My first outing in Vibram fivefingers
Spring is in the air. Yesterday for the first time the temperature went above 15 degrees C, and I just got a pair of new Vibram Fivefinger shoes - what better excuse than to go for a long walk across Montreal?
I'd heard a lot about Vibrams in the past months. You see more and more people wearing them - in the gym, even walking around. The theory is that by wearing a shoe that is: 1) very thin, and 2) has space for each toe, it then approximates the experience of walking barefoot closely while still giving you enough protection from the elements.
I decided to put the theory to the test.
I started my journey at the office, then walked over the mountain.
Along the way, I crossed many different types of ground - asphalt, grass, rocks, dirt. I was expecting to have some discomfort walking over gravel but actually felt completely at ease. In fact, I felt more at ease in Vibrams than I did in regular shoes, because I didn't feel like it was possible for me to twist my ankle in them as I have a tendency to do in regular running shoes with a thicker sole.
The sun was just starting to set as I went over the mountain, streaming bolts of coloured light. The temperature was cool, just right for a walk up a hill. I walked straight up the mountain, ignoring the zig-zag paths and walking up very steep hills. The Vibrams had great grip, so I could climb very easily.
There was even still some ice on the mountain.
The setting sun was incredibly beautiful.
It was really nice to get out in the fresh air. With these shoes, something about walking in them makes you feel very connected to the ground. You can feel all the textures beneath your feet. You can wiggle your toes. You can spread your toes or use them to grip more if you're going uphill. You do need to learn to walk a bit differently, especially when going downhill. It's not a good idea to go heel-first when walking downhill if you want to be good for your knees.
After going through the mountain path, the last part of my journey was a walk through the city. After walking on all the lovely outdoorsy textures, the feel of pavement underneath my feet was less than ideal but I wasn't in any discomfort.
By the time I made it home it was nearly dark.
At the end of my journey I stopped off to pat a cat.
I would definitely wear these shoes again, and (hopefully) often. I'm looking forward to my next expedition, and want to make a point of doing more hiking this year.