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Vibrams and Evening Gowns VFF Five Fingers Dressed up smart paleo-min

Vibrams and Evening Gowns

Well, I’ve never considered wearing mine with an evening dress – but it’s great to see Shailene Woodley wearing Vibrams at a high profiled event!

How do you wear yours?

Vibrams and Evening Gowns VFF Five Fingers Dressed up smart paleo-min

A Royal Vibram Fan VFF barefoot running five fingers paleo diet natural fitness-min

A Royal Vibram Fan?

Apparently Prince Harry has just bought some Vibram Five Fingers in California!

It’s great to see the increase in popularity of the VFF’s.  I can’t wait for the day they become more mainstream.  I still get so many funny looks wearing my Vibrams around Sydney.  Some people even comment about how they must be damaging my feet, which is especially amusing, as I have the exact same thought about their feet in the cushioned, padded, arched trainers they insist on wearing.

My Vibrams

Do you think in a few years time EVERYONE will be wearing vibrams?

A Royal Vibram Fan VFF barefoot running five fingers paleo diet natural fitness-min

My daily commute barefoot paleo network sydney harbour bridge walking running-min

My Daily Commute

When Mark’s Daily Apple launched this video competition, it seemed like the perfect excuse to learn some new Mac skills, after buying my first ever MacBook Pro a couple of weeks ago.  I’d been thinking about making a video of my commute into work, as the sun rises behind the Sydney Opera house, whilst I run/ walk over the Harbour Bridge.  Perhaps with a cruise liner going under the bridge, at the exact same time I ran over it.  Yeah, didn’t happen like that.  By the time I found my camera I completely missed the sunrise and the weather was terrible.

So, let me know what you think of my first ever video!

I think walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is.  For me, walking to work is perfect.  There are no excuses or putting it off – I have to get to work, I have to walk!  My commute is 4.6km (2.9 miles), each way, so door to desk, via shower, it is well under an hour.  I’m increasing the amount I wear my Vibrams each week too, I’m almost up to every day.  If I were to get the bus, by the time I’ve waited around for a bus, it wouldn’t be that much quicker – not to mention the unpleasantness of buses at rush hour.  On the way into work it’s mainly downhill and I often run.  I’ve got particularly bad at needing to overtake EVERYONE in front of me.  I used to walk most of the way home, but since I’ve upped the fat in my diet, and decreased the carbs, I often have so much energy I feel compelled to run.  Even after a long day at work.  Crazy!

Another huge benefit I see in walking, particularly in the summer, is that I get a lot of sun exposure – but not the intense midday sun.  Great for keeping my Vitamin D levels topped up.  I also really enjoy the time to just be mindful and enjoy the fresh air and scenery, or listen to music and podcasts.  I wouldn’t swap this part of my day for anything!

Before I moved to Australia, my commute used to be 19 miles, in a car, on a motorway in the UK.  It doesn’t get much less Primal than that!

In addition to walking, I also do high intensity intensity training two or three times a week, with my fantastic PT, Karl.  In the year since I started these sessions, my strength and fitness have improved significantly.  I’m making slow, but steady progress in my push-up and chin-up ambitions!  I will master the unassisted chin-up, I will!

What does your fitness look like?  Do you walk to work too?

My daily commute barefoot paleo network sydney harbour bridge walking running-min

How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia-min

How to Get Cheap Vibrams

As I explained in my previous post, I love running barefoot, in VFFs.

My Vibrams

My Vibrams – I’ve got a pair of pink Treksports and black Classics. So far.

When I was in America for PrimalCon & the AHS this year, I was so shocked to see how cheap Vibrams were, compared to here in Australia.  I bought two pairs, the Treksport in pink from a big outdoors store in Texas and a pair of Classics in black from another store in San Francisco.  Each pair worked out at well under $100 AUD, including taxes.  Not only were they cheaper, but the stores stocked so many different models, colours and sizes.  I should have bought more.  It takes going overseas to realise how expensive things are in this part of the world.

The bigger sports shops in Sydney seem to carry just a few models, and you can forget about getting them in exciting colours.  The bigger Rebel Performance stores sell a small selection, for upwards of $169.99 AUD, which is a lot of extra money to pay, especially for a small selection.

cheap_vibrams_vffs

Vibrams can be expensive in Australia

I bought my first pair of Vibrams on Ebay last year.  I carefully researched the model and tried an equivalent pair on in the city, to make sure I ordered exactly the right size.  I still paid about $100, so not that much of a bargain.  They arrived and I was instantly disappointed with Vibrams in general.  The toes were all the same length – meaning only my big toe would fit properly.  The top of my other toes didn’t even reach the bottom of toe section!  I initially assumed this was just how they made them, perhaps I had freaky toes, as they weren’t all the same length?  On close inspection it became apparent that the box and literature in the box was quite odd too.  It was upside down and back to front.  I think I probably spent my hard earned cash on a pair of fake Vibrams.  So my word of warning is be really careful where you buy them from.  If you buy them online, be sure they are genuine!

Luckily I wasn’t put off and after meeting so many VFF owners at PrimalCon I soon realised how they were supposed to fit and behave.  I bought my next two pairs earlier this year.  The difference is incredible!  They are an amazing fit.  Wearing them feels as close to barefoot as I’m realistically likely to get in the city centre.

Prices generally do seem to be coming down in Australia.  I found a sale today at the Adventure Mega Store in Sydney CBD selling VFF’s starting at $99, which seems to be a great deal (but I’d love to find a better price in this country).  They had by far the largest range I’ve seen in Sydney.  I also saw an indoor yoga style for the first time (with 40% discount) which looked perfect for dancing, though I’d need to see how they would compare to my existing dance footwear.  I don’t have the “Sprint” model, and think this might be a good choice for my next pair, I’m very tempted.

cheap vibrams VFF

I found a good sale on Vibrams in Sydney today…

If your toes do happen to all be exactly the same length, I could do you a great deal on a second hand pair of VFF’s.  Unworn…

Have you found any good deals on Vibrams in Australia and New Zealand?  Have you found a great stockist with lots of choice?  Have you managed to get any “real” ones shipped here at a good price?  I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

How to get cheap vibrams vff five fingers barefoot shoes running sydney australia-min

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running-min

The Problem With Shoes

I used to wear heels every day, and bigger heels at weekends.  When I wasn’t in heels I’d be wearing my supportive, shock absorbing, high-tech trainers.  After a lot of running I ended up with shin splints, apparently cause by incorrect over pronation.  My physio had some impressive equipment & software which took measurements of my running and feet, to create a pair of orthotics to put in my shoes.  These forced my feet into the correct pronation.

Since I’ve been leading a Primal lifestyle, I became very interested in barefoot running.

The problem with shoes barefoot running vff vibrams paleo feet walking running-min

At PrimalCon earlier this year I was fortunate enough to have a lesson with Barefoot Ted, which was an amazing experience.  I’d never given much thought to running style before, so it was very eye opening.  When you try to heel strike with barefeet it is not easy to do – yet when you wear trainers with lots of cushioning, it’s easy – and lots of runners do heel strike.  Running in shoes constricts the natural movement that your feet would otherwise take.  Our ancestors had to hunt for their food and walk and run considerably more than then average office worker today.  So it makes no sense that we now need to wear expensive high-tech shoes, in order to be able to run safely.

I now wear very soft soled ballet style shoes every day, and of course vibrams as often as I can the rest of the time.  Since doing this I’ve noticed that my footprint has changed – indicating that I have managed to improve my pronation.  I’ve had no leg or feet related injuries – despite now walking (with the occasional sprint) my daily 5km commute to and from work.

Vibrams are  great practical way to go barefoot around the city.  Tomorrow I’ll share my tips about buying a reasonably priced pair in Australia.