Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vibram FiveFingers Weather and Airport Update: keep your VFF's ON!

Ok, so on this ides of March (vale, Ceaser) yet another post about vibram fivefingers (previous one here), but what the heck. This is two surprises: airports and freezing cold streets.

COLD WEATHER - just add sox.
Much to my surprise, i've found that even in -1C, the Flows are great outside on pavement when paired with a pair of injinji sox. These were the temperatures i found myself experiencing in Indiana this past week when the temperatures dropped from 21C to below freezing. That my vff footwear still protected my toes from frost bite made me very happy.

One thing that is a bit of a challenge is the polar opposite of that kinda dry cold: up in Canada, the weather went from -20C (very dry veeeerrry cold) to +1. Slush resulted. Puddles with every ice melting step. This is not fun for flows - the toes will get wet as the gunk comes up over one's tootsies.

Take away: bare feet can do around 4C well; colder, just put your sox on in the flows and as long as it's dry, well you've just extended the wear life of free feet.

I've recently gone through 10 security checks in one week. Each time i had my vibrams on. Not once was i asked to take off the flows. Indeed, most security staff commented on how great they looked and how comfy. They took them to be sox, and i did not dissuade them. Maybe it helped that i had a pair of sneakers in the bucket (was carrying these around for the -15 weather).

Anyway, VFF's are fabulous for being on a plane - you just feel more stretched out and loose and comfy. best ever. way better than just sox. And now, here's one more EXCELLENT reason to wear them for travel.

I need cards with VFF links on 'em the number of times people in airports ask about 'em (by the way Vibram doesn't pay me a cent for promoting their foot ware; it's just the right thing to do).

So, go ahead, if you travel much, you'll be glad you have one less thing to manage after stripping down, pulling out a lap top, pulling out your liquids and all the rest. Keep your VFF's on (the flows do look the most sock like).



Deanmc said...

I might have to get a pair of Flows for next winter... I tried my KSO's a few times when it was in the upper 30's (F) and my toes froze with Injinji socks on about 15 minutes into my workot

dr. m.c. said...

ya deanmc, kso's are not your friends in that weather - the flows are a wee bit thicker in the insole and also that neoprene upper makes a big difference.


Unknown said...

The flows don't work well in slush? I thought I saw that "surfing" was in the category for the flows. Are they not okay in the water? Any help would be great, thinkin' about buyin a pair but a big reason would be for surfing when it's real cold water. Thanks.

dr. m.c. said...

neoprene is not water proof. It works by letting water in to have a layer of water between you and the neoprene, which your body heats up to keep you warm. That's great for surfing; it's not great when walking around outside with sox in your flows to keep you warm on dry land. All you get are soggy cold toes. So context is important: dry and cold, flows with injini's good; slushy, not my idea of a good time. your mileage may vary

Josh said...

I'm almost sold, MC. I'm just worried that when I head to the store they're not going to have my size 15s in stock. Boo hoo.

dr. m.c. said...

Just call ahead Josh! and note there are many many fine online retailers as well - i linked a few in the original review.

Please let me know how it goes.


Unknown said...

so has anyone stubbed their toes in these yet? I was just wondering how much protection they get ya :) I plan on purchasing some soon!

dr. m.c. said...


great to hear you're moving to the free side.

i've stubbed my toes maybe once since wearing these.

Thing is, as your feet get to move more, and the proprioceptors around the joints can work more, you have a better sense of where you are in space. Toe stubbing and stumbling - at least for me - seem to be greatly reduced.

As for protection - it's on the sole of the foot and the front/tips of the toes - that's where the vibram rubber goodness is.


Anonymous said...

ta for the recommendation, I've got a few long flights ahead and was wondering if I could get away with wearing my KSOs. I'll now be stretched out and in a vff happy place


dr. m.c. said...

please come back to let us know how it goes with the KSO's - the flows seem easy with the one piece sock like-ness of them. I'm gonna be trying kso's i think too on the way back long haul from this trip. will look forward to hearing how it goes for you. And i'm betting the person waving you through the screen asks about them. :)


Anonymous said...

Props mc I look forward to it and thanks for your post re sizing and fit – an invaluable resource for us mail order types

Chris West said...

Does anyone know where to get socks for these in the UK? and will they fit all types of VFF?

Annette said...

Im curious about the fit of flows with SCUBA and Free Dive fins... Hm.

Pat said...

Hi. great blog and articles on vff.
wanted to connect you to where he recommends as wearing over the vff when in slush. thought it was a good idea, though i live in southern california and dont know what real slush looks like, according to my wife who lived in the midwest.

anyway, look forward to reading more. and getting my vff kso's in may.

dr. m.c. said...

Pat, thanks. what an excellent page. I had been thinking "goulashes?"

but these look way better. wonder how they are for daily use? have you tried them?

thanks for the super pointer


Dr. M. said...

I just bought my first pair of VFF Bikila. It is very snug and all my toes feel comfortable but the big one touches the shoe. After wearing them around the house for a few hours, the big toe started to hurt. Is that normal? I read it is ok and will go away after wearing them for a while. Is that true? Have you had this experience?


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