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!

Patrick slides and sleds in KSO Treks and then goes "snowfooting"

Patrick demonstrates some cold-weather VFF-style a la KSO Treks!
Patrick demonstrates some cold-weather VFF-style a la KSO Treks!
At an Ice Exhibit in Dallas, Patrick rides down an icy slide!
At an Ice Exhibit in Dallas, Patrick rides down an icy slide!
Wait a second!  Shouldn't Patrick be the one pushing here?  Between ice slides and driveway ice-sledding, Patrick is having a good time in his VFFs!
Wait a second! Shouldn't Patrick be the one pushing here? Between ice slides and driveway ice-sledding, Patrick is having a good time in his VFFs!
This is "snowfooting," as Patrick calls it.  I call it "cold feet!"
This is "snowfooting," as Patrick calls it. I call it "cold feet!"

Above, a wintry update by way of photos from Patrick (forums @linuxracr | blogged previously) who is enjoying his KSO Treks (and bare feet) during a random snow in Dallas, as well as going down an ice slide:

As it doesn't snow much in Dallas, Texas, I was quite surprised to see it coming down on Christmas Eve. We were at the Gaylord Texan resort to see the Ice Exhibit, and I ended up going down the slide in my Treks ... As they keep it really cold in there, my toes were numb, and I needed a couple of cups of hot chocolate to warm me up again!

When I got home, I also took the opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do: SNOWFOOTING!!

And of course, the last collage shows Patrick being the kid who is sledding down the driveway. Hopefully you guys took turns!

Jason KSO Trek Trail-Running in Austin

Jason runs at a local trail in Austin in his Vibram KSO Trek Five Fingers.  He's giving his feet a nice impromptu massage on those rocks!
Jason runs at a local trail in Austin in his Vibram KSO Trek Five Fingers. He's giving his feet a nice impromptu massage on those rocks!

Jason (birthdayshoes forum member jcarneytx) recently posted a few photos showing off his Five Fingers KSO Treks in action on Ken's Trail in Austin, Texas.

Gotta love the mid-air photos — you're looking might nimble there, Jason!

Eric's first trail run in KSO 5 Fingers in Houston

Eric takes his brand new black and orange KSO FiveFingers for an introductory spin in a local Houston trail.  Nothing like a good mud coating to break them in!
Eric takes his brand new black and orange KSO FiveFingers for an introductory spin in a local Houston trail. Nothing like a good mud coating to break them in!
Justin -

Love the site. Got my V5s for christmas after my wife wouldn't let me open them for weeks. I'd been running barefoot in the gym on the indoor track for a few weeks getting ready. Took them out for a 5K on Christmas day, came back with the dreaded fore-arch blisters. Nothing a little duct tape couldn't handle.

The attached pic was taken just after my first trail run in the KSOs at Memorial Park in Houston, right before I hosed them down at the dog/bike wash.

The last mile on the loop is on a fire-road on the utility / rail easement. Over the last several wet months, parts of the road have become virtually impassible in shoes due to standing water/ruts. The KSOs, with a little trepidation of what broken, improvised former water crossing materials may lurk beneath the brackish surface, took the mud in stride.

Also, I should add that I was initially a little bummed that I didn't think my Suunto Footpod would attach to the KSOs. Even though that kind of telemetry goes against the barefoot/minimalist grain, I considered writing Vibram to request they add some kind of fabric loop to the top of the shoe in future models. But then, after some experimenting, I realized that you can simply velcro the holder clip into place when fastening the shoe, and then snap the pod in over that. Voila! Metrics On!

Keep up the good work.

Eric

Eric, good to hear you finally got to experience the wonderful world of Five Fingesr. And glad you braved the muddy road and made it safely to the other side. Mud can make for interesting experiences in VFFs (e.g. mud surfing!).

Also, good to hear you figured out how to make your Suunto Footpod work with your strap. Others have used similar methods for attaching the Nike sensor.

Travis hikes Loan Peak in Northern Utah (11K feet up) in his KSO FiveFingers

The view from 11,000 feet off of Lone Peak in the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah a la Travis' KSO FiveFingers.
The view from 11,000 feet off of Lone Peak in the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah a la Travis' KSO FiveFingers.

Justin,

Having been an admirer of birthdayshoes.com for some time, I finally found a VFF pic from this summer that I wanted to share. On the 4th of July 2009, my brother and I hiked Lone Peak in the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah. At 11,253 feet, it's among the tallest peaks in the Wasatch range. This picture was taken on my phone from just below the summit looking west towards Salt Lake Valley.

Some fellow hikers spotted my VFFs and flipped out, as is customary. But as we spoke, another hiker passed us with a pair of Sprints attached to his backpack. He had elected not to wear them due to the snow. VFFs are definitely gaining in popularity here, and my local running store has had difficulty keeping them in stock.

I love wearing my KSOs hiking and running. On this particular hike, nothing felt better as I scrambled over the huge granite boulders near the top than wearing VFFs. They were grippy and just a lot of fun to have on.

Thanks for your work on the site,
Travis

Looks like quite a view from the top, Travis. Glad you're having so much fun in your FiveFingers, not to mention braving some chilly altitudes and snow in them!

Thanks for sharing!

Seret runs a Marathon in VFF Sprints and Surfs Mud while trail running in her KSOs!

Seret sent in the above photos (montage-ified) showing off her marathon finish in VFF Sprints and her muddy trail running in her blue camo KSOs.
Seret sent in the above photos (montage-ified) showing off her marathon finish in VFF Sprints and her muddy trail running in her blue camo KSOs.
Hi Justin

I can't believe it's almost eight months since I first bought my KSOs. In that time I've completed two marathons. One in June (which I ran in my old trainers) and one in December in my new Sprints! My finish time improved by 30 minutes.

My husband continues to wear his blue KSOs during strength training and also while out & about. He was able to get the KSO Treks when I purchased my Sprints in Northern Washington. I am so very jealous.

Although it's wet and muddy here I continue to run the local trails. While I'm anxious for the smaller sized Treks to come out next year I am proud to say - I've slipped down hill in the mud a few times but have yet to fall. It's almost like surfing down the mud!

Wearing FiveFingers has improved my balance for sure. I love these shoes!

Keep up the great site!
Seret

We've seen Seret and her husband donning matching KSOs before (here). It is good to see they are both still putting them their VFFs to good use. Congrats on your marathon time!

Anyone else experienced "mud surfing" in their KSOs? I distinctly remember a major mud bust while trail running here in Atlanta in my KSOs. The Treks have fared better though.

Thanks for sharing, Seret!

You don't say! "Running Shoes May Cause Damage to Knees, Hips and Ankles"

A new study that measured and compared stresses on the joints of the leg (knees, hips, and ankles) for runners in shod and barefoot running indicates that "running shoes exerted more stress on these joints compared to running barefoot or walking in high-heeled shoes."

The study involved 68 healthy adult runners, slightly more than half women, who ran at least 15 miles per week and observed "joint torques" at the hip, knee, and ankle while individuals ran on treadmills.

You might guess what they found:

The researchers observed increased joint torques at the hip, knee and ankle with running shoes compared with running barefoot. Disproportionately large increases were observed in the hip internal rotation torque and in the knee flexion and knee varus torques. An average 54% increase in the hip internal rotation torque, a 36% increase in knee flexion torque, and a 38% increase in knee varus torque were measured when running in running shoes compared with barefoot.

These findings confirm that while the typical construction of modern-day running shoes provides good support and protection of the foot itself, one negative effect is the increased stress on each of the 3 lower extremity joints. These increases are likely caused in large part by an elevated heel and increased material under the medial arch, both characteristic of today's running shoes.

It's great to see studies like this emerge. No doubt we all have reached a similar conclusion that, rather than first requiring proof barefoot running is safe, the burden of proof that running shoes do us any good lays squarely on the shoulders of the running shoe manufacturers.

It is fascinating that walking in high-heels is less stressful on your joints than running in running shoes though I also imagine it'd be a disaster to run in high-heels — not to mention that high-heels necessarily cram your toes into a narrow space.

Anyone else looking forward to seeing the release of the Lieberman study?

(H/T Chris!)