Last weekend I was barefoot in the garden (my Dad has an amazing one, full of cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, and even bok choy, btw!). I also went barefoot in the office, on the subway, on the sidewalks of Manhattan, and through the airport. What gives? Courtesy of Family Footwear Center I tested one of the latest trends in footwear, the Vibram FiveFinger concept, via a pair of these discrete Merrell Barefoot Pure Glove Shoes.
I’ve seen versions of these shoes worn, just about everywhere, and although I don’t like the splayed toe look, I wanted to test out a more fashionable version, that I could easily assimilate into my wardrobe, while getting all of the benefits of allowing my feet and body to move naturally.
About the Merrell Barefoot Pure Glove Shoe:
I’ve dubbed these my “Merrell Janes,” and what they do is stimulate the connection between your feet and the ground, realign posture, and strengthen foot and leg muscles. The Merrell Barefoot Pure Glove Shoe (available in other colors, $89.95) also includes an aegis microbe shield to control odor, staining, and deterioration, a must when wearing in a variety of terrains as well as without socks.
Styles can be meant for use during multi-sport functions such as running, training, bike riding or even playing sports (for more tips, at Merrell.com), and you can see (pictured below) that the the Vibram soles have the spread of the toes built in.
New York City personal trainer and strength coach Joe Schafer has been wearing the Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove for the past nine months, and says the reason the barefoot shoe is good because “it helps to improve ankle mobility; a lot of people have poor ankle mobility due to wearing heels, or even tennis shoes with a heel,” Schafer explains. “When this movement is lost, a person can end up with knee pain and other joint dysfunctions. If you are an avid heel wearer, it should be a gradual process of building up your tolerance to bringing your feet back to this healthier posture of wearing barefoot shoes every day, especially for activities like running.”
About Family Footwear Center:
Full disclosure: these shoes were given to Fashion Pulse Daily for review.