So, what are the best shoes for P90X? If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for stuff that can make your life easier (or better) — and P90X shoes are no exception…Over the past several months, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the trainers that I normally wear during my P90X workout routines, and have become really fascinated by the growing minimalist footwear movement. This fairly new category of shoes goes by a variety of names, such as:
In my opinion, the real beauty of minimalist shoes is the fact that there is nothing to get in your way. They simplify everything to the point where you’re much more in tune to the terrain you’re on (whether that be pavement, trails, or a plyometrics mat), reducing the potential for injuries and providing a much more “organic”, well-connected experience.
After researching the different types of barefooting shoes available, I decided to go with the Vibram FiveFingers KSO (pronounced “vee-brum”). The Vibram KSO is the most popular FiveFingers model and is available in several different color combinations, I went with black.
I honestly couldn’t wait to try these things out, and 2 days after receiving my email shipping notification from TheShoeMart.com, the funky-looking foot gloves arrived. By the way, if you’ve never bought anything from these guys before, try them out. Great selection, excellent service, and lightning-fast free shipping.
Upon tearing open the box, I was greeted by the oddest looking shoe I’ve ever encountered…
Vibram’s KSO is extremely lightweight, and it features a soft mesh and stretch nylon upper secured by a single velcro strap. The rubber sole is fairly smooth, with just a few minimal traction patterns incorporated into the high impact areas for improved grip.
Trying on Vibram’s FiveFingers for the first time was a bit of a challenge, as each individual toe must be placed in a separate “finger”. After a minute or two of fidgeting and wiggling my toes, I was finally able to get both shoes on.
As far as Vibram Five Fingers sizing goes, I used The Shoe Mart’s sizing chart and went with 41’s — they fit perfect. One thing that you have to keep in mind is that VFF shoes are designed to be snug, so there shouldn’t be any significant space between the big toe and the shoe. They may feel a little small at first because the fit is different than a traditional shoe, but you quickly grow accustomed to them.
The difference between regular shoes and Vibram Five Fingers is truly remarkable — they really do provide a “barefoot” experience. I spent the next hour walking around in them, and they’ve been on my feet ever since.
Later on in the day, I put the Vibram Five Fingers to the real test and popped in the P90X Plyometrics DVD.
As expected, the Vibrams performed amazingly well. I noticed an immediate improvement in both agility and balance, and the Five Fingers provided an added level of confidence that I’ve never previously experienced.
With my trainers, I’ve actually rolled my ankle on more than one occasion due to landing awkwardly. With the Vibram FiveFinger shoe, this is no longer an issue and I’m much more sure-footed as a result.
The one concern I did have was whether or not I would miss the added cushioning provided by the thick sole of my trainers. Much to my surprise, this has not been an issue at all, and other than some very slight rubbing on the side of a single toe, the FiveFingers have been extremely comfortable. That toe has since developed a callous and is no longer sensitive.
Lastly, I love the fact that Vibram barefoot shoes are machine washable. Despite the fact that Vibram uses an anti-microbial microfiber footbed in the KSO, they will eventually stink. If your FiveFingers begin to smell, simply throw them in the washer and hang dry.
Vibram FiveFingers are definitely good shoes for P90X. In my opinion, they’re the best. They’ve performed amazingly well during all of my P90X workouts, and I honestly can’t imagine ever going back to regular shoes.
In addition to P90X, I’ve also had a chance to run and bike in them, and they were great in both of those situations as well. The KSO is an extremely versatile model and an excellent choice if you’re interested in a shoe that can comfortably do it all (you can even surf and swim in these things). Highly recommended, but I must warn you to be prepared for the added attention they receive!