Monday, September 7, 2009

Holistic Hottie™: The Best Workout Shoes Ever!

Everyday I'm at the gym someone asks me what I'm wearing on my feet. Are they socks?

No, there are not socks. What they are is the best pair of workout shoes ever! Once I started wearing these bad boys a few years ago, I haven't even thought about wearing a Nike or Adidas for my workouts.

Vibram Five Fingers shoes were voted Time magazine's best invention in 2007 and I agree. They can be worn on the street, on the beach, in the gym and anywhere else. They can be worn for pretty much anything and everything.

But WHY do I wear these?

Besides for the comfort, training in barefoot technology shoes allows me to strengthen my intrinsic stabilizing muscles and move through my full natural range of motion while enhancing sensory awareness and balance responses.

WHAT does that mean?

I'm sure you've heard: "If you don't use it, you lose it." As people age, they tend to lose a lot of flexibility and strength in their feet. Athletes included. By wearing Vibram Five Fingers, I'm using all of my foot and lower leg muscles while exercising or doing any other activity. So even while I'm squatting, I'm using all of the muscles in my feet and lower legs to stabilize. When I walk/run/jump in them, I'm working my feet through their full range of motion - actively stretching and strengthening those muscles.

The condition of my feet affects how efficiently the rest of my body moves. There is a chain-effect. What's happening with the feet will affect the way the rest of the body moves. As I gain more strength and flexibility in my feet and ankles, I'm more efficient in moving the rest of my body.

When I first started wearing the Vibram Five Fingers I could feel the underused muscles of my feet and lower legs getting revived. I enjoyed the feeling of being able to move with greater freedom without the limitations of a rigid sneaker.

Things that helped me to acclimate to my Vibram Five Fingers included self-myofascial release (similar to MELT), staying hydrated (often a "tight" body is a dehydrated body), and gradually incorporating higher impact exercise.

If you think Vibram Five Fingers are for you - begin gradually, use caution, and listen to your body.

WHERE can you pick up a pair?

You can order Vibram 5 Fingers online on the company website, Tip Top Shoes, City Sports, and Amazon. I recommend trying them on in-store before purchasing.

If you're in NYC, you can go to Tip Top Shoes and City Sports stores. To find store locations in other areas, go to the Vibram Five Fingers website.

More articles and info:
Huffington Post
NY Times
Time magazine's Wellness blog
Vibram 5 Fingers

1 comment:

  1. Love this post, and I've never seen these!

    But I totally agree about your feet having a lot to do with your total posture (and how effective your workout is). When I had a trainer session, the first thing he told me was that I stood awkwardly on my feet (I turn them over to the side) lol