Author Topic: 5 fingers  (Read 3701 times)

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ambrosialx

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5 fingers
« on: Oct 07, 2011, 03:18 pm »
Just got a pair of the Vibram 5 fingers shoes. Wondering if anyone has any experience wearing them working backstage or just in everyday life. I've seen some techs wearing them but curious if they work for SMs as well!!
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Aerial

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #1 on: Oct 07, 2011, 06:36 pm »
I have never worn them for SM stuff (other than sitting in the booth), but I've had a pair (The sprint) for about a year that I mostly wear to the gym and I love them.  My worry for backstage would be that the sole is so thin it might not provide enough protection.  They have great traction though, and are really quiet. 

megf

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #2 on: Oct 08, 2011, 12:06 pm »
Love 'em. I've worked with electricians and carpenters who swear by them, and I've teched and run shows in them myself. (I also actually run in them, usually 5k-10k distances.)

The first time a stagehand wore them backstage on a show I was ASMing, I was *very* skeptical. We agreed she could wear them, and we would re-evaluate at the end of the show... and she wound up saving the day by scaling concert truss to guide a finicky chiffon drape during a massive set change.

On my current show, one of the carpenters wears them, and he does some pretty cool maneuvering underneath a large set piece, using the shoes to grip the floor and muscle the unit into position.

I have not yet explored the safety or efficacy of the shoes in a setting with heavy automation - anyone with experience on that end?

Jessie_K

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #3 on: Oct 10, 2011, 01:21 am »
I tried on a pair the other day and thought they were quite cozy.

Unfortunately due to the regulations in Singapore and having lots of automation in my shows, I am required to wear steel toes for any backstage activity, so I can't test them at work except for my commute.


Mac Calder

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2011, 08:58 am »
I would not be comfortable with a crew member working a show without safety caps - steel or other. It comes purely from a risk assessment standpoint - lifting and moving of heavy items - safety shoes required. Most of the talent interact with pre-placed heavy objects - the risk is low and hazard moderately low - all good for them to wear their twirly shoes... Stage hands and even SM's, the risk is significantly higher and the hazard rating also a tad higher - my steps for minimising the hazard are to insist on caps - among other things.

Same sort of reasons I insist on high-vis for the bump-in and outs, hard hats when people are working at height and bollarding off the pit when it is down pre-doors. Most of the time, the theatre is a construction zone. It's a dangerous place. The only difference between us and a building site is that we have opening hours.
« Last Edit: Oct 10, 2011, 09:01 am by Mac Calder »

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MatthewShiner

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #5 on: Oct 10, 2011, 11:09 am »
I would chime in as well - not closed toed, protective footwear seems an odd choice for backstage.
« Last Edit: Oct 16, 2011, 01:30 am by MatthewShiner »
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ambrosialx

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #6 on: Oct 15, 2011, 10:34 pm »
I worked at a theatre that insisted on safety shoes or steel toes then realized how impractical it was when running around changing gels and gobos and the audience could hear the heavy clomping of shoes over the music! I jsut did a quick tour with them and they worked out great, especially for climbing around on truss!
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Nic Sedivec; SM

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #7 on: Jan 18, 2012, 10:54 pm »
I work at a Merrell Concept Store as well as SMing - I wear the barefoot pace glove (Barefoots are a hybrid of merrell and vibram - co designed by both teams.) I don't think I will wear anything else for stage managing. I own the all black, they are durable, sturdy, and easy to move in. I can also move quicker and silently. One of my last shows I was SM and ASM - The silent part was the biggest seller for me. I could have never done that in my boots. The audience had no idea I was moving things or hiding under the platform to open the door (Woman in Black) with nothing but a piece of masonite separating me from view or sound.

Mac Calder

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #8 on: Jan 18, 2012, 11:10 pm »
I worked at a theatre that insisted on safety shoes or steel toes then realized how impractical it was when running around changing gels and gobos and the audience could hear the heavy clomping of shoes over the music!

Then you are wearing the wrong shoes. My safety caps look like regular leather laceups, they have cushioned rubber souls. I am a big guy and with very little effort can be quiet as a mouse in them.

They have also saved my toes more times than I would care to count.

Deuteronomy75

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #9 on: Jan 19, 2012, 10:30 am »
Just a small message from "good ol' Europe".
What Mac Calder describes applies for europe as well: You would not be let on stage for construction or scene shift in shoes other than safety/hard cap shoes.
In Germany, there are "Unfallverh├╝tungsvorschriften" (Accident prevention rules) that are not negotiable and that give very precise information what kind of personal safety equipment you have to wear in what circumsdances (Hard hat, cap shoes, gloves, earmuffs, glasses...). On the other hand, this equipment must be provided by the employer to the employee for free.

maximillionx

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #10 on: Jan 19, 2012, 01:13 pm »
..."Unfallverh├╝tungsvorschriften"...

Say that 3 times fast....

I've heard great things about these shoes for exercise and from people who work in offices/labs, but I would definitely feel uncomfortable wearing these backstage.  Even in a theatre like my current one where there aren't really any scene changes in the current show it just seems like a safety issue for tech/management.

BalletPSM

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #11 on: Mar 30, 2012, 02:39 am »
So I'm interested in the merrell barefoot "pace" glove (NOT the "fingers"; just the really lightweight minimalist shoe) for REHEARSALS, not necessarily for being on deck.  Mostly because they are quiet and very lightweight.

But how much cushion/arch support do these minimalist shoes *actually* provide?  I don't have totally flat feet but I don't have that much arch either...so whatever I wear needs to have SOME support.
« Last Edit: Mar 30, 2012, 02:46 am by BalletPSM »
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

missliz

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #12 on: Mar 30, 2012, 11:19 am »
So I'm interested in the merrell barefoot "pace" glove (NOT the "fingers"; just the really lightweight minimalist shoe) for REHEARSALS, not necessarily for being on deck.  Mostly because they are quiet and very lightweight.

But how much cushion/arch support do these minimalist shoes *actually* provide?  I don't have totally flat feet but I don't have that much arch either...so whatever I wear needs to have SOME support.

I've never tried them myself, but a friend who did said they have very little cushion and almost no arch support. If you have more of a natural arch they'll be easier to adjust to than if you're totally flat-footed.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

Nic Sedivec; SM

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #13 on: Mar 31, 2012, 02:04 am »
I am a Merrell Salesperson for my day job:

The Barefoot Concept:

These shoes are designed to have NO support. True, the shoe wraps your foot so tightly that it feels like there is a great support. However, this is just how it feels. In time, it will build up the muscles in the foot and in between the bones, helping to strengthen the arch itself.

The pace is great, I wear mine everyday. They are a little tiring on concrete all day though. Size about a 1/2 size up and you'll be a lot happier. When you are standing, lift your toes straight up and your longest toe should just hit the edge of the seaming. The toe box is designed to be very roomy so the foot can "splay" out as you walk. You will land more on the balls of your feet, with a more even displacement of weight. The shoe is designed to discourage the heel - to - toe strike.

For someone that is just starting into the barefoot line, I would recommend the Bare Access Arc or particularly, the Dash Glove (Road Glove for men). The Dash/Road is designed for concrete and asphalt.

If you have any other questions feel free to PM me. Also, if you don't have someone that sells Merrell in your area, until May 1st the website is doing free shipping, just type in the code: SPRING12.  The website also does free size exchanges.

Hope this helps.

LizzG

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Re: 5 fingers
« Reply #14 on: Mar 31, 2012, 02:14 am »
I really love my 'barefoot shoes' and I wear them all the time at work.  It didn't take much adapting, but then again my normal shoe is a pair of vans, which don't give much support anyway.  And if you buy them from a place like REI, you can always return them if you don't end up liking them no questions.

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