Life-Changing?

Hello--I just ordered a pair of KSO's direct from Vibram and am eagerly awaiting their arrival.  I'm a law enforcement professional and an avid tennis player.  I wanted a way to strengthen my ankles and improve my stamina since I currently HATE running.  My wife can't believe I spent money on "Gorilla Shoes"....

So my question is:  Did they change your life and do you think they'll change mine?
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  • Edit (whoops, where's my manners?):  Welcome!

    I'm sure every person's experience will vary.  For me the life changer was realizing during a beach visit that I could actually run barefoot without any of the pains that prevent me from running at home in my "hi-tech" running shoes.  I researched shoes that might allow me to come close to that barefoot experience on pavement, and found the Vibram Five Fingers.  My sister in-law said she has a pair and has loved them, so I ran off and grabbed some KSO's.  My feet, calves and ankles are all showing their weakness, but at least I can get out and run!  

    I also found that I now feel annoyed by my other shoes.  I love my Doc Martens, but all I feel now is a brick that wants to land heel-first.  I pretty much wear VFF's all the time and for everything now.  They are quirky, controversial, funny looking, hard to find, tricky to size...and crazy addictive.  

    Does that count as a life change?  Depends on your perspective.  Will your life change?  We'll see!  Keep us posted.   ;)
  • first of all: WELCOME :D

    now, did it change my life?  i don't know, but i'm running ALOT more.
  • Thanks for the responses folks.  Well, I'm still waiting 4 them to arrive...I'm like a little kid watching for glimpses of Santa right before Christmas, but I'm looking for the UPS truck instead    ;D
  • I don't know about LIFE changing, but I went from being able to run about half a mile before getting horrible pain in the arches of my feet to being able to run 2.5 miles with very little or no discomfort.  Now I actually look forward to running instead of thinking of it as something I should do (and hoping that maybe the new pair of running shoes I'm wearing will finally be the one that gets rid of my foot pain, then being sorely disappointed, no pun intended :P ).  And the first time I walked in them was euphoric - it's actually a joy to use my feet now!
  • Well Santa came in the UPS truck today....woohoo!!  I ripped open the box and had both feet in my KSO's within 5 minutes...I've been wearing them for about an hour now (in the house) and I believe I made the right choice in size.  I'm slightly concerned about some shooting/burning(?) pain at the tips of my big toes when I walk...

    I'm assuming there will be some break-in time as with any footwear but I wanted to mention it in case it is abnormal...Looking forward to venturing outside but it won't be today.
  • on 1275757920:

    Thanks for the responses folks.  Well, I'm still waiting 4 them to arrive...I'm like a little kid watching for glimpses of Santa right before Christmas, but I'm looking for the UPS truck instead    ;D

    I know exactly what you mean.  My USPS mail always comes around 3:30 in the afternoon, but Ill still go ckeck the mailbox at like 2 if Im waiting for a package.  Of course, when I check it is not there. Then Ill go the the computer and spend half an hour pressing the refresh button trying to see if the tracking status has updated. Im crazy. ;D
  • on 1275963517:

    Well Santa came in the UPS truck today....woohoo!!  I ripped open the box and had both feet in my KSO's within 5 minutes...I've been wearing them for about an hour now (in the house) and I believe I made the right choice in size.  I'm slightly concerned about some shooting/burning(?) pain at the tips of my big toes when I walk...

    I'm assuming there will be some break-in time as with any footwear but I wanted to mention it in case it is abnormal...Looking forward to venturing outside but it won't be today.

    welcome to the site! Cut your toe-nails maybe :D 
  • on 1275965210:

    welcome to the site! Cut your toe-nails maybe :D   


    Sounds funny, but it's true!  I have quickly learned to be very proactive with trimming the toe nails.  I had the same issue with my KSO's the first day.
  • ^ No doubt.  I am trimming mine at least every other day, if not every day.
  • So I have had my KSO's for a while now (After sending my first pair back for a warranty issue)...And I will say this:  Yes, they have been life-changing for me in that I want to wear them everywhere, everyday.  I am also addicted to this site and constantly watch for new VFF's to buy (holding out for the Speeds in the US).  I haven't run very much in them yet but when I have, I definitely have felt the pain later (good pain that is). 
  • Funny that you're thread title is exactly my response to people when they ask about my shoes, "They've changed my life."

    And that's not hyperbole or an exaggeration of any sort.

    I'll be 42 in a few weeks, and have had sever chronic knee pain ever since blowing out both of my ACLs during a training accident in the US Army when I was 23 years old. I've learned to live with the pain, the inflammation, and the limitations.

    And then I started to wear VFF KSOs (black) for my 3x week CrossFit workouts. After 2 months, I realized that my knee pain was easing, and I was experiencing much less swelling after my workouts.

    So I bought a pair of Classics (Grey/Green) to wear when I wasn't working out in my KSOs. I wear 'em to work, to the grocery store, and even to dinner with my horrified in-laws.

    Three months later, and I am nearly 100% free of the pain that has plagued me for the last 20 years. I've started running (albeit slowly and short distances) again --- I had been subbing rowing for all the running during CrossFit WoDs. And so far, no pain.

    Have these shoes changed my life? Absolutely. So much so, that I'm now pursuing/training for a dream that I thought was long ago dead: quitting my current career as a Technical Writer and joining the local police department.
  • Now THAT'S the type of story I was looking for when I first posted this.  Glad to hear another person benefiting from the use of VFF's...

    I have been a Deputy Sheriff for 10 years and I will be 36 in December.  I have had some knee pain over the last few years and that is one thing I hope will be alleviated through the wearing of my KSO's.

    Good luck with the new career.  Take it from me, it's not an easy one (my gray/balding head is a testament).

  • Just realized another funny thing about these Toe shoes....They make me look at people's feet constantly!!  I just found myself being amazed at my 2-week-old daughter's foot dexterity.  It made me ponder: "What if I had never worn shoes...Would my feet have been as flexible and hand-like as my infant daughter's feet?"  I already know the answer to this...Alas, VFF's weren't around 30 years ago.
  • Well I'm still quite young but when I was around 12 yrs old I was involved in a pretty bad car accident broke my leg and a bunch more.

    Doc said I'd need corrective shoes to walk pain free and well "correct" at least in his eyes.

    move on 4 years later I peel off my bricks they called shoes dogs are barking like mad to go for a walk, So I look over at my shoes that I just peeled off and sighed because the simple thought of bending over and putting them on and lacing them up just made my back ache so I said "screw it!"

    as I ventured outside barefoot leashes in hand and started walking and to my surprise I had no pain anywhere legs, knee, back just felt great and then the single piece of glass in all of the neighborhood block decided my foot would be its new home.

    After the initial pain I limped home down and out that my pain free stroll ended in sharp stabbing pain from someone's negligence I sat down pulled the spear from my foot and googled barefoot shoes I stumble upon these silly looking things I wouldn't even call shoes and doing some research mostly around this website and lurking the forums decided it's time to take action.

    So I make the 40 minute drive to my closest shop a literal "jungle" store you had to actually drive through a wooded area to find this place (a place like this is only found in Florida) I walk in approach the counter and ask for Fivefingers the ladies pointed to this very small corner of the shop and I instantly think "oh no, they will have a extremely limited stock" and as I round the last rack of clothing I'm awestruck, as I stare at this enormous wall of silly looking things.

    The sales guy who happened to have an awesome handle bar mustache tells me to step into this red foot measuring device tells me, "43 What a numba" he leaves me there waiting, and reappears with 5 boxes stacked on one another and I just can't help but smile.

    we try on each model and I decided on some brown/walnut classics and leave the store with a lighter wallet and a even lighter heart.

    7 months or so later here I am running actually running! something doctors said would only be a dream and right now they are completely stumped and still tell me I'll get worse but I don't see that happening.

    to sum this up yes they have changed my life and everyone around me has noticed the change when I opted to go hiking at the family reunion.

    I can only hope those silly looking things do the same for you.
    And sorry for the long story got kind of wrapped up.

    -Ryan
  • Ryan--That's awesome! So my math tells me you're 16, maybe 17?  Great for Vibram to have a young fan who has reaped the benefits.  Thanks for sharing.
  • on 1280956762:

    Funny that you're thread title is exactly my response to people when they ask about my shoes, "They've changed my life."

    And that's not hyperbole or an exaggeration of any sort.

    I'll be 42 in a few weeks, and have had sever chronic knee pain ever since blowing out both of my ACLs during a training accident in the US Army when I was 23 years old. I've learned to live with the pain, the inflammation, and the limitations.

    And then I started to wear VFF KSOs (black) for my 3x week CrossFit workouts. After 2 months, I realized that my knee pain was easing, and I was experiencing much less swelling after my workouts.

    So I bought a pair of Classics (Grey/Green) to wear when I wasn't working out in my KSOs. I wear 'em to work, to the grocery store, and even to dinner with my horrified in-laws.

    Three months later, and I am nearly 100% free of the pain that has plagued me for the last 20 years. I've started running (albeit slowly and short distances) again --- I had been subbing rowing for all the running during CrossFit WoDs. And so far, no pain.

    Have these shoes changed my life? Absolutely. So much so, that I'm now pursuing/training for a dream that I thought was long ago dead: quitting my current career as a Technical Writer and joining the local police department.


    Thanks for sharing that - very cool story.
  • on 1275965108:

    on 1275757920:

    Thanks for the responses folks.  Well, I'm still waiting 4 them to arrive...I'm like a little kid watching for glimpses of Santa right before Christmas, but I'm looking for the UPS truck instead    ;D

    I know exactly what you mean.  My USPS mail always comes around 3:30 in the afternoon, but Ill still go ckeck the mailbox at like 2 if Im waiting for a package.  Of course, when I check it is not there. Then Ill go the the computer and spend half an hour pressing the refresh button trying to see if the tracking status has updated. Im crazy. ;D

    Me too except my ups box is left on my doorstep so im always checking, and madly refreshing the tracking page. Sadley my UPS delivers around 5 or 5:30 in my neighborhood so it is even more of a wait.

    On topic: Ive only had my VFFs for 2 weeks and I havent had any life changing experiences but just from walking around in them I can feel my feet and legs work and get stronger. I hope you enjoy your shoes, and welcome to the community.
  • And yes I'm 16 and will be turning 17 in Oct. I'm one of the youngest users here that I know of. And I own more pairs than I really should haha.
  • Since using VFF's exclusively my knee pain is completely gone...  I tried a regular pair of shoes and it came back within minutes.  Total life changer.
  • Welcome Aboard! And yes in a small way they have changed my life. I am a retired Navy Veteran and my poor feet were stuffed in steel toe shoes for 20 years. It is a wonder I can still walk. But my feet seem to be doing better since I have started wearing these shoes. And I certainly have learned to be more social with total strangers when they are asking numerous questions of my wife and myself about our shoes. At first it was kind of nice but now it is getting old and I try to be polite and cut the conversation short when possible. Once again Welcome to our forum.
  • I haven't turned my ankle since going minimalist. I use to turn my ankle in cushioned shoes, but I have a better feel of what going on under my foot now such that I can catch myself before turning my ankle. Also I'd like to think my feet have gotten stronger. I still have that nagging side of the foot pain behind my pinky toe. I wonder if it'll ever go away.
  • I don't have an awesome story like Ryan or Robbie, but I have one nonetheless :)

    When I was about 9 I severely sprained one of my ankles...from that point on I was constantly twisting an ankle or just enduring excruciating pain from "doing too much."  I can remember helping run the parking lot at a local fair when I was around 12 and that night I literally had to crawl into the house because both of my ankles were causing me that much pain to walk on. 

    Fast forward to High School.  I enjoyed playing both Basketball and Volleyball, but after my sophomore year I was dealing with so much achilles tendon pain that I just could not play any longer.  The next two years were filled with try this and try that...and some PT.  My Senior Year, I had to wear a boot on my left foot and walk on crutches causing my entire lower leg to atrophy.  The idea:  rebuilding the muscle would solve the problem....yeah, try again! The summer between my Senior Year of HS and Freshman Year of College I had surgery on my left foot, which led to some lovely arthritis.

    I am now 30, and have spent way too much time and energy trying to find sneakers that have "enough support" to fix my ankle issues, or at least make the issues bearable.

    My Classics arrived on June 14, 2010, followed 2-3 weeks later by a pair of KSOs.  For a while I've come into work on Mondays, after a long weekend of being busy and on the go, all gimpy.  For the past 4 or 5 Mondays, I have not been gimpy.  There was one week where I probably overdid a little on the pavement running in my KSOs, so my forefoot was a little sore, but the usual areas where I've experienced serious pain have not been problematic. 

    Things are looking up!
  • on 1280969315:

    Just realized another funny thing about these Toe shoes....They make me look at people's feet constantly!!  I just found myself being amazed at my 2-week-old daughter's foot dexterity.  It made me ponder: "What if I had never worn shoes...Would my feet have been as flexible and hand-like as my infant daughter's feet?"  I already know the answer to this...Alas, VFF's weren't around 30 years ago.


    I've noticed that I pay more attention to other peoples' feet now, too.  The contemporary dancers on 'So You Thin You Can Dance' absolutely fascinate me.  HOW do they leap so high, and land on the TOP of their toes/foot? 
  • on 1281023215:

    And yes I'm 16 and will be turning 17 in Oct. I'm one of the youngest users here that I know of. And I own more pairs than I really should haha.


    ;D NOPE! I'm thirteen. I have friends who are younger than me who wear VFF's. But I may be the youngest on the forums!
  • So Griffin...How have VFF's changed YOUR life at the ripe old age of 13?
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