[intro]Crusty old trainers, be gone – I'm strapping on a pair of Fivefingers for some barefoot-style action[/intro]
Ever since Nike's Airs and Reebok's Pumps squared up to each other at the turn of the 90s, trainers have been trying to out-gimmick each other with ever more ridiculous space age tech. But recently runners have gone back to the caveman era by running barefoot. That is, of course, not recommended on cobbled streets, so US company Vibram is bringing its 'Fivefingers' to the UK.
The anti-trainers movement isn't just a post-modern hippydom or, as Vibram says, about 'getting your sole close to Mother Earth'. Barefoot running is booming because allowing each toe to adjust to undulations is apparently much better for posture and balance, and can help reduce injuries caused by running in ill-fitting trainers. You also get to be pointed at and mocked by passers-by.
If you're of a watersports persuasion, the Fivefingers grip should keep you on your surfboard or kayak, and they also look good for keeping your feet safe from pinecones on camping trips. No news on pricing yet, but the UK site (www.vibramfivefinger.me.uk) will apparently be up in the next couple of weeks.