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Work Out in Vibram’s Barefoot-Style Toe Shoes

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When Vibram, the brand that popularized the articulated toe shoe look, teamed up with Gold’s Gym to make a training shoe, I was a bit intrigued. Gold’s Gym has a legendary reputation in the fitness space, and if it’s putting its seal of approval on a shoe, there has to be a benefit to wearing them.

Vibram Gold's Gym V-Train

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To see how the shoe, dubbed the V-Train, performed in the gym, Vibram brand ambassador and fitness expert Sean Garner wrote a workout for me. Here’s what the trainer had planned:

Deadlift: 7 sets of 3 reps (rest approximately 90-120 seconds between sets)
Single-Leg Deadlifts: 3 sets or 8 reps on each leg. Superset with Goblet Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps
Walking Lunge: 3 sets of 8 reps on each leg
Slide Board Hamstring Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
“My favorite thing to do in my FiveFingers are deadlifts,” Garner explained via email with the workout. “It allows me to feel the floor as I drive through my heels. [I also like] any unilateral lower-body exercises, as the minimalist shoe allows greater demand for increased stability.”

Vibram Gold's Gym V-Train

After doing deadlifts in the V-Train, I can see why Garner was fond of doing them in these shoes.

During a deadlift, you really feel your heels push into the ground, and your toes grip the floor in a way that you don’t feel nearly as much in regular training sneakers. It’s the closest I’ve felt to doing the exercise without shoes, in just socks.

Gold's Gym x Vibram FiveFingers V-Train

That feeling of having your heels screwed into the floor was also present during Garner’s workout when performing goblet squats.