I couldn't resist any longer. With only a handful of retail stores in Illinois that actually carry Vibram Five Fingers, it wasn't that easy to get my hands on them. But I finally did.
I was down in my old stomping grounds of Champaign last month, and knew of a store that retailed VFFs. Since they are sized in European numbers (and with the oddity of slipping individual toes into their pockets), I really wanted to try them on first. I got exactly what I wanted: VFF Sprint, red, size 44.
With my background in kettlebelling, these shoes are damn near perfect. They give a feeling for the ground that I usually only got by going barefoot. The problem with going barefoot is of course the cleanliness...not to mention the odd stares from onlookers. With the VFFs, the odd stares continue, but now they're combined with inquiries of "What the hell are on your feet?"
Like I said, the main advantage to the VFFs is the solid stance on firm ground. A firm plant is necessary for deadlifting, clean&jerking, overhead pressing, and squatting of all sorts. If you're wearing well-cushioned running shoes while doing some of these lifts, try going barefooted or sock-footed. You'll immediately see the difference in your plant with the ground.
No matter how silly my VFFs look, they're here to stay. I can deal with the jokes about "monkey toes" for now....