This week I run in weird frog shoes

running inset2 vibram fivefingers...I'm a convert (Sunday life)

I think it’s a particularly Australian thing to not want to appear too earnest when partaking in sporting pursuits. Blaring lyrca and customised sweats make you look like you care too much. Which is fine if you’re the best. But anything less? You’re a try-hard. I mean, what could be worse than being accused of having “all gear and no idea”?

For this week’s column I succumbed to trialing possibly the most earnest sporting accoutrement on the planet: Vibram FiveFingers, those odd little foot gloves made from rubber that allow you to run barefoot without getting glass or twig injuries. They were originally designed in Italy as a non-slip boating shoe, but a few years ago were adopted by the rather parochial and fast-growing barefoot running community. You might have seen such folk about at your gym, down at the park, running past you in a marathon. And you might have thought, “Cripes, what an earnest little frog-footed person he/she is!”.

Well, I’ve turned into just such a person. You know, it’s lucky I offloaded my pride long ago (shortly after I wrote about getting a colonic and just before tap-dancing out of a plane with Sir Richard Branson for this column). Adjusting to the FiveFingers takes a good few months and Australia’s Vibram importer Max Delacy from Barefoot Inc told me I must walk around in them as much as possible until my feet strengthened. I wore mine walking through the city to meetings, to the supermarket and into a pub when I had to drop something off to a friend. I got looks. But I held my head high.

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