I have never worn the Five Fingers. When i was thinking about ditching my conventional footware i happened upon FTAnimal's post about the Softstar Runamocs. I was easily convinced and ordered them. One month in and im totally happy with the 2mm Runamocs. Theyre great - essentially the same as being barefoot as far as toe-movement goes, which to me seems like what might be one of the more important points. The whole time youre walking/moving you can move each digit as much as you want. Its really an impressive sensation, coming from a lifetime of overkill footware, yknow? That all being said, ive never done the five fingers so i thought i'd see what some of you all think. Cheers.
These are the runamocs by the way: http://www.softstarshoes.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=1342
I can't stand the fact that VFF and Runamocs cost so much money. I buy Minnetonka Moccasins from whichever online retailer has a sale and free shipping at the time. They wear out faster I'm sure, but they cost less than half as much while delivering the exact same experience. The Runamocs in my size would cost $110. What exactly is minimal about $110?
never tried the runamocs, but I have to say that the vff's are the most amazing things for getting your toes to work independently from your feet. Shoes that are regular shaped shoes even though they have thin soles, whatever, keep your toes working in one solid 'block' therefore you never get to feel what it is like to have every toe gripping the ground independently of the next toe. For me this is the most incredible feeling to vff's.
For the first two weeks of wearing vff's I went through terrible toe cramps as my toes loosened up and started to work separately again, after those two weeks I found that my toes had serious flexibility and strength and would bend forward and back much further than they used to. All the muscles in my feet are stronger and my arch higher now I 'feel' the ground with a heightened sensitivity......I believe separate toes are the reason for this, even gripping tree roots and the edge of curbs etc, is now a pleasure - not to mention tightrope walking ;)
From the photos of the runamocs, I get the feeling that this kind of foot and toe strengthening and flexibility is still possible, but not to the extent the vffs offer with their separate toe pockets,
I would say go with vffs every time, they are AWESOME!!!
I have been enjoying my Feelmax Pankas for over 1 year, and they are great. They definitely are thinner than my VFF sprints, and I think they mimic the barefoot sensation more realisticly.
(btw, when I train in the forest, I mostly run barefoot, so I know what barefooting is...)
I think they are more like the runamocs, and I will surely order myself (and my kids) some of the runamocs.
Speeking of kids, the runamocs really resemble the Bobux 'shoes', readily available in Belgium. Paleo parents, take care of your kids feet!!
UPDATE: I now have my own pair of runamocs. They indeed resemble the Feelmax shoes I wore for more than a year, but the sole (2mm) is much thicker than the Feelmax's. Currently Feelmax feels the most like barefoot off all the 'shoes' I tried. Really recommended.
I've been wearing my VFF's for a little over a month now, and I absolutely love em. I don't even think twice about getting my toes in the individual "pockets," and they are very comfortable.
They definitely start a lot of conversations (although some lean towards the "I can't believe you wear those" type). But that's not why I bought them -- after a few minutes of walking around in the store wearing them, I was sold. If I could wear them to work (cooking), I would do so with no hesitation whatsoever.
I have a pair of Five Fingers and not the Runamocs. The VFF's are comfortable but the problem is that they don't allow your toes to work independently. Your toes are connected via a piece of semi-hard rubber. I don't find that my toes can splay out or separate from each other easily at all.
I'd love it if Vibram made their Moc with a stronger leather on the sole as my friends that have them say its like wearing a pair of driving gloves on your feet but they should be worn indoors only for things like yoga, Pilates, etc. And the Vibram Moc does allow for independent toe movement but unfortunately aren't strong enough to be worn for running. :(
I have both... I use the vibrams mostly for sprints, box jumps, and stadiums. The runamocs I use mostly for my daily hour-long walk/jog with my dog. I like the runamocs because they feel cooler on my feet with the perforated leather and not being skin-tight, and I'll wear them to work sometimes too since they aren't so obviously weird. I wouldn't want to wear them in the rain though, which I'm fine doing with my vibrams. I still feel like I get good freedom for my toes with the runamocs, but my feet can slide around in them a bit, which is why I don't use them for sprinting or jumping. I also wore my vibrams on a hike that involved a lot of scrambling over rocks, and it was a cool sensation to feel like I was gripping a bit with my toes. The runamocs are too fragile for that, I think.