2

votes

Vibram fivefingers beeing more dangerous than other shoes in a gym?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 09, 2011 at 9:43 PM

So...

I was at my university gym today, doing some muscle ups wearing my VFF.

After a while, someone who worked there came over to me and said VFF is not allowed due to safety reasons. I've never heard anything like it before, and I would like to know what their reasons are.

Here goes my question:

Is there any reports showing increased risk of foot injury in a weightlifting room compared to "one pocket" shoes?

I have problems seeing why, unless the "one pocket" shoe is a safety shoe.

If anybody here knows anything, either for or against, I would like to see the report/paper on it.

BTW: Chalk, which is used for safety reasons, is not allowed either.

Thanks, frustrated weightlifter.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on September 10, 2011
at 09:49 AM

There aren't any. They truly make that shit up. Besides, liability is (purportedly) based on safety.

9e975c86f483555ed19e59c5628488ca

(823)

on September 10, 2011
at 02:41 AM

gilliebean, when you wear shoes your germs stay in your shoes, and everyone else's germs stay in theirs. Or at-least better. Gyms that allow bare feet tend to spread warts and athletes foot. As for the Vibrams I suspect it has to do with their insurance requirements for "footwear" Gym liability insurance is crazy stuff. As for the chalk that's for the danger chalk dust provides to lungs I suspect not to the dropping of weights. Very few gyms around here allow chalk anymore, schools aren't allowed to use it either for that reason.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:48 AM

There was a photo I saw about why the military doesn't allow VFFs with a pine cone stuck between someone's toes. That seems like a bit of a stretch to me though. Snagging on some sort of artillery tripod seems much more likely.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:37 AM

I just joined the YMCA instead on the other gym in my area. No chalk there, either. Sucks. Get some chuck taylors man, decent for lifting. Minimal, as far as normal footwear goes. And it'll get the gym dorks off your back.

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:36 AM

yeah, I wouldn't want to pick up whatever came off someone's shoes with my pristine feet... just sayin'

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Lol, I've totally done this with my Vibrams! I work at a gym and, although dropping a weight would mess your foot up one way or another, a snagged toe is a Vibram specific injury.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:11 AM

This gym is included in my tuition, and is located 400m from my residence. Other gyms would cost me a whole lot, and since I'm a student I can not afford it.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Thank you Katherine! A very good article!

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:03 AM

The worker did not have a valid reason.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 09, 2011
at 11:26 PM

P.S. This reminds me of John Durant's post on his Crossfit gym telling him that he couldn't go barefoot for hygiene reasons. As if shoes that are worn on the streets of NYC are more hygienic than the barefeet that come out of those shoes! Ridiculous.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on September 09, 2011
at 11:24 PM

Find a new gym!!

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 09, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Why didn't you ask the person that worked there?

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on September 09, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Unless you are wearing motogp boots you will be screwed no matter what.

8d3c422e94817ba453f3c1bc49bfc47e

(80)

on September 09, 2011
at 10:07 PM

They can't be concerned about dropping weight on your feet, can they? It seems silly, but I can't think of any other reason...

  • 04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

    asked by

    (1112)
  • Views
    4.1K
  • Last Activity
    1405D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

8
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on September 09, 2011
at 11:44 PM

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Thank you Katherine! A very good article!

7
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

The first time I wore VFFs to a fitness class, the teacher gave me a really hard time, saying I needed proper support to do her class (it was step aerobics). She relented when I told her I would take full responsibility for it, and stop if it hurt, etc.

Funnily enough, a year later I heard her explaining to someone else about Vibrams, barefoot running, and how it can help with posture and foot strength.

So, if your experience is like mine, maybe it's just that they are basing safety on the idea that you need support. Maybe you should ask them their reasons, and if it is this then take them some articles.

5
Dd2944d3038715aa784eadf5ef5fb575

(275)

on September 09, 2011
at 10:13 PM

sigh I'm a Group Fitness Instructor, so I work in multiple gyms... ALL of them frown on VFFs "due to safety reasons", however, one of the members just dropped a 45lb weight on his foot.. he was wearing one-pockets... and the weight broke his toe. IMO: If you are gonna drop a weight on your foot, it does not matter what kind of shoe you are wearing, it's gonna leave a mark!! lol I wear my VFFs too and get frowned upon. I think People are reluctant to change. However, in the last month, FOUR of my students have switched to VFFs... so soon, we shall conquer :)

3
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 09, 2011
at 10:25 PM

The only safety thing I can think of is if there is a lot of equipment held up on poles you could potentially hit one just right so as to make your toes to the splits. I am a somewhat clutzy lady, and have broken several toes by getting them snagged on chair legs, so a single pocket shoe would prevent your toes from catching on anything, but that's all I can think of, and seems unlikely with moderately coordinated people.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:48 AM

There was a photo I saw about why the military doesn't allow VFFs with a pine cone stuck between someone's toes. That seems like a bit of a stretch to me though. Snagging on some sort of artillery tripod seems much more likely.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:51 AM

Lol, I've totally done this with my Vibrams! I work at a gym and, although dropping a weight would mess your foot up one way or another, a snagged toe is a Vibram specific injury.

3
1bd4ea62097aa99c8cbef8aa5d02db77

on September 09, 2011
at 10:18 PM

It's probably like anything else; people base their opinions and rules on conventional wisdom, and right now conventional wisdom says you need a thick sole and lots of support for a proper, safe shoe. As more research is done into barefooting, this could change. Places like gyms are (almost) always going to default to the lowest common denominator when it comes to safety, since people don't like taking personal responsibility anymore and they are afraid of getting sued.

2
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on September 10, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Did you tell him that VFFs are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_clothing essential to your faith, Minimology, and that he needs to practice religious tolerance lest you and your fellow Minimologists file a religious discrimination lawsuit naming him and the university as co-defendants?

1
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on September 10, 2011
at 02:54 PM

They gym people don't have "reasons".

They're just ignorant meatheads.

So they make up asinine arguments like "safety" reasons.

As if their pair of Nike Free's will protect their dainty toes from 30 pounds of iron.

1
72cb5dd71bea224293acf20ac8fde4a7

(28)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:32 AM

I work at a University Recreation Center that doesn't allow VFFs. (Which makes me really sad considering that I own a pair and can't even wear them at my own gym). It's truly more of a liability issue than a safety issue. Not exactly sure of the details regarding the liability specifics though.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on September 10, 2011
at 09:49 AM

There aren't any. They truly make that shit up. Besides, liability is (purportedly) based on safety.

0
06e4901a8859acb207558ab180679f5d

on September 10, 2011
at 07:59 AM

Glue some foam to the top of your Vibrams? Or develop a line of "Steel Cap" Vibrams Safety Boots?

Good luck.

0
8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:37 AM

Can you ask to speak with the owner and manager?

0
Dd0244b4368083d25ae9eb8533211d2e

on September 09, 2011
at 11:22 PM

I thought about getting them so I could transition to barefoot running, but decided against it. My older sibs both don't wear them to the gym. I'm pretty sure they aren't allowed at our gym.

0
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 09, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Next time you're at the gym, you should ask the worker that told you not to wear the VFFs. Then answer your own question here so that if there is a valid reason, we will know and not be guessing.

Thanks.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on September 10, 2011
at 12:03 AM

The worker did not have a valid reason.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!