Most shoes are designed to protect the heel with a cushion of air or material that absorbs heel strikes, before they are transmitted to the rest of the skeletal system. With barefoot shoes, especially the Vapor Glove 6 those heel strikes are not absorbed. You feel the force with which your heel is hitting the ground.
I tried three walks with the Vapor Gloves. I decided to try purchase and try the Trail Glove 7 as a result of my Vapor Glove experience. I like the Vapor Glove shoes but I was worried that if I used them too often, too quickly, I would end up with a fracture or pain. The Trail Gloves are great because I get the “barefoot shoe” experience, without the unforgiving heel strikes.
The Long Walk
Yesterday I went for an 11km walk with the Vapor Gloves and I felt fine for almost the entire walk. I felt fine until the last kilometre when I felt that the base of my foot was getting tired. Feet do not get any assistance with the Vapor Glove 6. After walking with them I can feel my leg muscles, my heels and I could feel the plantar fascia getting tired. Today I will rest my feet by wearing either normal shoes, or the trail glove shoes, for my daily walk.
Walking with barefoot shoes is interesting because you feel textures. When you walk on the painted lines you can feel the contour. You can feel the change in texture from tarmac to smooth paint. You can feel the edge.
When I was walking with the Trail Gloves two days ago I could feel a much softer than usual feel under my feet. The rubber felt really smooth compared to normal shoes. It felt like the bike tyres after they have had time to warm up. It was that same quality of smootheness. It’s enjoyable.
Trail Glove Wear
I have logged around 60km with the trail gloves and they are showing signs of wear. The tread is gone from the left heel as well as from the left toes. I have the same wear pattern on normal shoes. It will be interesting to see if I get a similar wear pattern on the Vapor Gloves.
I was reading a book where I read that normal shoes are like casts. Our shoes are encased and move minimally. As a result of this immobility our feet become weak. Our weak feet affect our knees, our hips and the rest of our body. By wearing shoes with a raised heel we are walking uphill even when we are walking downhill. With barefoot shoes we are dumping all of the assistance provided by normal shoes, and we are re-learning to walk as if we were barefoot. That’s why it’s meant to be done incrementally, to avoid injury. So far I have enjoyed the experience.