I walk from three to fie million steps per year. In doing so I wear through shoes and through socks every six months or less. It makes sense that I would experiment with barefoot shoes since I spend so much time walking.
Initially I tried the Vapor Glove 6 and I was able to walk my usual routes without trouble. I did find one surface where it felt as though the shoes were not adapted to the weathered road conditions and that’s part of the reason I decided to try others. I also found that with the Vapor Glove 6 I could feel my heel stomp onto the hard road surface and I really had to be attentive to changing my walking style overnight.
Of course, changing from one walking style to another is a challenge. That’s where the Trail Glove 7 come into play. Their sole is 14mm or so, rather than six. This makes a huge difference with my walking style. With the Trail Glove 7 I have already walked 51 kilometres with ease. Contrast this to 19 in the Vapor Glove 6. The Trail Glove 7 are well suited to my walking style. I’m a strider, and as a strider I use my heel a lot.
As a little aside I have tried driving to the shops and back with both pairs of shoes but find that the Vapor Gloves are slightly too soft for driving. It’s better to wear Trail Gloves. I know that flip flops are not recommended for driving. I’m not sure about sandals.
Walking Style and Pace
If I was walking with people walking at a normal pace, and for smaller distances then the Vapor Glove would be fine. The issue with the Vapor Glove is simply that it has no heel amortisation. The rubber, even with socks is too thin. I need to consciously think of every step. When you walk 12,000 steps it becomes a challenge. With Trail Glove shoes adaptation is gradual, especially with 10km daily walks. I really like wearing Trail Glove shoes.
Although I like the idea of wearing shoes that are as minimal as the Vapor Gloves I prefer the Trail Gloves, for now. They allow me to get used to the act of walking “barefoot” without destroying my heels. The biggest hurdle for me is to adapt my gait to be barefoot shoe friendly. I hope that the wear pattern on my normal shoes will change.