People have been exercising barefoot since gyms opened there doors for the first time, so I don’t really see why it would really be a problem to wear “toe” shoes.
I mean, when you think about the whole protection idea, that doesn’t make to much sense either. I know I have first hand, the mess that a ten pound plate can make of a big toe when dropped from the height of a bench press, even when covered by a millimeter thick leather of a sneaker. I just think that the sensory information that your feet creates further benefit and outweighs the risk.
With that being said, I dont believe Vibrams are for everyone. Unfortunately, they have become “cool” and everyone is wearing them and I suppose finding out the hard way that they shouldn’t be. The reason, is just shoes in general.
We are born in this world with the possibility of perfect feet, but unfortunately we strap our feet in boxes we call shoes right away and allow our feet to flatten, turn out and lose their elasticity. So for everyone that has contributed on this question, it is easy to see that this may actually end up being the bigger problem. You see, with the correct shoes and orthotics we can minmize the effects fthat flattened feet will have on the kinetic chain but with something like “toe” shoes, there is no such luck. The door just swings right open for medial knee pains and hip instability.
Hope this helps,
Besides stubbing your toe, I don’t see any other disadvantages opposed to wearing gym shoes. As a layer of suede (on a tennis shoe)isn’t going to protect you anymore than a layer of stretch neoprene or whatever (on a toe shoe). Just make sure when or if you change your shoes at the gym you don’t step on the floor. Most people who wear traditional gym shoes wear socks which provide a barrier and absorb sweat from the foot. As someone who works at a gym as well as a podiatrist office, foot problems are no fun and very hard to get rid of if you continuously wear closed shoes. Athletes foot is not pleasant and can lead to toe nail fungus, which is super hard to get rid of. It would be good for you to spray your toe shoes with an anti fungal powder after your visit to the gym and around your exposed ankles before hand and make sure to wash your feet and ankles :0)
Great topic and answers. I’d agree that these shoes allow more proprioception but are not much more apt to protect a foot from falling weights as a regular shoe. I have seen many a gym goer lose a toenail or two after dropping 5 or 10lb weights on their sneakers. The main thing I have seen people do to hurt themselves in a Vibram type shoe is snagging their pinky toe on random equipment, walls or even when their foot rotates on rubber flooring and the shoes “stick.”