Vivobarefoot running shoes, daft question, do I wear socks with them?

I've just taken delivery of my new Vivobarefoot running shoes, there's not much to them I have to say. They are a far cry from my lovely ASICS, not sure if I've done the right thing in buying them but will give them a good try before passing judgement. What I was wondering is, do I wear socks or go barefoot? Probably a daft question but think my feet will slip about without socks and cause blisters.


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18 Replies

  • I saw some vivobarefood socks with 'toes'

    so I'm guessing you can do... (and reading some reviews of other vivobarefoot shoes (without 'toes' some people have said 'comfortable without socks' which makes me think they also wear them with socks...)

    However, I have never run barefoot in my life and other than reading Born to Run have no clue really so just ignore me till someone who knows what they are talking about replies! :-)

  • I'm curious about barefoot running also...anxious for you to give them a go and let us know what you think! Gayle

  • You may have to wait a few weeks gdeann I'm off to Cuba next week for 3 weeks, this is why I bought them to try them out there in the sunshine. Will have to try them in the gym on dreaded treamill on Friday and Monday as we have snow again here today. There is room in them for a pair of thin socks but I expect they will give a bit once they've been worn a few times. I won't have to change my way of running thank goodness because I don't run with a heel strike so it will just be getting used to the lighter weighted shoe and the less sole and ankle support. Will keep you posted though in time.

  • I had been wondering whether I should invest in a pair - to start off on the right foot as it were. Been researching whilst in bed (I'm feeling way better now, just can't breathe, if I take more than a few steps, but on the mend, yey)

    I have no idea how I run, as I never have lol, but thought it may be a good idea, any thought please?


  • Hi Allev, I run slowly for starters!!!! But at my age I'm not going to get to the Olympics so it doesn't matter. When you arefeeling better go out for a slow gentle run and think about how you place your feet on the ground (k.a. foot strike). The experts are now saying we should aim for mid foot strike, i.e. ball of the foot - foot arch to hit the ground then the heel. Many people me included when I first started running had a heel strike first. I found that this seemed to bring on shin pain so I adjusted my foot strike gradually over a period of a few weeks. I find now when I'm running up steep hills, (not very often if I can help it) my foot strike is even more forward and my heel hardly touches the ground. I'm not saying this is a good practice because I don't know but its how I run. Hope this helps a little.

  • Allev, be aware that you may well heel strike naturally and would have to adjust. Try having a gait analysis done at a local running shop and they will advise you if you're unsure. Also the voice on the podcasts (Laura) advises heel striking but it seems this has become an outdated idea since they were recorded, as it seems to cause injury.

  • Yes, it does helps me to understand what it all means, so instead of putting my leg out in front to run, would I kind of lift my knees up, sounds strange and seems even funnier if I try to imagine it... Thanks

  • If you try googling things like barefoot running and chi running and pose running, you can find videos that give a bit more of a idea about it. (Not sure about the pose running bit, it's just a phrase that has stuck in my head - might not be relevant here!) It's all very interesting anyway!

  • Thanks, I will

  • I have a question, hope you don't mind. I am lucky enough to live a few minutes away from the beach, parks, race course. Could you let me know which may be the better option, for ease I think? Thanks

  • I'll be wearing socks with mine (neo trail) - which I've not tried out yet. I generally wear fairly thin socks for running anyway but when I have gone without, the results have not been pretty.

  • I do think that minimalist shoes are particularly worth considering if you are new to running. There are some scary warnings out there which I feel won't really apply if you are not having to learn a *different* way of running.

    I have trail variants now and I love the feeling of security when I run. I'm not sure I'd be as confident about minimalist/barefoot if I was running on roads but I avoid road running to the point of absurdity.

  • I hear what your saying GoogleMe and won't be running on any rough ground with these shoes on. Where we are off to on holiday there are miles of winding footpaths through lovely gardens and I know they are in good condition, i.e. no cracked slabs or tree roots to worry about and then theres the beach, miles of it too. I also want to try them on the treadmill at the gym as there is a good gym at this hotel too. I'm going to be spoilt for choice. Will take them to my gym tomorrow and give them their first run to see how they feel.

  • Oh I'm definitely going to be on rough ground with mine! Have a great holiday.

  • With barefoot shoes currently, I wear toed socks (injinji is the brand) in the winter outdoors and sockless when it is a bit warmer. I've been wearing Vibrams for close to 3 years. It really does depend on the size purchased whether this is an option for you.

    In the beginning, I bought barefoot shoes to fit snug, like a glove, and found that it helped me transition to barefoot. I never wore socks- not an option. As my feet became very strong and the connective tissue and muscles of the foot and lower leg strengthened (maybe after a year of consistent training), I came to prefer a bit larger shoe with even less support and more room for my feet to do the work. There is room for the sock in most of the barefoot trainers I wear these days, and the sock pads a bit- sometimes I like that feeling and sometimes I prefer more connection to the ground.

    BTW, it is amazing to run on rough ground with minimalist/barefoot shoes. By nature, the feet land ever so lightly and do not have much contact time with the ground, thus avoiding pain. The body is smart! This provides a stride that is very quick and light and has minimal impact. The knees, hips, and spine are the beneficiaries. Despite being an experienced barefoot runner, when I wear thick soled shoes, my gait degenerates a bit and my landings become more sloppy/rough and there is more impact where I don't want it. I can't seem to help that! The only non-barefoot trainers that seem to work for me are Newtons ("distance") or Altra... if I can keep form! I plan to use the Altra Torino for a half marathon next autumn (if I can ever get there!) Zero drop but pretty cushioned.

    I can't wait to hear how these work out for you. Take it very very slowly in them to avoid injury- no more than 10% increase per week in distance. Most people think it wise to start out with no more than 3-5 minutes barefoot style then change into regular trainers for the rest of the run & increase wearing time from there. Walking helps acclimate your foot, but I didn't get the strength required until I started running in them.

  • Hi Oldgirl - I've been wearing Vivobarefoots since I started this running lark last August. I've never worn socks with them as it seemed to somewhat defeat the object.

    However.... they bloody stink now. I'm called Cinderella at work cos I have to put them in a plastic bag and hang them out of the window!

    Also I never wear socks, even if I'm wearing walking shoes, boots, wellies. I prefer to go barefoot whenever I can, so I've got used to it

    Have fun in Cuba! (not envious at all!!)

    Viv xx

  • Haha thats lovely to know, I may have to leave them in Cuba or wrap them in clingfilm after 3 weeks.

    Had a 20 minute walk in them yesterday and they were fine. I also did a low impact aerobics class wearing them this morning, again fine. I have a similar dance shoe I use for zumba classes so I don;t think I will find the transission too bad.

  • I don't know, but am interested. I have seen them and they look very funky

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