Vibram FiveFingers shoes cost around $110 and approximately 4 million kangaroo lives per year*.
FiveFingers shoes are designed to make you feel like you're walking or running barefoot. Shame on them! Shame on the fitness industry for allowing this to happen! It's a barefoot-inspired shoe for God sakes! It makes absolutely no sense to me that a kangaroo has to die in order for fitness consumers to feel like they're walking or running barefoot. Especially when grassy fields are plenty. I'm assuming most barefoot runners worry about the consequence of stepping on something sharp or uncomfortable and a grassy terraine is one way to avoid that...I've done it and it feels great. I've also run full marathons next to runners who were completely barefoot on city streets. This is something I wouldn't do, but I know it can be done without killing a kangaroo!
*This number is an estimate of kangaroos commercially killed in Australia annually. Read more HERE
I wasn't born yesterday.
I know that animals are being killed everyday to make all kinds of clothing items that we, as consumer, purchase without thinking twice about (PETA and animal-free folks, I'm obviously excluding you here). And yes, I buy leather products often and know that a lot of my sneakers are made from it. I'll justify that by saying that most of these products are necessities. But a barefoot runner? C'mon now. It doesn't make any sense to me. Most human beings already own a pair of bare feet. Killing kangaroos for this kind of sneaker is not necessary, it's cruel and unfashionable.
These shoes are really unattractive...I'd rather stare at a kangaroo for 10 hours.
I'd rather watch a kangaroo hop around or a joey peak out from his mother's pouch than slide my feet into a pair of FiveFingers, even if it's just to test them out. It's really sad knowing that kangaroos are killed to make us feel like we're walking barefoot when we already have that luxury. The crazy thing about it is that I had no idea FiveFingers were made from Kangaroo leather until a reader commented on a video I made about barefoot-inspired running shoes. The reader raved about the performance enhancing quality of FiveFingers footwear so I went to the website curious as to whether their product range included a stylish option. That's when I realized the company uses Kangaroo leather which they claim enhances free motion within their shoes. The FiveFingers Performa along with several other styles is made almost entirely from Kangaroo leather. For a split second I considered testing this shoe (even though I'm not a fan of toe-separation) but then I thought, how could I live with myself? I freaking LOVE kangaroos! I became so upset about this that I began watching videos on Youtube to learn more about kangaroo killings linked to the fitness industry. It was not a pretty afternoon spent surfing the internet! But I learned a lot, including something about myself: I will not support or promote companies that condone cruel killing of animals for products that are absolutely unnecessary or that could easily be made without harming animals. Cruelty towards animals for the manufacturing of fitness product should not be happening at all and companies that traditionally use Kangaroo skin (i.e. Adidas for soccer cleats) should make sure to enforce humane guidelines.
FACT: Kangaroos are cool.
6 species have already gone extinct ---> NOT COOL
How can you save a Kangaroo and still wear a performance enhancing minimalist shoe?
Don't buy FiveFingers and tell them why. Let them know how you feel by visiting their contact page or shooting them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, there are plenty of shoes out there that don't use Kangaroo leather. For example, one of my favorites is Terra Plana's Vivo Barefoot Evo collection which is 100% Vegan, planet friendly and super stylish. My favorite designs are The Evo in green and The Evo 2 in navy/blue mesh. Aside from looking great as a sport shoe that activates your core, they also wear casually and look cute with jeans.
See it to believe it and do something about it.
You don't have to watch this video (includes graphic content) but sometimes you really need to see it to believe it. I know I did.
Cruelty is not fashionable and I hope you'll join me in furthering a movement of informed fitness enthusiasts who shop with a conscience and care about how fitness products are made. Thank you.