I tried a pair of the Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas on last week while I was picking up a new pair of running shoes (I'm currently running in Mizuno). My plan is to add one or two short free-running sessions to my weekly regime, having been intrigued by so many enthusiastic converts. Primarily, I guess, I'd like to see if they push me to better awareness of my running technique and help me ease up on my heels and Achilles tendons.
Immediate response? A whole separate work-out is involved in trying to get each toe into its little slot! I took them out of the store for a little run on concrete and they're surprisingly comfortable to run in, but given the kilometres I do on gravelly dirt roads, I decided to pass on them. Plus I'm just not up for that much attention when I'm running, and these do draw looks. I may eventually buy a pair for swimming and kayaking, though. I do most of my swimming at our beach. It's rocky and barnacle-y enough that some kind of footwear is required.
Instead of the Five Fingers, then, along with my Mizunos (for the bulk of my training, especially for longer distances), I picked up a pair of Nike Frees, as below, except with pink rather than white accents. These are supremely comfortable, and I could imagine packing them both as a walking shoe (they're cuter than they look here, especially with the dark pink trim) and for the occasional run while on holiday. Given how much Converse disappoint in the comfort department (I so agree with Want and Worth's recent post), I could see these sneaking their way into my urban trekking.
On male shirtless running:
IF you are under 30, fit to the point of beauty, and don't mind causing accidents in your running wake as we all stop to admire, you're allowed. . .
Otherwise, put the shirt back on! If menopausal women well acquainted with hot flashes can keep our tops on as we run, so. should. you. You are simply not that hot. Not that hot at all. Nor is your pot-belly.
Sadly, there is a dearth of the first category and an astonishing overabundance of the second.