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!

Laura goes Snowshoeing and takes along her Sprint VFFs

A demure Laura braved the snow to snowshoe for 5 1/2 hours in her VFF Sprints.
A demure Laura braved the snow to snowshoe for 5 1/2 hours in her VFF Sprints.
Who'd have guessed VFFs work so well for snowshoeing?
Who'd have guessed VFFs work so well for snowshoeing?

On behalf of Laura, photoed above, Chris writes:

Here's Laura in her Slate/Palm Sprints after five and a half hours of snowshoeing. For the record her boyfriend earned many brownie points with this birthday gift to her.

She was quite pleased that her toes were free and no longer being squished by her boots. Observe that she isn't wearing Injinjis. She doesn't even own toe socks! Being of Irish descent she had no problem with the cold. Her boyfriend (who submitted the pics) was cursing his decision to wear insulated slip-ons rather than his KSO's.

Just to be clear, Laura was wearing boots while snowshoeing. The Sprints went on after (and were no doubt a welcome relief for her feet).

Nice job on coming up with a creative birthday present for Laura, and thanks to Laura for letting Chris share your experience with us!

Ed Takes his FiveFingers Flow Treks out in the Snow

Ed took his FiveFingers Flow Treks (a.k.a. Trek Tex) out in the snow for a run!
Ed took his FiveFingers Flow Treks (a.k.a. Trek Tex) out in the snow for a run!

hi,
took a few pics of my flow treks in the snow in the UK, after a run.

the flow treks seem pretty good so far, they take some breaking in, but once that's done they work quite well. you can't really bend your toes downwards in them like you can in KSO's though. so far they seem quite good for cold and wet weather use, they grip much better than KSo's in wet mud. i did start to lose the feeling in my toes towards the end of the run though.

thanks,

ed

Thanks, Ed! One of these days I'll do a toe bend comparison across all the models. Needless to say you get the most flex in the Mocs, then the Classics/Sprints, the KSOs, and the KSO Treks. I haven't tried the Flows out yet, but I'd guess they're in between the KSOs and KSO Treks with the Flow Treks bringing up the rear as most resistant to toe contraction.

Sorry, that was a mouthful.

Glad to hear you're getting to test out the Five Fingers Flow Treks! I know many people over here in the States would like to grab a pair for cold-weather use.

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 1/10/10

This week's latest reviews includes a review of the Five Fingers Flow Trek:

  • Review: Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek Tex at OpenFoo.org [Flow Trek]:

    Overall I am pleased with the Five Fingers KSO Trek Tex due to the sturdy appearance, especially the tread provides a good grip on slippery surfaces. It is a winter version of the regular KSO, but not a proper winter shoe, which can be wore all day long in winter temperatures while doing light walking. I guess sporty activities in the winter should keep your feet warm in the KSO Trek Tex, but I have not tested it yet. I would not permanently exchange my regular KSO for the KSO Trek Tex, but temporarily for winter temperatures is acceptable.

  • Barefooting It: Vibram FiveFingers at The View from Here [KSO]:

    I have only had them a short while but I can tell you that they are great. They allow me to be essentially barefoot in situations that I normally would not allow it. Whether it is exercising or going to the store these shoes deliver the comfort and performance that only barefooting can give.

  • Vibram Five Fingers: 4 Months Later at Life of Justin [KSO]:

    One of my favorite things about the shoes is how usable they are. They can be used for basically anything. I’ve worn them to the beach, in the water, hiking, playing tennis, and riding my bike. I also use them for basic things like running to the grocery store.

To see more latest Vibram Five Fingers reviews listings, go here!

Josh hikes in the Brazil countryside in his KSO FiveFingers

Josh went exploring the Brazilian countryside in his Vibram Five Fingers.
Josh went exploring the Brazilian countryside in his Vibram Five Fingers.
What a beautiful view from the highest point around Taquaritinga do Norte, Brazil!
What a beautiful view from the highest point around Taquaritinga do Norte, Brazil!
Josh, with the assistance of Livia, models his KSO FiveFingers-clad foot.
Josh, with the assistance of Livia, models his KSO FiveFingers-clad foot.
Hey Justin,

I arrived in Brazil a few weeks ago and took my five fingers on a hike with a friend in the interior of northeast Brazil.

I put on my five fingers KSO and got ahold of my best friend Lívia for a hike in the trails of northeast Brazil. We started off in a small town called Taquaritinga do Norte, about 130 miles from the coast. In this area, most locals live off ranching and agriculture. We hiked to the highest point in the region which some use as a launching spot for hang-gliding. From the mountain peak we could see the city far below. And of course, I took the opportunity to show off my five fingers. Many people asked me if they will ever be made available abroad. I can’t answer them for sure, but they do like talking about these unique looking shoes.

Josh

We've previously seen Josh hiking Ransom Canyon. Looks like he's still putting his KSOs to good use!

As for when VFFs will be more available worldwide—it's anyone's guess. I hope sooner rather than later!

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!