Introduction: DIY Toe Socks for Vibram FiveFingers

Picture of DIY Toe Socks for Vibram FiveFingers

I gave Vibram FiveFingers a go several months back and am a total convert; knee pain from running is now a thing of the past for me!

I wanted to bag some 'Injiji' or Vibram 'Lizard' socks to fit the shoes, but they are pretty damn expensive. The shoes are not cheap, and I refuse to be screwed £10 for just one pair of socks.

So I modified some cheapo 'five for three quid' socks and made my own socks compatible with the FiveFingers - 'Tramp Chique' too, it's a whole new fashion trend.

Step 1: Required Items

Picture of Required Items

- Cheapo sacrificial tubes (a suitable pair of socks)

- Needle and thread

- Scissors

- 'Man' level stitching skills (the basic ability to wield needle and thread in an crudely offensive manner versus fabrics)

Step 2: Make the First Stitch

Picture of Make the First Stitch

The purpose of this step is simply to mark the stitch location.

- Put the socks on

- With threaded needle, find a suitable place between your big toe and second toe as close to the foot as you dare. Five Finger Fillet aficionados will have this down pat. Be careful! Don't stitch yourself into your socks - they'd become impossible to take off to wash.

- Pull the thread through and make another pass through the sock with the needle at the same point as before

Step 3: Reinforce the Stitching

Picture of Reinforce the Stitching

- Take the socks off

- Continue stitching back and forth through the sock around about the same place, basically we're reinforcing the connection between sock top and bottom that we've made

Step 4: Making the Cut

Picture of Making the Cut

- Cut the toe end off of the sock, above the stitching you've made. See the image for specific placement; basically, cut flat across the big toe, then at a shallow angle after the stitching

Step 5: Reinforcing the Stitching Some More

Picture of Reinforcing the Stitching Some More

- Using a different kind of stitching that probably has a name ('Man' level stitching skills simply require battering fabric with needle and thread - stitch names are not important), reinforce the joint some more; loop the thread around the cut-off toe end with each stitch and back through the joint.

Step 6: Finito

Picture of Finito

- That's it, try 'em on.

Possible improvements include using a sewing machine to reinforce the cut edges to prevent fraying.


usermammal (author)2012-04-17

Washing doesn't get rid of the VFF stank, but I checked around the internets, and learned that a 1-part vinegar, 3-parts water solution will take care of it.
Once a week, I fill a bucket with this and soak my VFFs for 12-24 hours. You can rinse and air-dry them afterwards, and they will smell only a little of vinegar, or you can throw them in the wash to be rid of it completely.
Just remember, the VFFs should always be allowed to air-dry rather than thrown about in the dryer. I've had stitching come loose from the tumbling, and it's tricky to find a seamstress willing to fix them.

peachyone (author)2012-03-02

great idea. way better than wearing gloves on your feet...

sollysolly (author)2011-11-24

Great idea!

If you put fabric glue on the raw edges they won't unravel in the wash. It's the glue used for hemming and fixing holes etc and doesn't wash out. Try a knitting or sewing shop.

Are they comfy at the toe thong part? I'm just thinking I might stick or glue a piece of cotton ribbon/tape across there instead.

milothefultz (author)2011-09-08

Curious if your Vibrams have caught the indescribable stank that come with un-socked feet simply from your exposed toes?

wingd man (author)2011-03-27

I love it.

reeldiehl (author)2010-09-02

Such a great idea! I'll be making me some of these for the colder days ahead using my FiveFingers. Thanks inductible. I had a dream last night that I was running on gravel bare-footed and it was almost massaging to my foot pads.

wingd man (author)reeldiehl2011-03-27

Actually, I find walking on gravel to tickle. Not intensely, but enough to make you look pretty silly.

Orange Guy (author)2010-11-26

Just made a pair of these this morning before my 7-mile run. Perfect! Kept my feet a lot warmer. My toes still froze, but the feeling came back in them about 30 minutes after my run. I think I might add a stitch between the two smallest toes as well to keep the sock from rolling under when I put on the fivefingers. Thanks!

monkeymanswimmer (author)2010-09-13

it's very nice

nigeltech (author)2010-09-09

Can try using "blanket stitch" here.
Decodes to:
push needle thru' part way, loop thread around needle, push needle right thru'. Then step over about 5mm and do it again.

Looks a bit like the edging of an old fashioned blanket! Maybe why it's called blanket stitch.

Annanelle (author)2010-09-03

Lovely instructable. Great use of humour,

NetReaper (author)2010-09-02

I love running barefoot, i need to get a pair of those

zigzagchris (author)2010-08-29

Are the shoes good? i'm a runner of about 5 miles a day and started researching these today

inductible (author)zigzagchris2010-08-30

I've read good and bad things, but mostly good - in my case they were fantastic and improved my running significantly. I love the way they look too :D I had to go through a painful period of changing my running technique from hell-toe to forefoot, which was grief for my calves, but now happily pushing long distances (11.5 miles) and feeling fresh the following day.

zigzagchris (author)inductible2010-08-30

I did 6 today. I tried a mile yesterday barefoot but got glass in my toe ofcourse

Kryptonite (author)zigzagchris2010-09-02

When going barefoot try for smooth concrete / roads at first, and then once your feet toughen up a little you can go miles. It's brilliant because you can really feel your running style, and improve it if it's incorrect.

Kinnishian (author)Kryptonite2010-09-02

Go for smooth roads, *not* concrete. Well, if you don't have much to worry from with running problems then concrete is fine, but if you're sensitive or whatnot, never run on concrete. It's substantially less soft than asphalt.

zigzagchris (author)Kinnishian2010-09-02

my feet are generally tough. I only wear shoes in the summer when stores make me. I was running in the dark being a safe child when i was cut. I will defiantly try barefoot again. No way i can afford the shoes. I don't think my coach will be big on the lack of shoes though.

canida (author)zigzagchris2010-09-02

They're awesome! Just be sure to ramp up slowly, as you'll be using some brand-new foot muscles. I started hiking in mine first, which is also big fun.

canida (author)2010-09-02

They say you need to buy a size larger shoes to accommodate socks, but this looks like it avoids the sizing problem all together.

agis68 (author)2010-09-02

I ve seen many in streets waring these shoes....they look to me hilarious...

biospot (author)2010-09-02

I use 5 fingers and they have fixed my feet. I used to have horrible pain in the ball of my left foot. After orthopedic inserts (that made it worse in long run) and putting up with pain daily for 6 years, my pain is GONE. No problem. I run 8-10 miles easily now, and have no pain (um sometimes it shows up a little after 7-8 miles, but it is gone as soon as I finish running) I tried the five fingers type socks, but had the same problem. Too much material around my toes, causing them to chafe against each other through the material. I recently went back to no socks, and was happy with the feeling in my toes. This seems like it may work even better. Nothing around the toes, but odor and dampness control of the feet. I think I will try it. Nice Idea. Thanks!

noexit (author)2010-09-02

UniQlo had cheap toe socks when I lived in Japan. Don't know of they made it to the UK though. Or if Uniqlo is as cheap as it was in Japan.

Jacquesy (author)2010-08-29

ha ha love them!

fillg (author)2010-08-29

I got a pair of the Injinji socks and it was a total waste of money. Don't get me wrong, they're nice socks but they're too bulky to wear with my FiveFingers. Maybe I just have fat toes or something but when I've got the socks on the toe holes in the shoes are just uncomfortable and if I try to wear them with regular shoes there's too much bulk between my toes and it makes the regular shoes too tight. Looks like you saved some money and also came up with a better solution.

mettaurlover (author)2010-08-28

Eh, sewing machines are overrated for reinforcing edges, try an overhand stitch on the end, the one where you just keep looping the thread around the edge and a bit into the cloth. creates a hem of sorts and when used to connect multiple pieces of fabric makes a nearly indestructible seam.

inductible (author)mettaurlover2010-08-29

That'd certainly do it I reckon

nickodemus (author)2010-08-28

Great idea! But alas, I will not be able to use it, I have a hammer toe that prevents me...

eulaliaaaa! (author)2010-08-28


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