• minimalist sandals!

    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Maria Climbs to the South Arete Summit in her KSOs

Maria Coryell-Martin sits atop South Arete Summit, 7,807 ft, wearing her black KSO FiveFingers, which she used to climb to the top! Photo credit: Joel Reid
Maria Coryell-Martin sits atop South Arete Summit, 7,807 ft, wearing her black KSO FiveFingers, which she used to climb to the top! Photo credit: Joel Reid

Maria, an artist and VFF-fan who we've seen previously here on birthdayshoes, alerted me to a recent post on her site, Expeditionary Art, about her doing some technical climbing in her KSO Five Fingers with Injinji socks.

Here's what she had to say about the climb from her blog:

Last month I enjoyed a beautiful climb up the South Arete of the Early Winter Spires in the North Cascades. Though I love strolling in the high country, I don’t often do technical climbing. Thanks to my brother-in-law and climber extraordinaire Joel Reid for leading the adventure! Our climb was in mid-October and there was already a dusting of snow on the ground. While considering the 1.5 mile+ approach and climb, I opted to wear my KSO Vibram Five Fingers with a pair of Injinji socks. The shoes gave great traction and I was impressed how great my feet and knees felt at the end of the long day. As for the cold, as long I kept moving, I had no problems.

Quite am amazing view from the top. You can see Maria's black KSO VFFs up close here! Maria added that though the VFFs weren't "super sticky" on the technical climbs, she liked having her toes free!

Thanks for sharing, Maria!

Kim Tours the Southwest U.S. in KSO Five Fingers

Kim Tours the Southwest U.S. in KSO Five Fingers
Kim was able to manage her bus trip through the Southwest despite being on crutches thanks to the ground-feel provided by her KSO Five Fingers!

In the mailbag came the above photos from Kim who recently toured the Southwestern part of the United States. The photos show off Kim's KSO Five Fingers, which despite Kim being on crutches, enabled Kim to maintain stability and traction on her tour. Here's what she had to say:

I had a bus trip thru the American Southwest scheduled with my Mom for October, but ended up on crutches for the trip.

I wore my KSO's anyplace that I felt I needed enhanced traction and stability - Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. Couldn't call it hiking - but they made the difference for being able to participate/get off the bus or not.

Wore wool Injinji's because it was COLD ... my feet stayed pretty warm while I was moving.

All of the Native American guides thought that the shoes were a complete hoot! One of the guys in Canyon de Chelly said that there was a [fellow VFFer] there the week before me that had really large feet—he was in brown KSO's or Treks. They said that when the park rangers came to check the canyon in the evening they saw the footprints and went, "What is THAT from!?!?" ... the Natives told him that there had been a verifiable 'Big Foot' sighting in the canyon that day.

There's something strangely satisfying about leaving recognizable footprints despite being "shod" in Five Fingers. I've seen some of the larger sizes of VFFs (M48 for example) and they are truly monstrous!

Thanks for sharing, Kim!

Five Fingers Running in Japan with Alex

Five Fingers Running in Japan with Alex
Alex is enjoying running around in Tokyo in his Five Fingers — any other VFFers in Japan?
Five Fingers Running in Japan with Alex
Alex does the Vibram Five Fingers kick on a wooded trail outside Tokyo!

Alex sent in the above photos showing off his grey Sprint Five Fingers that were taken in Japan, where Alex lives. Here's what he had to say:

Hi Justin,

Went for a 20km trail run through some picturesque regions of Tokyo's western suburbs in my FiveFinger sprints (and red toe socks)!! Nice and cool autumn weather right now too. The great thing about living in Japan is that after a long tiring run, one can soak themselves in Japan's excellent hot springs - which is what we did at the end of our trek.

I only know one other (my mate) person in Tokyo with FiveFingers - so I would love to hear from anyone else out there who maybe keen to meet up and hit some trails together in VFFs. You can email me at tastrans gmail com.

Cheers, Alex.

word passed on, Alex! Any others out there near Tokyo looking to run trails in their Five Fingers! Comment below or email Alex!

Thanks for sharing!

Tree-climbing in Flow Five Fingers with Jerald

Tree-climbing in Flow Five Fingers with Jerald

Jerald sent in the above photo of him climbing a tree in his Five Fingers Flows. The images are shot in "VFF-view" (VFFV?), a view similar to that which you get in a FPS computer game.

Anyway, here's what Jerald had to say:

I climbed a tree in my Flows and that's not all I do, I also Practice Parkour in them, and my KSO's.

[I asked Jerald how he like Five Fingers for parkour, and he added:]

Parkour is Great, the laser sipped sole is perfect for running up Brick walls. And the tree climbing is a blast, I feel alot more connected with nature.

Tree-climbing and parkour — two types of physical activity that likely have roots going back as far as the dawn of homo sapiens. That you can do both in your "birthday shoes" makes a great deal of sense!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 11/15/09

This week's latest Vibram Five Fingers reviews:

  • Vibram FiveFingers Sprint First Impressions by Craig Sheppard [Sprint]:

    So what does it feel like to frolic in the park, shod with Five Fingers?

    Really, really liberating. You feel like you have all-terrain barefeet. The lack of padding means you feel every stick, stone, and crack on the ground, which does cause you to watch where you're going. But knowing your feet are protected means you feel like you can go anywhere. There is an amazing amount of grip in the soles as well. I find them strangely energizing. I don't have much patience for running, I should admit. It seems laborious, monotonous, and uncomfortable. Yet, doing a mile here or there in the FiveFingers is invigorating. I've had to go slow and short to adjust, it's sort of re-learning to run all over again. There's a fresh novelty factor involved I'm sure, but I have a feeling it may go deeper than that.

For last week's latest Vibram Five Fingers reviews, go here!

Robin and Erik Take on Indonesia in Vibram Five Fingers

Robin and Erik Take on Indonesia in Vibram Five Fingers
Random Indonesian Monkey is put at ease by human with "Monkey Shoes."
Robin and Erik Take on Indonesia in Vibram Five Fingers
Skipping about in Indonesia in KSO Five Fingers. It's hard not to frolic in VFFs.
Robin and Erik Take on Indonesia in Vibram Five Fingers
A bit of bouldering in Vibram Sprints.
Robin and Erik Take on Indonesia in Vibram Five Fingers
Robin and Erik explore Indonesia, getting a great feel for the place via their Vibram Five Fingers.

Robin and Erik (photoed above and also see the additional photos below!) took a two week trip to Indonesia. They spent the first ten days surfing and the remainder of the trip climbing Mount Rinjani, adjacent to Lake Segara Anak, to see the volcano there (photoed below).

And of course, they did it all in their Vibram Five Fingers — Sprints and KSOs in this case. Here's Robin's note on the trip:

Greetings from Sweden!

Here are some pics of V5F-adventures in Lombok Indonesia. In them you see Robin and Erik running with buffalos in the hills of Gerupuk and climbing Mount Rinjani (3726m) where the beautiful Lake Segara Anak(2000m) is. When climbing the mountain we walked in V5F for 24h in a 50h period. The shoes were wonderful for hiking, wouldn't want to wear any other shoes, but our feet got quite sore after all the walking. Amazing nature, check out the lake in google earth, it's absolutely out of this world beautiful. Also the shoes are great for surfing, much better than the camel toe surf boots which are commonly used. We love the shoes and can't wait to run Stockholm Marathon in the Bikilas.

I took Robin's advice and checked out the Lake on Google Maps. Amazing to see the reflecting mountains on the lake via satellite. Incredible!


View Larger Map

Below are more photos from Robin and Erik's trip. Looks like quite a Five Fingers adventure! Anyone else want to go to Indonesia now?

Photos of Robin and Erik gallivanting about Indonesia in their Vibram Five Fingers

Photos of Lake Segara Anak and Mount Rinjani, Indonesia