Doing the Ultimate Hike in FiveFingers - Help Alejandra Out!

Doing the Ultimate Hike in FiveFingers - Help Alejandra Out!

The following is a guest post by Alejandra Aldana

On May 4, 2013, I will be participating in Ultimate Hike, a 28.3 mile hike benefiting CureSearch for Children's Cancer. My goal is to not only complete this very long hike in one day, but also help raise awareness and $2500 in funds for CureSearch.

CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a National Childhood Cancer Foundation, funds and supports targeted and innovative children's cancer research with measurable results, and is the authoritative source of information and resources for all those affected by children's cancer. CureSearch funds both local and national research, ensuring that a cure will be found as quickly as possible.

I have decided to take this challenge for a number of reasons. I want the opportunity to help give back to those affected by cancer as well as improve my life and fitness. Part of what I hope to accomplish other than raising funds for children in need is becoming part of a community and pushing my boundaries.

I plan on completing the 28.3 miles completely in my Vibram Five Fingers and while many people are advising me against it, I just don't see myself doing it without them. It is going to take a lot of building my feet up, but I am more than confident I will be able to do so. If you are able to donate to my fundraising that would be great. If not that will be fine, too. What I would love to get out of this, is the opportunity to share my journey with others. There is nothing more powerful and exhilarating than a sense of community for a great cause. If you are interested in joining me on my minimalist journey please let me know as soon as possible (we have already started our first training session). If you would like to help follow and share me and my cause you can do so at 10littlepiggies.tumblr.com.

You can also donate directly by following this link.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement!

The barefoot-powered Vibram Five Fingers Fan community!

Welcome to the webring of Vibram Five Fingers fans! We Are Affiliated - The Primalfoot Alliance: Taking Our Feet Back.The sites below are run by active "VFFers" who run, walk, play, and engage the world through their feet via thier thin-soled foot gloves — Vibram Five Fingers!

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Vibram Five Fingers Fans

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Note: This list is for non-commercial websites / websites with dynamic, original content (The prototypical template being a "blog"). Though your site doesn't have to even regularly talk about Five Fingers (VFFs), it should at least have tangentially related content (It covers topics like health, lifestyle, philosophy, etc.). Most personal blogs will automatically fit the bill; on the other hand, commercial blogs or sites typically will not. All of this is to insure this list connects VFF users to other users so that the community can connect and learn from its members.

be included on the list, the widget needs to be on more than a single page: this insures that VFFers who click through to your site readily recognize you as part of the barefoot-powered community!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 2/28/10

Below are this week's last VFF reviews:

  • Pros and Cons: Vibram Five Fingers at One Foot Tsunami [ KSO ]:

    Pro: Thin soles make the Five Fingers perfect for nighttime cat burglary and other skullduggery.
    Con: Kleptomania is a serious problem, and these shoes are an unhealthy enabler.

    Nice humor-based review of VFF KSOs!
  • 3 years wearing Vibram five Fingers at Do more Trail RuNZ [ Sprint ]:

    My first pair of vff sprints lasted just over two years and I trashed them like no tomorrow, They are are super-well made, tough and durable. I did a lot of trail running on abrasive volcanic ash so I eventually wore holes in the forefoot of both shoes and needed to replace them with a new pair. After two years of constant use, some of the stitching started coming apart - but it was no big deal. A less heavy-user (i.e. using them for walking, hiking, boating etc.) will get a longer lifetime out of them. I am very pleased that the hole I made in these vffs was on the forefoot and the heel showed almost no sign of wear and tear - I must have been fore to midfoot striking.

  • Working out in my Vibram Five Fingers at Learn Fitness [ KSO ]:

    All of the balance and form comments above are highlighted in spades doing circuits. The combination of weights and cardio circuits really feel great wearing the VFF. The only thing I did have trouble with at first though was doing pushups in them. In regular shoes the thick stiff sole takes up a fair amount of the stress in a pushup. Wearing the VFF your toes and feet take up the stress. Until you develop the toe strength and balance the pushup might be a bit challenging but you’ll be fine in no time.

    Great overview of how VFFs work in the gym doing exercises on machines, free weights, and cardio machines!
  • Barefoot Running and the Cigar Community at Puffing Cigars [ KSO ]:

    It had the added benefits as well in the jumping rope and weightlifting departments. Jumping rope and performing double-unders has been a challenge for me, but with the FiveFingers on I was able to quickly start getting consecutive skips and better height. I chalk this up to being unencumbered by weightier shoes, and also being able to balance better in general by jumping from the front of my foot. As for the weightlifting, I have always struggled with different snatch movements, because in a large part the force needed to propel the weight upward requires one to push or jump from their heel specifically. In normal shoes I could jump, but I was tending to push from the front instead of loading up the heel. Wearing FiveFingers allowed me to sense what part of my foot I was leading from, and make the proper adjustments. In one session, and in multiple ones since, I have seen up to a 40lb gain in some of my snatches and high pulls!

    VFFs for CrossFit!
  • Vibram Five Fingers KSO Review at Barefoot Chronicles (Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University) [ KSO ]:

    Traction on dry, hard surfaces is excellent. The rubber soles are both durable and "sticky." Traction on wet surfaces is still decent. It is similar to other traditional trainers. Traction on dry trails is also very good. Muddy, snowy, or icy trails are a major obstacle for KSOs. Traction is horrible in these conditions. Personally, I don't mind training in these conditions as it is a good strengthening activity. However, racing would be VERY difficult.

  • My Experience Of Running In Vibram Five Fingers at Krisandro [ KSO ]:

    While I listen to my body this time and take a good break to let my foot recover, I am almost certain that barefoot running or in minimalistic shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers is extremely good for me. I probably need a whole year of running and even more to be sure of the benefits that has graced me so far and of course to make sure that I don’t solve a few problems and uncover a whole nest of bigger injury troubles.

Go here for last week's Latest Five Fingers reviews round-up.

Vibram Five Fingers Discusssed on The Doctors TV show (Classics and KSOs)

A screencap from The Doctors show where they show off their Vibram Five Fingers.  At least one of the doctors - Dr. Drew Ordon - couldn't get both KSO VFFs on his feet!
A screencap from The Doctors show where they show off their Vibram Five Fingers. At least one of the doctors - Dr. Drew Ordon - couldn't get both KSO VFFs on his feet!

In case you missed it on TV, the popular show The Doctors featured VFFs. Dr. Travis Stork leads the discussion and makes the nice case that "5,000 years ago we didn't have arch supports. We didn't have running shoes with lots of cushion ..." going on to make a nice plug for natural running.

Humorously, one of the docs, Dr. Drew Ordon, couldn't quite get one of his Vibram KSO Five Fingers on! Also, Dr. Lisa Masterson calls VFFs a "fashion don't" — they'll grow on her, I'm sure. Oh and you'll notice, also, that she's wearing the new color combo dark pink/fascia Classic Vibram Five Fingers.

A close-up of one of The Doctors - Dr. Lisa Masterson - she's wearing the new color women's Classic Vibram Five Fingers in dark pink!
A close-up of one of The Doctors - Dr. Lisa Masterson - she's wearing the new color women's Classic Vibram Five Fingers in dark pink!

Watch the clip featuring Vibram Five Fingers on The Doctors below:

I do take issue with Dr. Stork's notion that surfaces weren't hard 5,000 years ago (like concrete today); seems there were no uniform surfaces 5,000 years ago either, meaning you had to run over rocks and varied terrain all the time.

I digress. All in all, I see this as good press for Vibrams!

Heisman winner, ex-NFL player Eddie George's KSO Vibram Five Fingers seen on Celebrity Beach Bowl

Pictured here is Eddie George, ex-NFL player for the Titans and Oilers, playing football in his black KSO Five Fingers on the DirectTV Celebrity Beach Bowl.
Pictured here is Eddie George, ex-NFL player for the Titans and Oilers, playing football in his black KSO Five Fingers on the DirectTV Celebrity Beach Bowl.

The 4th Annual DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl was on February 6, and if you missed it, you likely missed ex-NFL player (Tennessee Titans and Houston Oilers) and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George playing football in his black KSO Vibram Five Fingers.

Fortunately, Phillip was on the case and snapped the above photos capturing George kicking up sand and dominating the field in his Vibrams!

It's a little known secret that professional athletes are wearing Vibram Five Fingers for training. I won't say who, but at least one NFL star has contacted me trying to get his feet in some KSO Treks and I've gotten word a few MLB players wear them, too. Alas, most of these players are under contracts with sports shoe titans like (ahem) Nike.

Anyway, great to see Eddie George sporting KSO Five Fingers on the big screen! VFF on!

Stretch your toes in Moc Vibram Five Fingers! Trevor talks about his growing collection of VFFs.

Trevor demonstrates the flexibility he gets in his Moc Vibram Five Fingers by putting his fingers between the toes!  This photo provides a nice look at the underside of the kangaroo leather Moc VFF, too!
Trevor demonstrates the flexibility he gets in his Moc Vibram Five Fingers by putting his fingers between the toes! This photo provides a nice look at the underside of the kangaroo leather Moc VFF, too!

Trevor (a.k.a. "CamoFlows" on the forums) sent in the above photos of his black Vibram Five Fingers Mocs — you gotta love the quintessential toe-stretch photo! The Mocs are just one of his growing collection — Trevor has Flows, KSO Treks, and Classic Vibram Five Fingers, too. Here's what he has to say about his collection and what he's doing (or will be doing) in them:

I originally found the FiveFingers back in 2007, in a Rock Climbing magazine. I was intrigued but I completely forgot about them until something made me think of them back in November this last year.

I first bought some grey/camo Flows because I couldn't find any KSO's, but I still had to have some sort of Vibram footwear.

I bought the next pair (Black KSO Treks) just before Christmas. Those things are awesome.

For Christmas, I bought myself some brown/tan Classics. And just a few weeks ago I bought the Mocs as my local dealer finally got the kangaroo clad pieces in stock.

Since I live in Northern Utah, and I have only had all these through this winter, I haven't had much opportunity to do a lot of barefoot outdoor activities. Even in the cold and snowy climate, I wear these everyday. I picked up SlackLining and have been looking forward to walking the line in VFF's.

Even though the Flows are probably the warmest of my bunch, I wear the Classics out and about more than any other. The Treks are a close second though. I wear the Flows when I'm going to be in a situation where I might have to walk through the snow or when I'm going to be outside in the cold for extended periods of time. The Mocs were intentionally purchased as basically that, a moccasin. When I'm going to be lounging around home, I'm wearing the Mocs. In fact, even when I have something to go do outside, I was usually in my Mocs before and just have to change into one of my other pairs.

I'm not lucky enough to wear any of them at work, unfortunately, as I'm a machinist — I have to force myself to wear "real" shoes. Haha. When the weather warms up, I'll be able to do more in them. I have been running in my Classics every morning on my treadmill, but haven't worked into just going barefoot. I'm not ready enough to do that outside, so the Classics and Flows will be put more to use until then.

Thanks,
Trevor

Sounds like you've got your work cut out for your VFFs, Trevor! I'm like you: I find I wear my Classics the most, though they have been getting a bit of the shaft lately with the cold.

I also see from your photos that you've cut your jeans at the bottom. I've done that with a few of my more casual pairs, too; I find that they lay down much better over my VFFs that way.

As for being ready to go barefoot running, you might surprise yourself. Regardless, here's to warmer times and more outside activities in your Five Fingers!

Vibram Five Fingers KSO [Keep Stuff Out] — the Definitive Guide

From left to right, black/orange KSO Vibram Five Fingers, blue camo KSOs, grey/palm KSOs
Above, a photo of three male color combinations of the Vibram Five Fingers KSOs (VFF KSO).

The KSO at a glance —

The Vibram Five Fingers KSO (thumbnail)

  • "KSO" stands for "Keep Stuff Out" due to it having a mesh covering over the top of the foot.
  • The KSO retails for $85 for both Men and Women.
  • Best-selling model for men — particularly all-black KSOs.
  • Used mostly for running and hiking, but is the "do anything and everything" Vibram model.

About the Vibram Five Fingers KSO

Straight from Vibram: the Five Fingers KSO features "A non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber sole is razor-siped for a sure grip, and a 2mm EVA midsole enhances plating protection and comfort."

The "razor-siped" rubber sole on the KSO is the standard, original VFF sole (same as with the Classic, Flow, and Sprint models). Razor siping is just little jagged cuts that expand when the Vibram rubber sole is bent or flexed. This can increase surface grip on many surfaces. That said, the standard VFF sole can be slippery in muddy conditions due to the lack of cleating (See the KSO Trek if you want a cleated sole)

The KSO's upper covers the foot up to the ankle preventing debris from getting inside the shoe. Of the standard soled Vibram models (Classic, KSO, Sprint, and Flow), only the Flow and KSO cover the top of the foot.

The KSO's 2mm of midsole is a distinguishing factor as compared to the Sprint and Classic, which have no midsole, and will reduce, if only slightly, the barefoot feel as compared to these models.

Finally, the Vibram Five Fingers KSO is secured to the foot by a single hook-and-loop system with a nylon strap that goes around the heel and is tightened via a velcro strapping mechanism on the top, instep of the foot. With only one velcro point, the KSO's attachment method is simpler than both the the Sprint's three-point and the Flow's two-point velcro attachment system. The primary drawback of this method is that it can cause wear in the nylon strap where it folds on either side of the foot.

Pros:

  • Covered, strapped design makes the KSO perform well in high-intensity applications, including watersports, while keeping out debris.
  • The KSO looks more like a "shoe" as compared to Sprints or Classics.
  • Can function as the only Vibrams you own, doing just about anything you can throw at them.

Cons:

  • Covered top makes putting them on more difficult; the difficulty is usually reduced with practice.
  • Covered top can reduce breath-ability, making your foot warmer than with the airier Sprints or open-topped Classics.
  • 2mm of additional EVA as compared to Sprint or Classic models will reduce ground feedback.

Performance:

Vibram Five Fingers KSOs can be used in virtually any application imaginable. They have been used for wear in moving water, for trail running as well as running on concrete or asphalt, for many fitness activities including weight lifting/training, climbing, hiking, biking, walking, etc. Others use them casually or for travelling. The VFF KSO is the jack-of-all trades Vibram Five Fingers model as depicted in story and photos in the many, many user stories and experiences running, hiking, traveling, below.

KSO Colors:

Men's KSOs are available in the following color combinations:

All black KSO Five Fingers for men Grey Green FiveFingers KSO for both men and women Blue Grey and Camouflage KSO Five Fingers for men Black Orange and Grey KSO Five Fingers for men Black Grey and Camouflage KSO Five Fingers for Men

Women's KSOs are available in the following color combinations:

All black KSO Five Fingers for women Grey Green FiveFingers KSO for women Blue Grey and Camouflage KSO Five Fingers for women Grey Agate and Camouflage KSO Five Fingers for women Grey and Pink KSO Five Fingers for women

Detailed KSO Vibram Five Fingers photos:

A photo of the black,grey, camouflage soled Vibram Five Fingers KSO for men A photo of the black,grey, camouflage soled Vibram Five Fingers KSO for men A photo of the agate, grey, camouflage soled Vibram Five Fingers KSO for women A photo of the agate, grey, camouflage soled Vibram Five Fingers KSO for women

Sizing:

Check out the definitive guide to sizing Vibram Five Fingers. Having perused that document and figured out your size, there are certain noteworthy considerations for the Vibram Five Fingers KSO:

  • Your size in KSOs may not correspond to your size in other VFF models, particularly Sprints and Classics. If you know your Sprint/Classic size, KSOs should size one down, though this is only a rule of thumb and your mileage may vary.
  • Generally, you should not need to size up to wear five-toed socks with the KSO.
  • If you have a high instep, you should give special consideration to trying on a pair of KSOs in person to insure proper fit. Some color combinations have been found to run tightter than others — specifically, the all black KSOs seem to be more snug on top of the foot. The same concern would apply if you have larger ankles.

Cleaning and care:

Machine-washable but air dry. Advanced stench may require white vinegar soaks or oxyclean treatment!

Modifications and other considerations:

Select reviews:

For more KSO reviews, check the comprehensive Five Fingers reviews list here.

Pro-tip — Get the KSO if you don't mind the added time to put them on and want the most versatile, can-do-anything Vibram Five Fingers model.

Where to buy

If you're shopping for Classic Five Fingers online, check out the major online retailers over at the BirthdayShoes Vibram virtual Store! Otherwise, find a local retailer via Vibram's store locater.

 

Vibram Five Fingers KSO User Experiences and Photos

Below are listed Vibram Five Fingers KSO user stories and reviews. Each link leads to a separate post written by a KSO user about their experiences with the KSO model. Stories cover many of the things VFFers are doing in their Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. Click around and see what you could be doing in the full-coverage barefoot alternative KSO!

Running —

Hiking —

Traveling —

Other —