Going to back to conventional shoes from VFF

I have been running in VFFs for about 4 years and have loved them.  I am getting more serious about running and want to move to a minimal shoe that provides just a bit of cushioning for the increased miles.  The problem I have now it that conventional shoes don't fit anymore.  Almost every pair is either too tight in the toe box (here) or gives a sharp pain just in front of my heel, on the outside of my right foot (here).

Has anyone had this issue?  How did you get past it?

At the moment, I am thinking about finding the most comfortable and just breaking my feet back in to conventional shoes.

So far I have tried the following shoes:

Entire Altra line (too tight in toe box)
Entire Minimus line, both zeros and the 10 series.  Have a Run Zero in 2E on order to try those. (pain in front of heel or instep too tight)
Vivo Evos (toe box)
Mizuno Wave Universe (narrow)
Asics Piranha (narrow)
Merrel Glove series (instep too tight)


  • Don't know what to tell you since Altras seem to be the widest thing available, have you tried the Minimus Zero Trail in 4E? Lemmings/Stem Footwear?

    My feet are pretty wide and they seemed to be roomy in the toes.

    You could also size up a half size (which is only 1/3 of an inch) ala Two River Treads recommendations for conventional shoes. Before VFFs I would size up a whole size (8.5 to 9.5) for width purposes.

    There's a similar thread here: https://forum.birthdayshoes.com/birthdayshoes-com-general-discussion/is-there-any-shoe-that-will-not-constrict-my-toes-comparison-of-shoes/

    For my Merrells, I had them widened at a cobbler. Perhaps you could do something similar with a local cobbler where you get a shoe that is as good as you can get and then modify it.
  • Have you tried the alternate lacing technique for the Altras?


    That helped me get a little more room in the toebox area while using the Instinct and it actually helped a little bit while using the VivoBarefoot Evo IIs.
  • Yikes. If you find the toe box on the altras too narrow, I'm not sure what to say. They have the widest toe box I've ever worn in a mono-toe shoe. minimus trail zero in a 4E could be an option, but those are not going to provide much more cushioning (if any) than a bikila.
  • I tried on the Altras and then the Stems, and I felt that the stems were a bit wider in the toe box.

    Stems/Lemmings..... Awesome shoe BTW.

  • What about those Skora shoes? They look pretty wide and seem to have lots of cushy in them.
  • In your 'traditional' shoes, you may have regularly had around 1cm to a half-inch hole between your toes and the finish of your shoe. With vibrams, you need your feet to fit considerably nearer inside the shoes. Your foot rear area should fit cozy to the back. Write My College Paper For Me
  • I have a bunion, pound toes, wide front foot and limited rear area, low curves yet none of that issues with the development of orthofeet's shoes. I used to have torment in my rear areas and wads of my feet however no more. Recently I strolled 7 miles and didn't get back home with that "I can hardly wait to get these shoes off" feeling you get with different brands. They begin off agreeable and remain agreeable. Thank you!!!!
  • Why not consider building up your running distance with the barefoot shoes you love? I don't run, but with training to increase foot strength, I am now able to hike in the mountains with VFFs and a 35# pack on my back - at least 10 miles. If there is to be snow or mud, I make sure I have the sole made for that. I did a the 28 mile Inca Trail in them. I'm 34 with arthritic changes. The brain makes you automatically step more softly when barefoot so you don't need cushioning. Cushioning increases the force through your hips/knees as you step more forcefully. Look for work by Irene Davis, PT, PHD
  • I am very heavy, my feet are sensitive, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Arthritis. Nothing I have purchased before including at the Podiatrist office has been this durable and this comfortable. I know I will buy more in the future as they wear out. If you are thinking about it, don't, your feet will thank you, I know mine have by being painless. orthofeet is very comfortable.
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