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