• Kalenji Bag Trail 5L Hydration Pack Review

    If you're an endurance athlete who needs a comfortable hydration solution as well as storage, the new Kalenji Bag Trail 5L Hydration Pack is the perfect choice. We give our verdict on this lightweight running hydration bag.

    Kalenji hydration bag running trail pack hydrtion vest

    Comfort - 10/10

    When running, especially over long distances, you want to be as comfortable as possible and to make sure nothing on you is going to start chafing after a few hours. This hydration vest is very comfortable and secure and does not chafe or rub in any places. It features two adjustable straps to the front to keep it in place and overall it fits very well. The bag doesn't bounce around at all as you run and the straps feature a felt lining which is very comfortable, meaning it doesn't rub your arms if you're wearing a running vest.

    Small details really make this hydration bag great, such as grippers to the holders where you place the water bladder mouthpiece so it doesn't move around and stays put during your run. The mouthpiece itself is very easy to use – just twist and drink. This means that even with slippery, sweaty hands you can still access your water! A problem I've struggled with in the past with other hydration vests.

    Sundried Kalenji running hydration bag review

    This hydration vest comes with a 1L water bladder which fits easily inside.

    Storage - 9/10

    For such a low-priced 'basic' product, this hydration pack has a fantastic range of storage options. There are two pockets to the front which you can access easily while you're running. One is designed for a 150ml soft flask but you could put anything small in there – keys, snacks etc. The other front pocket is large enough for a smart phone which means easy access and practicality while running. To the rear of the bag there is a 'kangaroo pouch' which is designed for packing away a running jacket in case you might need it which is brilliant. I use it for a sweat towel because my hands get so sweaty when running in the summer! This is really useful to be able to carry as I hate having wet hands while I'm running and means I can dry off if it starts to rain too.

    The pack itself comes with a 1L water bladder which fits perfectly into the space and it's easy to get it in and out to fill it and empty it. The straw/mouthpiece weaves out of the back and in front of you across your chest. There is also a safety whistle attached to one of the pockets which is a nice touch, especially if you do lots of trail running in remote locations.

    Kalenji Bag Trail Running Hydration Vest Review Sundried

    The safety whistle is tucked into the side pocket. I never would've realised it was a whistle if I hadn't noticed the description on the website.

    There is also an inner zip pocket which Kalenji say is designed for your smart phone or keys but I would always be weary that due to possible unexpected leaking from the water bladder, anything going into this pocket has the potential to get wet.You also can't access this pocket while running so you wouldn't want to put anything in there that you need before you stop. 

    The only reason I marked down the storage is because the 150ml soft flask pocket is a little awkwardly designed and could do with being bigger so that I could get a larger flask in there as 150ml is little more than a gulp! However, other than this very small quibble, the storage on this bag is exceptional and more than ample. 

    If you're in need of slightly more storage, the 10L version of this bag allows for two 500ml soft flasks in front pockets as well as space for more snacks and even walking sticks. 

    Kalenji running vest hydration bag Sundried review

    Price - 10/10

    With an RRP of £17.99, this brilliant hydration bag is less than half the price of similar products and is even 60-70% cheaper than some higher end hydration bags from the big players in trail running and endurance gear. When shopping around for a new hydration bag, I was really rather shocked at the sky-high prices of some on the market. A similar product from big brand Camelbak will set you back over £60, some Salomon hydration vests are over £100 and the singular offering from Nike, which is a very basic product, is priced at £75.

    Kalenji offer a really accessible, reasonable price which is perfect for first-time endurance runners or trail runners who have never bought a hydration vest before so don't want to shell out on something expensive, but also for experienced runners who just don't feel like spending £60+ on a hydration bag! Considering this product provides everything you need, the price is almost too good to be true.

    hydration bag review Kalenji Decathlon Sundried

    The mouthpiece is leakproof thanks to a silicone bite guard and twists on or off for easy use.

    Verdict - 10/10

    I'm hugely impressed by this running hydration pack and wouldn't consider any other on the market. For someone who regularly runs half marathon to marathon distance both on the road and on the trails, it provides the perfect amount of storage and water. I'd use this for anything up to 50km/31 miles in distance in all weathers for both training and racing.

    For any endurance events that are further in distance or more remote in location, perhaps a larger bag would be better as you could take more supplies. However, for organised races and training runs up to marathon distance, this hydration bag is perfect in every way for beginners right through to experienced runners.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Adidas Kanadia 8 Trail Running Shoes Review

    GRIPPY SHOES BUILT FOR TRAIL RUNNING.

    adidas Kanadia 8 Running in the mudI have been looking forward to testing the 2017 update of the Adidas Kanadia for quite some time. The Adidas Kanadia 8 features claims their men's running shoes and innovative design gives you traction and stability on the trail. The durable and supportive runner features a cloudfoam midsole that provides ample cushioning. A tough TRAXION™ outsole gives you multi-directional grip.

    • Weight: 275 g (size UK 8.5); Runner type: neutral; Midsole drop: 8 mm (heel: 27 mm / forefoot: 19 mm)
    • Synthetic and air mesh upper for maximum breathability
    • Durable forefoot overlays
    • Breathable mesh lining
    • cloudfoam midsole for step-in comfort and superior cushioning; Enjoy the comfort and performance of OrthoLite® sockliner
    • TRAXION™ outsole for maximum grip in all directions

    8th generation shoe from Adidas. After 8 generations you may question what is left to improve.

    Fit

    I have purchased the same size as my Kanadia 7. And the length is just fine, however the front of the shoe is definitely pulling tight on my big toe area. I have fairly narrow feet. Photographed side by side the version 7 and 8.

    adidas Kanadia 7 and 8 together

    They look almost identical from the bottom but I didn’t every have a problem with the 7s. Parking this issue aside they fit the back/heel area of the foot incredible well.

    adidas Kanadia 7 and 8 side by side

    Photographed above. The Adidas Kanadia 7 and Kanadia 8 (below - pre run clean!)

    Cushioning

    I have been reading what other Adidas reviewers have posted about the Kanadia 8 and I have been surprised to people saying they do not have enough cushioning. When running on hard surfaces I could not believe how much spring there is with each strike. I do not heel strike, more of a forefoot runner so maybe that is where some of the complaints have been, but for an off road shoe the cushioning is truly amazing.

    Cloudfoam Cushioning

    Photographed above their generous Cloudfoam sole. Plenty of technology into the cushioning more than enough for most runners. 

    Comfort

    I guess comfort comes down to everything else. Fit, cushioning heel support. As the shoes feel like I need to move to the next size up I am reluctant to say they are uncomfortable. But I don’t think Adidas would like a return of these now I have put them through their paces.

    Grip

    To test the grip, you need some really slippery surfaces. In their 2016 version I really put them through the paces and I will continue to update this post as I test harder.

    adidas Kanadia Grip

    Overall

    So for me trail running is all about versatility. The Kanadia 7 testing included ice, hard surfaces. Sand. Even a Nuclear race. And if you don’t know the Nuclear races are where you are in and out of ditches and bogs, the biggest test to be if they stay on as you pull your legs out of knee deep bogs.

    Running Surfaces

    A typical off-road run for British countryside includes gravel pathways, concrete pathways, soft mud, grass and short sharp hills. Of course the beauty is for every run you can make it your own track.

    Test one for the Kanadia 8 included ultra soft rained hills. Hard surfaces and gravel. Flat boggy ground. And slippy canal paths. I think for most runners these sorts of terrains will cover off your day to day.

    Running on Hard Surfaces

    Running on hard surfaces for Trail Running Shoes is maybe the greatest challenge. A shoe with spikes is arguable the best sole/grip to deal with soft mud. But as soon as you hit something solid then you will slip straight off it.

    Grips designed for a mix of surfaces

    The sole of the shoe is where their years of development really take things with off road running to a new level.  Their tough TRAXION™ outsole gives you multi-directional grip. Designed and developed (as we covered in our review of the Kanadia 7) to work in all directions. That covers up, down and on flat hard surfaces.

    Testing Surfaces

    Test off road shoes on Pathways

    The biggest test for off road shoes is maybe pathways

    Downhill on soft mud

    Short, steep downhills on soft wet mud. The staple diet of trail running shoes

    Wet Woodlands

    Wet Woodland. Puddles and soft slippy mud

    Trail Path

    Soft slippy mud

    Upgrade?

    As an upgrade of the 7 to the 8 do you notice? On soft ground I would say there is not that much of a difference, but on hard ground the newer Kanadia 8 feel like a softer run. Less like you are wearing a barefoot shoe with no padding, to a more of a cushioned run that you would expect from a typical road shoe.

    There are some amazing offers online for the kanadia 8. Especially if you are not fussy about the choice in colour. Finish off your run with some Sundried Roteck leggings for that perfect, sweat wicking performance keeping you running your best in all conditions.

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • Adidas Kanadia 7 Trail Running Shoes Review

    It's that time of the year when suddenly it is a good time to go off road. Maybe you switch your road bike to a mountain bike. And maybe you hang up your trusted road shoes for some trail running shoes. If you have not spent anytime running off road then it is definitely a great experience. We recommend you give it a go. 

    Read our review of the 2017 Kanadia 8 

    Adidas Kanadia 7 Trail Running Shoes Review

    We review Adidas Kanadia 7 Trail Running Shoes. And if you care the colour is Indigo/White/Yellow and they look like this:

    Adidas Kanadia 7 TR Shoes Indigo/White/Yellow 

    Firstly let's get the price out the way. You can pick up a pair of these trainers for about £50 and you get a lot of shoe for your money.

    Read on below... but why not join the Sundried mailing list.

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    The sole and grip

     Adidas Kanadia 7 Trail Running Shoes Grip

    The outsole features a special Adidas mud guard and their own high-grip Traxion technology. The grips feature a lock technology designed to offer a tight grip in all conditions. They have taken into account running on hard surfaces by somehow staggering the lugs for higher ground penetration and tight locks for soft ground. So what does that mean? Well on wet, slippy grass how we tested the trainers, you can be running at a strong pace without the slipping and sliding feel; enabling you to push harder and move faster than usual. Up and down hills on soft ground. They really do stick to the floor. 

    On man made flat surfaces however the stability is lost. If you are running a course that is on and off road then these trainers may not be the best choice. It is very hard to get the stability on and off road from a single pair of shoes. These are very much trail shoes and on a stony trail they are ideal. 

    The sole is very firm and stony ground is not a problem. If you are used to taking a road shoe on the occasional off-road run then the stability and protection from uneven ground will be a welcome surprise. 

    Overall it is a lot of shoe for not much money. And if you can stretch to a dedicated off-road shoe this is definitely a contender. But if you do need to have a multi-purpose on and off-road shoe for very occasional trail running then a softer soled pair of trainers that work better on road conditions may be a more appropriate choice. 

    Multi-Surface Testing

    These trail shoes are developed to offer support and performance on all the typical surfaces you will come across. From grass and typical gravel tracks. TO the beach for the ultimate stability test on loose shingle. Watch our short YouTube video to see some of the surfaces we test the shoes on. 

    An update as we test more

    When you test a new product you always find things at a later date. You may find problems with something, or hidden gems that you really like. Here are a few post review features we would like to share.

    Surface Testing

    Beach / Shingle

    Most runners will steer clear of running on lose shingle, or the beach. Running on compacted sand is typically quite nice, but on very lose shingle the return with each stride is completely lost. Great HIIT training as your feet sink into the surface. Also good if you  have injuries caused from heel striking. As long as you are careful you can build your muscles with almost no impact at the knees. But you will need a good pair of trail running shoes with plenty of ankle support. If your ankles are not appropriately supported it would be easy to twist your ankle from placing your foot down at an angle. The Adidas Kanadia trainers offer plenty of support and really help injury prevention. 

    Grass

    A lot of trail running in on grass surfaces. But grass running itself is such a broad topic and so closely related to the weather. The Kanadia on dry grass are completely fine. But then most shoes on dry grass are fine. The real test is on wet grass. And apart from getting a bit soggy, they grips offer enough support to really provide a solid run.

    Gravel Path

    Some shoes on gravel seem to pick up every stone and when you switch to a solid surface you clip clop away and risk sliding and falling. These do not pick up stones like some training shoes do, but the same is not said for wet mud

    Concrete Pathways

    When running on concrete you really notice the change from the natural cushioning of the grass for example. I would defiantly not like to run too far on the road in the Kanadia. Limited cushioning and your feet seem to search for a safe place to root. Fine for a few K but anything more switch to road shoes. 

    The Laces

    Flat Grippy Laces

    Running shoes typically have a thick, circular lace, or a flat lace similar to the Adidas Kanadia 7 trainer. I have found the laces are very textured and although not highlighted as a feature by Adidas, they really do grip once tied. That means without any double knots or extra tight bows these trainers stay put once done up. That certainly is not a bad thing for any runner, especially when you are off road and may not actually see a lace that has come untied. The last thing you want when running down a steep hill in the rain is to discover your laces and flapping in the wind. Not only do they seem to be super functional, I have really grown to like their two tone colouring. 

    The magical Loop

    Loop on the heel to help put on your trainers

    Most trainers do not bother with the loop at the back to help put on your shoes. Unless you are in a triathlon speed is not normally a consideration for getting your footwear on in a hurry. The loop on heel to help put on your trainers I do think is missing from some footwear and for a pair of trail running shoes it is very useful. You may have driven to an off-road spot, and you are standing in the rain switching from your 'car shoes' to your 'trail shoes'. For me, it has certainly got some use. 

    Adidas Kanadia 7 Review

    So the mesh in these shoes is going to hold your feet still and let them breathe. But it certainly will not keep out the water. Some off-road shoes do offer a certain amount of waterproofing - but I typically find they end up holding the water in as your feet turn to water weights. Your feet will get wet in soggy conditions, but they will also dry out nice and quickly. And at the moment, it seems we can not escape the rain!

    Adidas technical info

    One of the most beloved all around trail shoes is back lighter and more comfortable than ever. These women's running shoes are ready for any trail with a high-grip TRAXION™ outsole. They feature a waterproof mud guard and a ventilated mesh upper for comfort in any conditions.
    • Weight: 238 g (size UK 5.5)
    • Air mesh upper for maximum ventilation
    • Waterproof bottom mud guard helps keep water and mud out
    • Comfortable textile lining
    • Engineered 3-Stripes panel for optimum linear and lateral support
    • TRAXION™ outsole for maximum grip in all directions

    Adidas Kanadia 7 Review

    It is certainly thumbs up and feet down on the ground for these trainers. Nice quality, stylish and fast. Well as fast as your legs can move. They stick to wet ground enabling all that power to drive you forward. 

    As we move into the dryer months you may be looking for a trail shoe that does not work as well on wet ground. The versatile Kanadia with its grip to tackle multiple surfaces is an all year round appropriate pair of trainer. 

    The Ultimate Test

    Mud runs... There are many of these out there now under various names. Tough Mudder. Nuclear Races. Bear Grills. Etc. A mix of very wet, boggy ground and obstacles. The perfect place to test the grip. On almost vertical wet mud banks straight into boggy water. 

    Two things that I was happy with. When walking through, well dragging your limbs through, waste-deep mud water the shoes stayed on. Excellent. I saw plenty of people with their footwear missing.

    And secondly when climbing out of the bogs via a rope, or some kind person boosting you from below not sliding straight back in. Seeing someone sliding like they are ice skating is not uncommon. Many people opt for old footwear so they do not ruin their favourite running shoes. I say buy some new trail shoes for the occasion. They will wash up just fine and may just save your sliding face first into a ditch. 

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • Topo Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes Review

    Topo Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes Sundried Review

    Topo Athletic is an up-and-coming sports brand that Sundried has reviewed a few times now. Their intelligently designed trainers are perfect for the more serious runner and their trail shoes have technical features that make them stand out from the crowd. Read our reviews of other Topo shoes here.

    Topo Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes Sundried Review

    Features of the Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes

    3mm Drop

    The drop of a trainer refers to the height difference between the heel and the forefoot. A conventional drop would be considered to sit at around 10-12 millimetres but more trainer brands are now adopting a more minimal design with a lower drop. Topo is one of these brands and their Terraventure trail shoe features a very low drop at only 3mm. Advocates for the low heel-to-toe drop claim it can reduce the risk of injury as it discourages a harsh heel-strike. A low drop also encourages a more natural running style and a low heel stops you from being pushed forward while running, which is an important aspect when running on uneven ground like a trail.

    Well-cushioned

    Minimalist shoes with a low drop can often offer less cushioning, but that is not the case with these Topo trainers. It is also important to have well-cushioned shoes when you're heading out on the rough and uneven surfaces of the trails. The Topo Terraventure shoes feature extra cushioning to provide a smooth ride.

    Wide Toe Box

    The ergonomic toe box is one of Topo's flagship features. It is more anatomically-friendly than classic trainers and allows your toes to spread out naturally and comfortably. If you have wide feet, it can be tough finding trainers that are comfortable, but these shoes with their wide toe box have got you covered. I often suffer from squashed toes, especially when running downhill outdoors, so this feature is very important to avoid that.

    Rock Protection Plate

    Having a rock protection plate in your trail shoes is a must if you want a pain-free run. Running over gravel and stones can be hazardous and having shoes with a specialised rock plate will prevent you from injuring your foot on rocks. Stepping on a jagged edge, especially on the ball of the foot, can cause a lot of pain and can lead to metatarsal issues. These Topo shoes feature the classic ESS rock plate which can be found on many trail shoes these days and should be a standard feature that you look for when choosing this type of trainer.

    Breathable Materials

    Suffering from sweaty feet can lead to more than just some discomfort. Running in damp shoes for too long can lead to skin problems and will end up distracting you from your run. Finding a pair of trainers made from breathable materials is a must, and these shoes feature just that. The lightweight design offers a '2nd skin fit and feel' according to Topo, although this isn't quite the feeling I got when I wore them. They're quite chunky and bulky, definitely not smooth and light like a speed trainer, but that's not what I'd expect from a trail shoe anyway.

    Topo Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes Sundried Review

    Testing the Topo Terraventure trainers out on the trails

    Trail running is very different from running on paved roads and you want a trainer that's going to be able to keep up. The 'aggressive' lug design on these trainers means that you have fantastic traction and the supportive rock plate prevents bruising and damage from stones and other debris which are inevitable on the trails. 

    I did find that they started to rub my little toes after a while and my feet were slipping around in the shoes because of the roomy design. When running up and down hills, especially on very rough terrain, I like my feet to feel like they're totally secure so that I'm not worried about twisting an ankle. These shoes could perhaps offer a little more ankle support to put my mind at ease.

    Topo Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes Sundried Review

    Support and comfort

    The foot support from these trainers is good and it doesn't seem to matter if you run with a forefoot or heel strike, they'll give you everything you need for a comfortable ride. If you have flat feet like me, it can be tough finding trainers which give adequate support, so I was a little dubious when trying them for the first time. I did get some ankle pain after the first few miles due to the limited arch support, and the low drop meant I ended up plodding a little towards the end. The roomy toe box does do the job well with regards to not squashing the toes so this is a big bonus.

    Topo Terraventure Women's Trail Shoes Sundried Review

    Verdict

    Sizing: 9/10

    The trainers are pretty much true to size. I did get a half size up from my usual size as I anticipated they might be a little snug and I'm glad I did.

    Comfort: 9/10

    The cushioning is great as is the roomy toe box. The rock plate definitely does the job of preventing painful bruises from jagged edges and stones. 

    Stability: 8/10

    The stability is good and the lugs on the bottom of the shoe certainly provide plenty of traction. I felt that my ankles were a little exposed, though, so there could have been more support and stability there.

    Appearance: 7/10

    I personally don't like the colour of this particular pair of shoes but that's certainly subjective. They also come in a choice of light blue or purple. The colour is a little garish so I would've preferred a more subtle colour, or even just plain black. The actual design of the trainers looks good, though, and for a pair of trail shoes, they definitely don't look too bad. I struggled to match them with any of my Sundried kit, though!

    Price: 6/10

    The price of these trainers is £115. This is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum and puts the shoes on the same level as trail shoes from big brands like Asics and Hoka One One. Considering Topo is still relatively unknown in the UK and is quite a new brand, this seems a little steep, especially considering you can buy Karrimor trail shoes at a price of around £35 and those boast being water-proof. However, these are good quality trainers and feature everything you would expect as standard from a pair of trail shoes so I definitely don't think it's unreasonable.

    Total: 39/50

    I'm pleasantly surprised by these trainers as I often struggle to find ones that are comfortable enough to run in for an extended period of time. Topo is a brand that knows what it's doing and this shines through in these trainers. I'm looking forward to taking these shoes on more adventures and seeing where they take me next!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Vibram FiveFinger Review

    Have you ever caught yourself staring at someone in the gym for a little longer than you should because you can’t quite figure out what it is they’ve got on their feet?

    Vibram or “five fingers” are the toe shoes which I’m sure would have grabbed your focus at some point by now as they’ve gained popularity with the latest wearable technology craze, but do they do what they say? Should I be wiggling my toes into individual pockets?

    Vibram FiveFinger Review

    The History of Vibram Five Fingers

    Five fingers design starts at the very beginning with feet. Before the shoe, feet were sprawled with toes separated. After the shoe, we suffer with bunions and other health issues as the foot adopts the shape of the shoe it’s in, hence why Chinese women bind their feet and young children are encouraged to wear correctly designed footwear to help their feet grow with proper alignment.

    Robert Fliri was the designer who first had the idea of creating shoes with individual toes in 1999 after researching foot anatomy and spending a lot of time outdoors in the mountains of Italy barefoot. He said: “We have five toes: when they can move and grasp the ground independently, and when you can really sense the surface under your feet, your body is able to do what it is designed for by nature. That is a powerful feeling." The concept he came up with was that if the feet were designed to experience the world naked, why were we covering them in so much cushioning in our footwear?

    Fliri’s idea remained but a figure of the imagination until 2004 when Fliri met Bramani, founder of Vibram. As the legend goes, Bramani believed that "Five Fingers" (because the Italian word for "fingers" is the same as that for "toes") might make a novel choice of footwear for use on sailboats or in other activities that required greater ground-feel. Bramani brought Fliri into his grandfather's company to develop the world's first toe shoes.

    In 2006 Vibram first entered the market as the strange, but novel barefoot shoe. Since then they have grown in popularity to become phenomenon they are today.

    Vibram FiveFinger Review

    What do Vibram say?

    “We believe that moving and running in FiveFingers can make us healthier, happier, and more connected to our bodies. We hope to help you discover how you can safely explore the joys of natural movement.

    Wearing FiveFingers for running, fitness training, water sports or just for fun will make your feet stronger and healthier—naturally. And while we do love our Vibram FiveFingers, we don’t believe it is the only footwear you will ever need. There are many times when you need the protection and security of a shoe or boot. Like all things in life, there is a balance, and Vibram FiveFingers provides a healthy alternative to traditional footwear.”

    Vibram FiveFinger Review

    What it’s like Wearing FiveFingers

    Let me start by introducing you to my relationship with feet, trust me, it’s relevant. I can NOT stand feet, I’m not afraid of them as such, but I’ve been known to request socks over going barefoot and I just don’t like them. I’m sorry.

    So when the time came to review the Five Fingers, I was dreading the thought of 1) Being able to see my toes separately and 2) Not wearing any socks. Now I’ve set the scene, let’s crack on with the review.

    Vibram FiveFinger Review

    Step 1. Putting the FiveFingers on.

    I’m a size 4, with what I would call ‘normal’ feet, with the toes decreasing in size as you move down the foot. The FiveFingers are made with the largest toe and second toe at equal length and then the toes decrease in size as you move down the foot. This is the design they found works for most people. My toes fitted in each pocket with about a cm spare at the end, but I think a size down would have been too small. The shoes have their own unique lacing system which is really easy to use, simply pulling a toggle locks the shoe closely to your foot and prevents and slipping. It takes a little practice to get used to putting each toe into the pockets, but once you’re doing this on the regular, it becomes second nature. The shoes are also really easy to slip off, release the toggle and you’re out in seconds. So far, so good.

    Step 2. Getting used to being ‘barefoot’.

    Whilst I do hate feet, the Vibrams really were comfortable and even on a short distance run, I noticed I was running with better form, I could feel myself pushing off the ball of my foot and keeping my back up straight, rather than hunching over as I often do. The shoe is incredibly light and it does make you feel lighter as you run along, think more spring to your step, less plodding along. Despite the fact the shoes have 0 drop, I didn’t feel unprotected. Yes, you feel very close to the ground, but the shoes soles are a strong barrier between your foot and anything nasty. The key with getting used to FiveFingers is to ease them in. The website says it can take anywhere up to 6 months to make the transition to barefoot and overdoing it can lead to injury.

    When it comes to weight lifting Arnold Schwarzenegger famously trained barefoot in order to maximise his lifts. Some bodybuilders argue that because your feet are the only point of contact between your body and the floor on most lifts, some of your lifting success is dependant on the foot's proprioception (the ability for your feet to sense of where they are in space). The more precisely your feet work to grip the floor, the better you will activate the muscles farther up your kinetic chain. Weight training with the FiveFingers allows you to feel the force of the weight you’re lifting, pushing through your heels and maximising your effort.

    Vibram’s number one rule is to “Listen to your body” and I think for someone who is ready to make the switch to a barefoot running style, then these are a great pair of barefoot running shoes. They do look weird, but Vibram have their reason for that and if you can handle it, you’ll reap the rewards. I still don’t like feet, but, I did experience the benefits of the FiveFinger design.

    Common Vibram FiveFinger questions answered

    What on earth are on your feet? Vibram FiveFinger trainers.

    Can you feel the ground? Yes, if you run over a rock you know about it, this is the entire point of sensory feedback and barefoot running. The idea is the FiveFinger sole protects the foot whilst still mimicking a barefoot ride.

    Do your feet get wet? In this version of the shoe, yes they will. However there are other versions such as the trail runner which provide more protection against rough terrains and wetter weather.

    Are you worried about stepping on something sharp? When should you not be worried about stepping on something sharp? Believe me I’ve had glass slice through a flip flop and wedge into my foot before and it hurts. As you run in the shoes you do tend to find yourself looking down to scan the path ahead and knowing you have a reasonably thick sole does encourage you to be more cautious as you run.

    What if you have oddly shaped feet? The shoes are designed to fit most feet, but they won’t work for everyone. If your second toe is longer than your first one, you’d be better off finding an alternative barefoot running shoe such as the Vivobarefoot which we’ve reviewed.

    Why do you look so small? I’ve just lost an inch of height from my trainers and at 5ft 2, every inch counts!

    Posted by Victoria Gardner