In today’s society, less is more. Use less, spend less, eat less, or at least that’s the excuse we use when we are trying to be cheap. Vibram has embraced this philosophy and taken it to the next level with an entire line of minimalist footwear.
Minimalist footwear comes from the notion that the big bulky air filled, gel filled trampolines in our shoes are not conducive of optimal health and performance. These large puffy soles have bred entire generations of heel striking runners who now enjoy a life sport related injuries and conditions. Our Nike-less ancestors did not have the luxury of air in their feet so they couldn’t have possibly run with the traditional heel toe technique. Evidence would indicate that our ancestors ran on the mid to forefoot, developing strength in the foot and leg muscles while relieving impact stress.
“Now how is this relevant to me? I just want to CrossFit Ike a boss”. In CrossFit we encounter tons of different movements in a work out often combining weight lifting with running, jumping and anything else you can dream up. We need a shoe that can do it all.
Optimal weight lifting requires a flat surface with minimal bounce. In traditional runners, you are constantly adjusting to the instability under your foot which results in incorrect body positioning and inefficient energy transfer. In addition to this instability, the exceptionally large heel height causes excessive forward inclination of the body resulting in a plethora of problems such as joint pain, muscle imbalance and general peril.
The VFF KSO offers an ultra thin 3.5 mm sole with a 0 heel to mid foot drop resulting in the closest barefoot feeling without destroying your precious feet. The signature finger compartments are also a winner, not just a gimmick. The ability to spread your toes to adapt to changes in weight and movement provides unprecedented stability and agility, perfect for workouts like Fight Gone Bad.
Unfortunately like everything in this world there are some trade offs. With CrossFit, there’s puke. With the VFF’s, there’s also puke. These things get so raunchy they are possibly as vomit inducing as Fight Gone Bad. Luckily they are machine washable. It is a bit of a pain to keep clean but it’s better than vomiting before your workout when you take these bad boys out of your bag.
The VFF KSO is a great shoe for those who feel the need to wander the streets barefoot and an excellent CrossFit shoe. They are also very cost effective at about $85. And no I’m not cheap, I prefer the term minimalist.
Before running out to get your very own pair of puke inducing Five Finger KSO’s please wait for my review of the brand new, New Balance Minimus R Zero’s coming next week!