In short: The easiest way to put on Vibram FiveFingers is to start with your big toe, working it into its individual toe sleeve first. Then, work the rest of your toes into their toe sleeves sequentially, moving from your big toe toward your little toe. Toe socks help too.
First time putting on Vibram shoes? Here’s a helpful guide on how to put on Vibram FiveFingers. With practice, your donning technique will become more refined and efficient.
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How to put on Vibram FiveFingers shoes
1. Toe socks help you put them on effortlessly
Instead of wearing Vibram FiveFingers without socks, wear them with toe socks. Not only do they help prevent bad odor, but they help you put the shoes on easily.
Wearing socks alone will dramatically smoothen the process of putting on Vibram shoes. Since the material will glide through the soft socks, instead of sticking to your skin.
However, you can’t wear a normal pair of socks with Vibrams. This brand of toe socks is the premier maker of sports toe socks that work perfectly with FiveFingers.
2. Start with your big toe
Now that you have toe socks on, loosen all the laces, straps, or other closure mechanisms to the greatest degree possible. You want to create the biggest “door” for each of your feet.
Start with your big toe, working it into its toe sleeve first, and then work the rest of your toes into their toe sleeves sequentially, moving from your big toe out toward your little toe.
The key is to angle your foot diagonally, pointing your big toe inwards. Rather than inserting your foot straight, your first objective is to insert your big toe into its dedicated compartment.
3. Work the rest of your toes sequentially
Once your big toe has been inserted, it’s time to work toward your little toe. Because of their flexible soles, you can bend or twist the Vibrams to help get your toes in place.
Wiggle your toes to insert each of them into their respective compartments. If this is your first time doing this, Using your fingers to assist your toes can be quite helpful too.
Once your toes are in, pull the Vibram’s heel cup under your heel, giving a slight backward tug to ensure all of your toes are completely inserted in their sleeves.
Once your foot is fully in, you can tighten the laces or straps as necessary. The shoes need to be tight and hug your feet, but they should not feel uncomfortable.
Important: When your Vibram FiveFingers are new, they will be harder to put on. While they are flexible, they do need time to break in. You can break them in faster using these techniques.
4. Practice with toe socks
The process of putting on Vibram FiveFingers on your feet is similar to the process of wearing toe socks. Think of wearing toe socks as the “beginner level” of wearing Vibram FiveFingers.
If you have a hard time putting on Vibrams, practice wearing toe socks. Over time, you will find it easier to wear toe socks, and the same is true for putting on Vibrams.
With practice, your toe flexibility and dexterity will improve. As a result, your toes will find their way into the sleeves naturally. This phenomenon is called muscle memory.
You need time to get used to Vibrams
Now you know how to put on Vibram shoes. It can take several months to a year to make the transition into Vibram FiveFingers. Be patient and make the transition gradually.
An adjustment period is normal at first as your feet and lower legs increase strength and mobility. This should decrease as your body begins to adapt to the new pair of shoes.
If this is your first time wearing barefoot-toe shoes, learn how to walk and run in Vibram FiveFingers. The proper technique can be the difference between pain and comfort.