I haven't posted on here for a while, but I'm hoping some other users have experienced my problem and have some insight into a solution.
I used to wear my Vibrams all the time, but I had a recurring problem with all four pairs of my Vibrams and that is that after an hour or two (less time if I'm driving or sitting still) my nail bed on my right big toe gets EXTREMELY painful (though most notably in my Smartwools no matter how many times I invert the heel). I guess I have a slightly ingrown toenail there that almost never bothers me when I'm not wearing my Vibrams. As much as I loved wearing my Vibrams, I decided to take a break from them (and the constant pain of that toe) and try out a bunch of the other minimalist footwear out there. I took to wearing my Merrell Pure Gloves and a pair of Patagonias with the soles removed, as well as a pair of Old Navy corduroy flats that are SO flat they roll in a ball. It fixed the problem of pain on my big right toe, but a couple months later I realized my back pain had gotten really bad and then I developed sciatica, which I've never had before. It occurred to me that maybe my minimalist-style "regular" shoes weren't as helpful as I'd thought, so I switched back to my Vibrams outside the office and only wore fast flats in the office (no toe shoes allowed in my office). Within two days the sciatica was gone and my back pain was GREATLY reduced. Apparently my body had re-learned bad walking habits without the Vibrams.
So I decided to deal with the pain and bought a pair of flows in a size bigger than I normally do so I could wear them with toe socks for the winter. They are by far the most comfortable pair I own, but I have a 45 minute commute and always by the end of my commute, my big right toe is SCREAMING at me in pain. It really is a very minor ingrown toenail, but even after a pedicure where they remove it, I still end up in pain on that toe. Has anyone figured out how to overcome this problem before? I apparently need the Vibrams to be pain-free in my back, but it seems unfair that I have to trade back pain for toe pain. I want a third option for no pain.