Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

I recently got the above photo from Ron. Ron is a 60+ guy who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee—after some 32 years of running.

What follows is his story about what the doc's had to say about how he should handle the news, and as you might guess, some FiveFingers came into the picture:

I call this my victory photo.

Last year, at age 60, and after 32 years of running, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the left knee. It hurt to walk, let alone, run. My general practitioner doctor suggested minimalist footwear as part of a program that included stretching and strengthening. [Meanwhile, both the] knee specialist and the physical therapist said to back off and use orthotics.

I took my general practitioner's advice.

Well, here I am a year later, relaxing at over 14,000 feet on the top of Mount Bierstadt in the Rocky Mountains. This was just one of several hikes I took during a 6-day vacation. I totalled nearly 35 miles of hiking and every step in my Vibram KSO Treks.

I proved to myself that I wasn't too old to make such a big change after 32 years of walking and running in the most expensive and most cushioned shoes. Of course, I still have osteoarthritis in the knee, but I am back at it, thanks to the therapeutic value stretching, strengthening, and minimalist footwear.

(I go barefoot alot, too!)

Ron A.

Fantastic to hear, Ron! And kudos for following your intuition and having success despite adverse conditions.

Hope you have many more successful hikes!

Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 'round the Web

Below is a comprehensive list of Vibram Five Fingers reviews found both here on Birthday Shoes or around the web. The list is organized by publish date (most recent being at the top) and VFF model.

This list is regularly updated. Note that reviews prior to 2009 have been discovered months after their original post date — if you are aware of a review that is not on this list, please contact the administrator! Also, if you find any links are broken, please let me know.

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Barefoot Running Ultramarathons: Possible? Of course!

Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University demonstrates barefoot running on the trails in Michigan.
Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University demonstrates barefoot running on the trails in Michigan.

Guest post by Jason Robillard, author and founder of the Barefoot Running University

Running ultramarathons ... barefoot? Is that even possible? Of course! Not only is it possible, I think it can give a runner a discernible advantage. Okay, so maybe you won't have to go completely barefoot. A good minimalist shoe may work just fine.

I'm a barefoot ultramarathon runner. I do wear minimalist shoes on occasion when conditions warrant. I ran a 100 mile ultra in September of 2009 (Hallucination 100 in Pinckney, Michigan) wearing a pair of Vibram KSOs. I've run a 50 miler barefoot and another in aqua socks (North Country Trail Run in Manistee, Michigan) I also teach people about barefoot and minimalist shoe running.

Okay, so you're ready to take the plunge. You decide you'd like to try one of these ultramarathons. If you are a barefoot or minimalist shoe runner, this likely causes a little trepidation. How do you prepare for such a long distance with so little protection on your feet? What variables will your footwear decisions affect?

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More Scuttlebutt on the Seamless, Podded, FiveFingers Bikila

Ville shows off his pre-production FiveFingers Bikila.  While not the final version, this photo makes clear the seamless upper design, which VFF fan Orlin recently confirmed via a third party source who met directly with Vibram.
Ville shows off his pre-production FiveFingers Bikila. While not the final version, this photo makes clear the seamless upper design, which VFF fan Orlin recently confirmed via a third party source who met directly with Vibram.

Orlin, BirthdayShoes forum member and blogger at the Disencumbered athlete, relayed information that both confirms and adds to our understanding regarding the upcoming Vibram FiveFingers Bikila design. Here is what Orlin was able to share:

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Vibram Five Fingers Bikila Release Date Update [Of Sorts]

The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is coming Spring 2010 (mid-April being a best guess).  Right click this image and either open link in a new window or "save target as" to grab this 1000x625 VFF Bikila wallpaper based on existing pre-production or stock imag
The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is coming Spring 2010 (mid-April being a best guess). Right click this image and either open the link in a new window or "save target as" to grab this 1000x625 VFF Bikila wallpaper now! (Based on existing pre-production photos or stock images)
05.06.10 - The Vibram Five Fingers Bikila is out!

As 2010 rolls forward ("spring"ing forward for those of us in daylight savings time), tips and scuttlebutt surrounding the release date for the Vibram Five Fingers Bikila — the "barefoot running shoe" from Vibram — continue to eek in. The majority of those tips put the release of the Bikila in April 2010.

Interestingly enough, the Boston Marathon is on April 19, 2010. Is this a coincidence? I don't know. What I do know is that Abebe Bikila raced and won the 1960 Olympics marathon, that Barefoot Ted ran the 2006 Boston Marathon in Vibram Five Fingers*, and that Vibram USA is based out of Concord, Massachusetts.

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