Here’s the abbreviated backstory:
I was on my second pair of these fancy training shoes - Vibram Five Fingers - affectionately referred to as “toe shoes,” which were disappointing. My first pair were great and I ran them into the ground. The second pair should have been great but turned out to be poorly assembled. (I’m chalking this up as a fluke.)
I contacted the company and got the run-around at first but was eventually given a credit to use on their site, since the pair I had was discontinued.
The trouble was, I didn’t like the specs for anything on the site except one pair, which was unshockingly the most expensive, and the cost was double the value of my credit.
The risk of buying shoes for parkour is that it’s nearly impossible to know how well they will function in all environments - concrete, trail, railings, grass and mud, etc., or survive different types of training - climbing, impact, balance, pivoting, etc. Add that risk to the high cost and the fact that the only color available really didn’t do anything for me, and I was feeling a bit “blah” about the whole thing.
After some frustrated debate, I took a curiosity break, wondering what the women’s line offered.
What I found was the exact same pair of shoes, right down to the technical specs and the style of the mesh and treads. The downside? The max size available was fairly small. The upside? I have small feet. Long limbs, but small hands and feet. I'm basically a Reverse T-Rex…
The bigger upside? COLORS! Anyone who has known me more than a minute knows my wardrobe is not exactly monochromatic. I wear a shirt and tie four-fifths of the week but never a white one. White shirts are for funerals. Every other day brings a vibrant, almost obnoxiously bright color.
So when I found the exact same shoes in the women’s line with sizes that would work for me, with the exact same specs, and in color patterns I loved, why wouldn’t I get them?
Oh, and did I mention this little added bonus? The shoes were $64 CHEAPER on the women’s line than they were on the men’s line!
RECAP: shoes that fit, in the style I need, in the color i love, with the cost I can afford.
The reason I share this article is that I know there are plenty of people out there who would be too self-conscious to do this. There are many who would be worried they’d be ridiculed for wearing such ridiculous colors - especially as a man! Ooh, how scandalous!!
I’m not buying them to make a statement. I’m not wearing them as a conversation-starter. I got these shoes for me. Because I like them. What anyone else thinks is irrelevant because I like who I am and I believe in myself. I spent a lot of years trying to achieve both of those traits and I refuse to abandon them for anyone.
So that’s that. Here are my pink-and-orange toe shoes that may damage your eyes as effectively as staring into an eclipse. Like them or not; it’s up to you. But either way, I’m pretty thrilled and look forward to putting these babies through their paces!
Like this article? Here are a few of our other greatest hits!
- the danger of "winging it"
- united by fear
- is parkour for kids?
- the women of parkour are not "sorry"
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Nathan Fleming - Head Instructor at Fusion Parkour