I have never worn the Five Fingers. When i was thinking about ditching my conventional footware i happened upon FTAnimal's post about the Softstar Runamocs. I was easily convinced and ordered them. One month in and im totally happy with the 2mm Runamocs. Theyre great - essentially the same as being barefoot as far as toe-movement goes, which to me seems like what might be one of the more important points. The whole time youre walking/moving you can move each digit as much as you want. Its really an impressive sensation, coming from a lifetime of overkill footware, yknow? That all being said, ive never done the five fingers so i thought i'd see what some of you all think. Cheers.
These are the runamocs by the way: http://www.softstarshoes.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=1342
asked byben61820 (15976)
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on July 17, 2010
at 04:09 PM
I can't stand the fact that VFF and Runamocs cost so much money. I buy Minnetonka Moccasins from whichever online retailer has a sale and free shipping at the time. They wear out faster I'm sure, but they cost less than half as much while delivering the exact same experience. The Runamocs in my size would cost $110. What exactly is minimal about $110?
on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
never tried the runamocs, but I have to say that the vff's are the most amazing things for getting your toes to work independently from your feet. Shoes that are regular shaped shoes even though they have thin soles, whatever, keep your toes working in one solid 'block' therefore you never get to feel what it is like to have every toe gripping the ground independently of the next toe. For me this is the most incredible feeling to vff's.
For the first two weeks of wearing vff's I went through terrible toe cramps as my toes loosened up and started to work separately again, after those two weeks I found that my toes had serious flexibility and strength and would bend forward and back much further than they used to. All the muscles in my feet are stronger and my arch higher now I 'feel' the ground with a heightened sensitivity......I believe separate toes are the reason for this, even gripping tree roots and the edge of curbs etc, is now a pleasure - not to mention tightrope walking ;)
From the photos of the runamocs, I get the feeling that this kind of foot and toe strengthening and flexibility is still possible, but not to the extent the vffs offer with their separate toe pockets,
I would say go with vffs every time, they are AWESOME!!!
on July 17, 2010
at 04:11 PM
I have been enjoying my Feelmax Pankas for over 1 year, and they are great. They definitely are thinner than my VFF sprints, and I think they mimic the barefoot sensation more realisticly.
(btw, when I train in the forest, I mostly run barefoot, so I know what barefooting is...)
I think they are more like the runamocs, and I will surely order myself (and my kids) some of the runamocs.
Speeking of kids, the runamocs really resemble the Bobux 'shoes', readily available in Belgium. Paleo parents, take care of your kids feet!!
UPDATE: I now have my own pair of runamocs. They indeed resemble the Feelmax shoes I wore for more than a year, but the sole (2mm) is much thicker than the Feelmax's. Currently Feelmax feels the most like barefoot off all the 'shoes' I tried. Really recommended.
on May 07, 2012
at 04:34 AM
I realize this question is fairly old now but just to update a bit and give my impressions after owning shoes from both companies...
I think a lot of the answer to this question depends on two things that haven't been mentioned a lot here: locale and gender. This is what I mean, if you live in the southwest where is dry and hot, there are a lot of good choices from both companies for both genders that will give you the widest choice of options. However, change some of the variables and you're in a different ball park entirely. I live in the very northeast US and it's cold here for a good part of the year and we get a lot of snow. This year VFF came out with all leather shoes for men that can be waterproofed with SnoSeal, Nikwax or whatever your favorite choice is (I love SnoSeal personally) so those can be an option for men in our climate. However, there still isn't a "waterproofable" women's version of the VFF's out (the flow is still available in limited areas but the sole isn't good for snow) and the fact that it's hard to wear thick socks in VFF's make the SoftStar shoes a better option for women in cold weather. They both have a place...they are just different. Also, SoftStar now offers a leather sole version of the RunAmocs and one of their Mocs and it's great for anyone that prefers natural materials, or who are into "earthing", "grounding", etc. I hope at some point VFF comes out with leather or some similar waterproofable shoes for women because I'd love that but I literally LIVED in my SoftStars this winter with the sheepskin inside and warm "barefoot" feet all winter. :) I would have had frostbite in my VFF sprints even with socks on. So, give thought to the material you need for the areas you use the shoes and remember that Softstar often custom makes shoes so if you're wondering if it can be done...it's worth asking them. In addition, I have a pair of Merrell barefoot shoes and I love them as well. Now that New Balance has come out with zero drop, I'd probably look at them again if I needed another shoes right now but I don't (I tried the 4mm drop NB shoes last year and they just didn't work for me...zero drop is the way to go). Also FWIW, both Merrell has come out with "lifestyle" barefoot shoes which is great because you get the benefits of barefoot shoes with some cute styles for regular life. SoftStar has come out with a mary jane of their own that also is a great lifestyle/barefoot combo. So, if you want to go with minimalist shoes and can't deal with the VFF's or want something you can wear to work, school, etc, don't give up because there are so many options available now compared to even a year or two ago. And, if you need to, start slowly with a pair that's similar to traditional shoes in look and go from there. At least your feet will be getting stronger and benefiting from flat shoes with no support, the way our feet were designed to work. :)
on September 17, 2011
at 07:50 PM
I just tried both the NB Minimus MT10 and the Merrell Trail Glove and....bought the Trail Gloves, awesome shoes!
I didn't like the NB Minimus because they still had a drop from heel to toe from around 4mm and having walked for months with shoes with no drop, I could instantly feel it and it didn't feel right for me.
The Merrell are perfect, a good addition to my arsenal of minimalist shoes besides Vibram Komodo Sport and KSOs.
on September 16, 2011
at 09:10 PM
Why are VFF's or Runamocs your only options? Both Merrell and New Balance have some great offerings. Plus some smaller makers like Inov8 and Newton look interesting as well.
on August 25, 2010
at 07:20 PM
I have both... I use the vibrams mostly for sprints, box jumps, and stadiums. The runamocs I use mostly for my daily hour-long walk/jog with my dog. I like the runamocs because they feel cooler on my feet with the perforated leather and not being skin-tight, and I'll wear them to work sometimes too since they aren't so obviously weird. I wouldn't want to wear them in the rain though, which I'm fine doing with my vibrams. I still feel like I get good freedom for my toes with the runamocs, but my feet can slide around in them a bit, which is why I don't use them for sprinting or jumping. I also wore my vibrams on a hike that involved a lot of scrambling over rocks, and it was a cool sensation to feel like I was gripping a bit with my toes. The runamocs are too fragile for that, I think.
on August 20, 2010
at 05:55 PM
I have a pair of Five Fingers and not the Runamocs. The VFF's are comfortable but the problem is that they don't allow your toes to work independently. Your toes are connected via a piece of semi-hard rubber. I don't find that my toes can splay out or separate from each other easily at all.
I'd love it if Vibram made their Moc with a stronger leather on the sole as my friends that have them say its like wearing a pair of driving gloves on your feet but they should be worn indoors only for things like yoga, Pilates, etc. And the Vibram Moc does allow for independent toe movement but unfortunately aren't strong enough to be worn for running. :(
on July 17, 2010
at 05:20 PM
I've been wearing my VFF's for a little over a month now, and I absolutely love em. I don't even think twice about getting my toes in the individual "pockets," and they are very comfortable.
They definitely start a lot of conversations (although some lean towards the "I can't believe you wear those" type). But that's not why I bought them -- after a few minutes of walking around in the store wearing them, I was sold. If I could wear them to work (cooking), I would do so with no hesitation whatsoever.
on July 17, 2010
at 03:17 PM
In part I like the fact that my VFF's are 'different' looking. I would imagine that in the runamocs that you won't have the problem of getting grass stuck between your toes when you are walking/running.