Vibram is an incredible barefoot shoe that offers ultimate freedom for the natural movement of the feet. The footwear brand works best for any occasion ranging from the mountain hike to the Saturday night outs. Have you found yourself completely lost while staring at someone at the gym because you can’t figure out the exact thing they are wearing at their feet?
History of Vibram
Another name for the Vibram is five-fingers-shoes. The toe shoes might have grabbed your attention at some point in life. The brand is famous because it has sophisticated wear technology that allows wriggling of the toes in the individual pockets.
Robert Fliri is the first designer who founded the idea of manufacturing shoes with individual toes in 1999. Sir Robert spent a lot of time researching foot anatomy and barefoot hiking in the mountains of Italy. He recommends that when you have five-toes-shoes that independently grasp the ground, the feet can feel the ground, and the body moves with immense stability as designed by nature. The concept of Robert Fliri triggered the innovation of barefoot shoes by various designers. The transformation aimed to create a shoe that offers a real-world experience while still cushioning and covering the feet.
However, Robert’s idea remained dormant as a mental image up to 2004 when Bramani and Fliri met. Bramani, the founder of Vibram the FiveFingers, believed that the novel footwear is the best choice for sailing boats and other immersive activities that required a good ground feel.
Vibram FiveFingers entered the shoe market in 2006 as the barefoot shoe. Barefoot shoes are not only the footwear brand that you can wear without socks. In addition, the barefoot shoes are similar to the conventional shoes, but they are in the minimalist’s version. They have a thick sole, protective upper, and side materials, plus the other fastening methods. Not to forget that they are lighter and thinner.
How It Feels Wearing Vibram Shoes
So why choose Vibram or other shoes like Vibram? Barefoot shoes promote freedom of movement and also strengthens the feet. The evolutionary history has it that humans used to walk barefooted in the past. Therefore, having a cushioned shoe with cramped toe boxes protects and prevents the feet from various problems, including blisters and unnecessary injuries.
Getting the right shoe size with Vibram FiveFinger is critical. Like the other shoes, you can still complain about them being too long or too short. Running with Vibram feels like your feet are touching the ground. They are light, and the thick sole with cushion ensures that the rough ground doesn’t cause any form of detrimental friction to the feet. The extra protection is also meant to help in long-distance running. Ideally, they make a perfect transition for the act of running barefooted.
The Best Barefoot Vibram Alternatives
Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III
The ultra-minimalist vegan shoes are eco-friendly and are suitable for training. They are highly flexible, breathable, and lightweight and feel comfortable for routine exercises. According to feedback from various Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III buyers, the barefoot shoe offers excellent fitness on pavements, gyms, and tracks.
The toe box of Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III has enhanced springiness to boost the runner’s performance. Vegan materials that are friendly to the environment are used to manufacture Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III. That is why at the end of Vivobarefoot lifespan, they are taken for recycling at Vivobarefoot’s Revivo service.
The Comfiest barefoot shoe brand is meant for both males and females and work best when you wear them on the city pavement or at home. The only downside for the Freet Chukka shoes is that they feel like slippers and not shoes when you wear them during the wet season. On the other hand, the good thing about the Vibram shoe alternative is that they are water-resistant, and it maintains the natural feeling for the feet even when it rains.
The outdoor credentials of Freet Chukka are complemented by the cozy and warm feeling of its interior. The shoe has stretchy microfiber at its upper and the durable MultiGrip2 outsole to offer good traction at the muddy and wet surfaces. The Freet Chukka, including the toe rand, is designed to look like an everyday shoe. Therefore, the Freet Chukka barefoot shoes won’t attract too much attention from the crowds that’s unfamiliar with the different types of shoes like Vibram.
Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG
Don’t mind going for another Vivobarefoot shoe as an alternative for Vibram. Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG is different from the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III in the aspect that it’s an all-rounded true barefoot shoe.
Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG has a firm ground sole that is thicker and rugged than the other barefoot shoe discussed on this list. It’s specifically meant for the serious training that needs extra padding.
In addition to the ground protection of the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG, the shoe’s upper features a minimalist design and mesh fabric that enhances its breathability. For anyone who wishes to have a good adventure while training, the Primus Trail II FG is a perfect choice because it doesn’t compromise the feet’ movement and comfort. Like the Primus Lite III, Primus Trail II FG is friendly to the environment. It’s constructed from recycled materials and algae insoles. The shoes can again be recycled after use through the Revivo program.
Merrell Vapor Glove 4
Merrell Company has a small collection of barefoot shoes, and the edition of Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is the minimalist model made flexible for trail-running. Vibram TC5+ outsole is used in its construction, and the ‘Barefoot 2’ design brings about the natural movement pattern of the Vapor Glove 4.
The shape of Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is slightly conventional, unlike the Vibram and the Vivobarefoot shoes. The toe box area is small; therefore, you can feel snug which is not usual in other barefoot shoes.
Ultimately, the Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is ultra-light and flexible to give movement freedom while running on the trail. All materials ranging from Cordura and TPU upper to breathable mesh lining are vegan-friendly. The M Select FRESH has antimicrobial agents to keep shoes free from unpleasant odors.