Can you wear socks with Vibram FiveFingers?
There’s no getting away from the fact that people who wear Vibram FiveFingers will have to answer lots of questions from people they meet. Amongst the more common questions is ‘can you wear socks with them’?
Well, yes you can. In fact Barefoot Junkie have a great selection of Vibram Toe Socks. But just because you can, does it mean that you should?
Let’s take the gloves off (or perhaps the socks) and find out when you should and when you shouldn’t wear toe socks.
Discovering your sixth sense
One of the many features that sets barefoot shoes apart from any other shoe is a super thin sole. On the Vibram FiveFingers KSO-Evo for instance, the sole is just 3mm thick from the heel to the toe. There’s a very important reason for this and it has to do with our sixth sense, proprioception.
Proprioception is our body’s ability to know where it is in space without us having to look. If you closed your eyes and stuck your arm out in front of you, you would know it was there. Not because you can see it, but because you can feel it.
The network of nerves that run from our fingers to our neck (and all points in between) are constantly sending messages to our brain so we know what’s going on, at all times. Then our brain can tell our muscles how to react. That, in a nutshell, is proprioception.
Super sensitive feet
Down at our feet there’s something really special going on. Because the soles of our feet are usually the only things connecting us with the ground, they have evolved to become super sensitive with over 200,000 nerve endings in each one! For comparison, the palms of each hand have only 17,000.
That’s 400,000 tiny pieces of information travelling up to our brains at lightning speed so we can move, balance and exercise all without falling over.
Most shoes have soles that are quite thick. Sometimes as much as 10mm. That sole is dramatically reducing the amount of information all those nerve endings can send to our brain. Therefore, our brain has to do a little more guess work or rely on less sensitive parts of our body to make up the short fall.
Vibram FiveFingers have soles that are thick enough to protect our feet from the elements while being thin enough so our nerve endings can feel as much as possible. Which in turn gives us a better chance of moving and balancing better.
Should we wear toe socks with Vibram FiveFingers?
Now you understand proprioception a a little more you may be thinking about the whole sock issue differently. Socks provide warmth for our feet but that means our nerve endings won’t be sending as much information to our brains which inhibits our sense of proprioception. So there’s a compromise.
Wearing them or not depends on what you intend to do with your feet. In the gym for example you may want your sense of proprioception to be working to its maximum so you can move safely and more effectively. Therefore, adding a pair of Vibram toe socks into the mix may not be the best option.
However, Vibram FiveFingers are designed to be worn all the time so if you’re out walking the dog, going shopping or moving in a way that involves less skill then you might want to throw a pair of toe socks on. Especially if it’s cold outside.
Also, we didn’t mention anything about keeping your Vibram FiveFingers smelling fresh. A pair of socks are much easier to wash so if you’re wearing Vibram FiveFingers all day, toe socks may be a sensible option. That is, as long as you want to keep your friends. However you may want to look at our range of SmellWell products to help with this.
Be careful, they’re addictive
If you’re new to wearing Vibram FiveFingers be warned. They can become very addictive. So, while you may only be wearing them for trips to the gym now, anyone who has worn them for a while will tell you it doesn’t take long before that starts to change.
So, a few pairs of Vibram toe socks are definitely a worthwhile investment for anyone who loves their feet, like you!
Take a look at the whole range of Vibram socks.