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You can expect to be asked a lot of questions when you wear your FiveFingers. Everyone notices them and no wonder - Fivefingers are a revolution in footwear.  Here are some Q&As to help you separate the facts from the fiction about what is best for your feet (and the rest of you).  And it will give you some good answers for the people who can’t stop looking at your feet…

Q. Why should I wear shoes that don’t give my feet any support?
A. Were you born wearing trainers?  Didn’t think so. Our bodies, when still or in motion have all the support they need from bare feet, providing we don’t let all those foot muscles get lazy.  And they will get very lazy indeed if you wear trainers that cushion and angle your feet in an unnatural way.
Find out more in our Barefoot Technology section 

Q. I have weak ankles, will wearing FiveFingers protect me from injury?
A. Trainers increase risk of ankle sprain by elevating your foot from the ground – just like stilettos. Wearing FiveFingers will increase your ankle strength and flexibility by allowing a greater range of movement.  You will be more aware of how your foot is striking the ground and this will improve your balance and foot positioning as you move. It is incredibly difficult if not impossible to sprain your ankle barefoot, by feeling everything you body is built to keep you as safe as possible from harm.

Q. How can wearing FiveFingers help with back pain?
A. Wearing FiveFingers improves the alignment of your spine and hips as you adapt your foot positioning, Being barefoot or as close as possible to your body is but back into neutral. They also help you switch on your pelvic floor and your abdominal muscles.  This all adds up to a lot less pressure and strain on your back.

Q. Will FiveFingers help me run faster?
A. If you are willing to put in the time on your technique, the answer is yes.  You’ll find that your footfall gets lighter as you adjust to a non-supportive shoe. Less of your energy will be used to hit the ground and more of it can be concentrated on moving forward.  Chi Running and Pose Method are both styles of running that work well with FiveFingers.

Q. I want a pair of FiveFingers for running, which model is best?
A. Each of the eight models, while sharing a similar sole design offer slightly different fits and benefits to the wearer. Where possible we would recommend visiting your local retailer and trying on each of the models to see which one feels the best and matches your foot shape. The short answer is that all eight models are suitable for running, the Classic offers the most barefoot like feel with very minimal support, the Sprint offers the most support of the range with it’s unique midfoot strap providing gentle cradling of the arch. The KSO offers full foot coverage and slightly more padding through the sole and the Flow being most similar to the KSO with the additional benefit  of neoprene for warmth while in the colder months or during adventure racing. With the introduction of the Bikila & Speed comes the first running specific sole design, purpose built for running either on or off road, while not as “barefoot” as the original range a slight sacrifice in feel is offset with improved on-road grip and a slight amount of extra padding. Even with this in mind we would still encourage the entrance or transition into minimal footwear running with the original series and then work up from there.

Q. Can I wear FiveFingers to the gym?
A. Fivefingers are ideal for gym work.  They have closed toes so there’s no health or safety issue. They give you excellent grip on any surface.  They also help you to switch on your pelvic floor and your core, very important for any type of resistance training. Especially beneficial for nice deep squats & lunges  for maximum benefit.

Q. Can I wear FiveFingers in water?
A. Yes.  Fivefingers offer excellent grip in wet conditions and they dry very quickly.  The Sprints and Flows are best for fast flowing water activities – surfing, windsurfing, flats fishing, white water rafting etc.  They have fastenings that will keep them on in strong currents.  Flows also have extra insulation, ideal for colder water conditions.

Q. You have to wear FiveFingers with bare feet.  Do they get smelly?
A. Yes and so would the rest of your training gear if you never washed it.  Just pop your FiveFingers in your machine on a gentle, cold cycle with your usual laundry detergent – use a delicates bag if you want to.  Line dry them and they’ll be ready to wear in the morning. You can also wear ToeToe, Injinji or similar toe socks in your FiveFingers to keep you warm and reduce the smell factor. We would also recommend a quality foot powder to maintain foot health. The recent introduction of Stuffitts shoe dryers has proven a great addition to keeping the FiveFingers clean, dry and as odour free as possible.

Q. How long do FiveFingers last?
A. Runners have logged well over 1000km in a single pair – though not all in one run as far as we know!  FiveFingers are made with Vibram rubber soles.  Vibram rubber has long been the industry standard for premium hiking and trekking footwear.  The sole is made to last for a long time, even on the most abrasive of surfaces. We have seen long term users with pairs over two years old, no tread and super soft but still being worn. We have also seen pairs lasting only five months with the users admitting to absolutely trashing them with constant daily use and being happy with the life span. You will be somewhere in between, it all depends on what you do, on what surface you do it and how often you do it.