OutdoorGearLab Releases Educational Buying Guide for Women's Barefoot Shoes

Outdoorgearlab.com publishes a helpful resource for customers interested in purchasing barefoot shoes or transitioning to minimal footwear.
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A comparison of different styles of women's barefoot shoes on the market.
A comparison of different styles of women's barefoot shoes on the market.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - July 14, 2014 - PRLog -- OutdoorGearLab.com, a website known for its detailed comparison tests of outdoor equipment, footwear, and apparel, has just produced a new women's barefoot shoe buying guide. This guide is a free resource to help educate consumers, walk them through the decision to transition to minimal footwear, and offer advice on how to most safely make this transition. This buying guide does an excellent job of presenting an objective, balanced viewpoint of barefoot and minimal footwear, stating the plusses and minuses for going barefoot and for traditional running shoes. The author, Sarah Hegg, took seven top models of Vibram's FiveFinger shoes and put them through rigorous tests in sand, snow, and mud and on rocky trails, smooth trails, and pavement trails. Some of the models in her test are running specific but some are targeted at casual or everyday wear. She evaluated each model in the context of its intended use and gave awards to the most impressive pairs.

Hegg begins her informative article by addressing the question “why go barefoot?” She explains that traditional running shoes, with cushion in the heel and a different height between the forefoot and heel, make every foot strike the same. Proponents of barefoot running suggests that this over-correction may cause some runner's bodies to be positioned counter to their natural alignment. Barefoot running, when done properly, can allow for an individual stride that is more natural and possibly healthier. Hegg cites studies that claim that over the course of thirty years of running shoe technology, running injuries have not decreased, which has led some people to believe we did not evolve to wear shoes on our feet.

People who are against the barefoot movement don't think that barefoot running has reduced running related injuries at all, and in fact, they feel that removing the cushion from running shoes increases the impact on people's bodies and joints, potentially creating more injuries.

Hegg takes the stance that the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes. She cautions runners who want to switch to minimal or barefoot shoes that they need to go slowly. She mentions that any serious athlete needs to pay attention to correct form and posture, and running is no different. Simply switching your footwear does not mean that your running form is correct and healthy. She states that a transition needs to occur alongside conscientious training, with the runner being very aware of how his or her body is feeling. Hegg also stresses that every body is different, and the transition may take longer for some people.

Hegg explains that once someone has made the decision to run and exercise in non-traditional footwear, they should look at Vibram FiveFingers, which are the leading producers of footwear in this market. All of Vibram's models have separated toes, which provide a more freeing and sensitive feeling of the ground than “barefoot” shoes that do not have separated toes. Hegg also offers tips of how to correctly size FiveFingers, and notes that if you wish to wear toe socks with yourFiveFingers, you should size them up at least one size larger to accommodate the socks in the close-fitting shoes.

In addition to this informational buying guide, Hegg has written a comprehensive review comparing all seven tested pairs of women's barefoot shoes, assigning awards to the standout models in her tests. The full review can be found on OutdoorGearLab's website in addition to individual reviews of each specific model.

OutdoorGearLab, LLC is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and is a free resource that encourages consumers to make informed purchasing decisions about outdoor equipment, footwear, and apparel. The site, www.outdoorgearlab.com, produces comparison reviews of outdoor gear, each review complemented by a buying advice guide for that category. The review team performs head-to-head tests of equipment in real world settings, and publishes their findings in detailed essays, complete with illustrative photos. Products are scored across a range of weighted metrics, ranked against one another, and awards are given to the most impressive models. Readers can easily find the most suitable product to purchase without investing excessive time in personal research. These reviews assist anyone who participates in outdoor activities such as running, hiking, climbing, yoga, camping, paddleboarding, swimming, and cycling.

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Tags:Outdoors, Reviews, Buying Guide, Barefoot Shoes, Five Finger Shoes, Barefoot Running
Industry:Fitness, Health, Lifestyle
Location:Cheyenne - Wyoming - United States
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