For anyone who has ever met me… or frankly seen me anywhere at all… it is obvious that I am not a fashionista. I could honestly give a rat’s behind what people think of how I look. I can’t find things that look the way they are “supposed” to look in the business world that actually work on my body’s less than accommodating days. And when my body decides it is going to be cooperative, my mind frequently rebels. So many days when I go to work I look a lot like I do today… Jeans (that really don’t fit as properly as they could but that stay up, button, and that have legs that are sufficiently long to not be considered floods) and a t-shirt (today it is ACTUALLY a Steeler’s dry fit) with my trusty Vibrams Five Fingers adorning my tootsies… I have a crocheted wrist warmer on my ‘booboo’ wrist to keep the sticky from the NSAID cream from leaving snail trails all over my desk… and to keep it toasty.
I’m not a fashionista… nor at all a fashion whore (although I would love to find some of the artsy stuff that would make me one sometimes).
What brings me to this topic this fine breezy comfortable last day of September? My Hairless Hobbit Feet (my Vibrams Five Fingers).
I have, apparently, become the go-to-guy (okay… girl) on the finer points of Vibrams. Yesterday I wound up talking in the break room for 15 minutes with a few people about my Vibrams, where you can find them in stock locally, if they are really comfortable (because I obviously wear them because they make me look so sexy, right? really?) and if they are hard to get used to. I talked to the group about how my son has been adapting to them, how I like them, the way to keep your tootsies warm in chilly weather… how to measure your feet.. the whole nine yards.
My Boss man’s boss man’s boss man stopped me in the hallway on the way out to comment on the ones I was wearing yesterday (they have laces and vaguely resemble traditional running shoes) and how I am probably one of the biggest local poster children for Vibrams in town. HE said I should try to be one of the local distributors for them to try to make some extra money and per-chance offset the cost of keeping myself and my family in the wicked awesome shoes.
So I started thinking about what my Rheumatologist said about looking forward to seeing what they people who know stuff at the Rheumy conference coming up would be saying about Five Fingers and other minimalist shoes. She was looking forward to hearing about what people were going to be talking about since so many more hobbit feet are showing up on the local running trails.
So I started digging.
And I found how several articles are popping talking about how wearing flip-flops and shoes with flexible soles are better for you in a lot of ways. Some cite actual studies (like this one http://www.invisibleshoe.com/387/running-sandals-for-health/ and this one http://bepainfreeforlife.com/2010/11/18/knee-pain-its-gotta-be-the-shoes/) others are more anicdotal (like here http://diagnosisunsolved.com/tag/vibram/ and http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/messageboard.asp?imboard=1&imparent=24848199) but it seems like there are more people like me out there than I thought… people who find wearing more minimalist shoes to help with being more forgiving when my toe joints are a little pissed off… who find less knee pain and back pain when they wear this kind of shoes than wearing more traditional ones, even than wearing orthotics.
I KNOW that wearing these shoes isn’t for everyone. My boss man’s boss man finds it incredibly funny (some days INCREDIBLY funny… ) that I wear them and gets grossed out by the whole idea of wearing something like this at all. Some people shudder because they couldn’t even consider putting anything between their toes (other minimalist shoes might be better for them if they wanted to go that route). BUt me… hands down… give me my Vibrams… With Reynauds, also give me a few nice (not overly flashy) pairs of holiday toe socks that should be coming out soon… and if it means I’m “that girl” then so be it.
Ask me questions. I will try to help.
It is good to have some actual studies to make me feel like science is backing up what I feel in my joints.