Vibram FiveFingers is really making the news right now. I wanted to check this out because I really hate wearing shoes and would rather be barefoot. I have actually seen people wearing them, and I must admit they make one curious and would be a great conversation starter.
Vibram Five Fingers is advertised as: The only footwear to offer the exhilarating joy of going barefoot with the protection and sure-footed grip of a Vibram sole. FiveFingers footwear connects you to the earth and your surroundings in a way that is simply not possible in conventional shoes. It puts you in touch with the earth beneath your feet and liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way. This advertisement makes it sound like a fantastic product, promoting such a natural instinct in the body and allowing you to convene with nature.
Barefoot running is also thought to engage our feet. Like the rest of our body, our feet should be stimulated and exercised. One foot on the human body has 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. Why would we ignore this? If you enjoy running outside, literally running barefoot could be dangerous. What if you stepped on something like glass? Enter Vibram Five Fingers, an innovative way to mimic running barefoot while protecting the soles of the feet from road hazards. FiveFingers stimulates the muscles in your feet and lower legs to help you build strength and improve balance and agility.
At this point, I am thinking these shoes sound fabulous. I am notorious for reading reviews, but prior to going to an outside website, I thought I would check out the frequently asked questions on their own website and was shocked at what I read!
What materials are in FiveFingers? The Moc, Performa, and KSO Trek models’ upper is made with soft, tear resistant kangaroo leather.
What, kangaroo leather? I did not even know there was such a thing. Turns out they use kangaroo leather in a wide variety of shoes as it is stronger and lighter than cow leather.
Are Vibram FiveFingers a good choice for Vegans? Yes! Currently, we have many styles and colors made from vegan friendly materials.
That’s great, but you just told us you used kangaroo leather in your other products. Do we really want to support this business? Even David Beckham has now gone with another product because of animal rights.
I have a latex allergy, should I use FiveFingers? Trace amounts of Latex may be present in our bonding compound. Those with latex allergies should avoid wearing FiveFingers.
This makes me feel better that they were at least honest about this part. It is not a very widely advertised warning though.
I know that many people probably do not care about animal rights and what products are made of. It bothers me that they make it sound like such a ‘natural’ product and is good for the body, which is something that I, being Vegan, would be seriously interested in. I feel like this is misleading and wanted to put the truth out there for others to know.
Vibram FiveFingers Website. http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/indexNA.htm 20 August 2010.
“Kangaroo leather”. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_leather 20 August 2010.