Muddy Paintball in FiveFingers

Muddy Paintball in FiveFingers

This is the muddiest photo of FiveFingers I think I've ever seen.

What's the story? Enter Michael, who picked up his pair of TrekSports as an all-purpose pair of toe shoes though he specifically planned to use them for paintball:

I've been trying to paintball regularly for a year or so now, something more active then my usual regime of computer games and TV. I'd scoffed at Vibrams the first time I saw them, but the more and more I spotted people wearing them the more I wanted to at least try them on.

Once I started paintball I figured I'd finally had a real excuse to have wear them passed the novelty so I was on a mission to eventually own my own pair. A few months ago I was able to venture to my local Hikers Haven and try on as many pairs as would fit, finally deciding that a pair of KSO Treksport would be the best for the job (as well as seemed to be the only pair that would fit my APPARENTLY abnormally tall dorsal area of my feet). Unfortunately they were lacking on my perfect size and I was lacking in actual funds.

Skip ahead a few months and a new job gave me the opportunity I needed to snag me a pair. They instantly turned into the comfiest and most expensive pair of slippers I'd ever owned.

Eventually I got the chance to head back out for paintball. I generally try to go on dry days, as I hate getting mucky (a bit of an oxymoron when paintballing), but of course that morning was a downpour, leaving the field a minefield of puddles and mud. Within the first 15 minutes of arriving, we had to walk about 50 meters through a river of inch deep mud. At that point I tossed my inhibitions to the wind and had a great time being a mudder. It was of course still winter and the puddles were cold, but the pair of Injinji socks I was wearing were able to keep me warm enough.

I'm convinced that I was more agile, less tired, and much more happy wearing the Five Fingers than I would have been wearing my usual clunky Merrell sneakers, which would have been impossible to clean.

I'll be bringing my Vibrams with me to every paintball day, and hopefully will start doing more things to wear them more often.

Michael T. - Toronto

Glad you've found some use for them!

All that talk about mud reminds me of Stuart running his 255km jungle marathon in Spyridons.

Thanks for sharing, Michael!

Christopher McDougall on Barefoot Running in Parade

If you didn't catch it, there was a short article by Christopher McDougall titled Is It Better To Be Barefoot that hit Parade magazine yesterday (link). McDougall continues to bring barefoot running to the masses by sounding the alert that heavily padded and fat-heeled sneakers might be causing running injuries. As a barefoot-convert himself, we know Christopher's answer to the story's title. Barefoot is better.

Here's a clip:

Our legs are thickly woven with rubbery, elastic tendons that absorb shock and also use it as free energy, like a rubber ball ricocheting off pavement. "If you encase the foot in thick shoes, you not only lose ground awareness, you limit natural elasticity," says Robert Schleip of the Fascia Research Center at Germany's University of Ulm. According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness in March, barefoot runners experienced significantly less impact than runners in shoes.

"We've gone too far with cushioning and arbitrary shoe designs," says Stephen Pribut, a leading sports podiatrist in Washington, D.C. Still, Pribut is not ready to tell all of his patients to go barefoot, though he agrees that no study has ever shown that barefoot runners are hurt more often than runners in shoes. In a 2009 review article for the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers searched 30 years of studies and were unable to find one demonstrating that running shoes make people less prone to injury.

For another article that goes into detail on the "rubbery, elastic tendons that absorb shock and also use it as free energy," check out McDougall's Everything You Know About Muscle is Wrong — a fascinating article about the much-overlooked but powerfully important connective tissue called fascia (wikipedia on fascia).

Keep spreading the good word on freeing your feet, Christopher!

Be sure and check out my interview with Christopher McDougall!

In it, Chris talks about denying your nature, the sports shoe industry, getting to barefoot, cross-pollinating ideas, and more!

Jason has Fun with Flows in the Snow!

Looks like Jason is about to do some barefoot snow angels in his Flow Vibram Five Fingers!
Looks like Jason is about to do some barefoot snow angels in his Flow Vibram Five Fingers!
Jason writes in from Maryland where he got in a few runs amidst the recent 18" blizzard there.  Flows kept his toes comfortable while running despite the cold!
Jason writes in from Maryland where he got in a few runs amidst the recent 18" blizzard there. Flows kept his toes comfortable while running despite the cold!
And what snow day would be complete without a nice tussle with your son?
And what snow day would be complete without a nice tussle with your son?
No doubt anyone who comes across a VFF-Flow-snow footprint will be thrown for a serious loop!
No doubt anyone who comes across a VFF-Flow-snow footprint will be thrown for a serious loop!

Running in V5F since July and have been using Flow?s lately as the temperature dropped. Went out for a few 3-mile runs during and after the blizzard that hit the east coast before Christmas. My Flow?s did a much better job than I expected. Without any socks I was still able to feel my toes and continued to wear them as I shoveled later that day. We ended up getting over 18 inches here in Maryland.

The pics come from after my run on the 19th while it was still snowing and later that day with my son. I don?t expect any toddler V5F sizes to come out but it would be nice to have youth sizes in the future.

On a side note don?t wear the Flow?s indoors for extended periods as they really keep heat in. After wearing them one day at work, I teach high school business, my feet looked and felt like I had been in a tub for hours. I will stick with my Treks during the day from now on.

Jason

Five Fingers Flows definitely seem to be "the" VFF of the moment right now! Good to know that indoor-use may lead to super moist feet — I guess that neoprene insulation really packs a punch!

Looks like you've been putting them to good use! Wish we would get some snow down here in Atlanta. All we get is rain!

Ryan Travels the World in Flows, KSOs, and Mocs!

David meditates in his KSO Five Fingers amongst the crowds at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India!
David meditates in his KSO Five Fingers amongst the crowds at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India!
Mountain streams pose no problems for KSO-clad feet. Ryan bounds into a stream in Maui!
Mountain streams pose no problems for KSO-clad feet. Ryan bounds into a stream in Maui!
Want to keep your tootsies warm while still snorkeling in chilly waters in Hawaii?  Bring along your Flows!
Want to keep your tootsies warm while still snorkeling in chilly waters in Hawaii? Bring along your Flows!
The indoor-only Moc is apparently the perfect compliment for cruise ship comforts!
The indoor-only Moc is apparently the perfect compliment for cruise ship comforts!

The above photos came in from Ryan, who has been taking his VFF collection on the road (or in the air) as he's traveled to India, Hawaii, and gone on an ocean cruise! Here's a bit more:

Greetings, Justin!

I've had the pleasure of taking my VFFs to some pretty exotic places, really putting the "Travel" aspect of VFFs to good use. From the dusty streets of Delhi, India, to the Taj Mahal, to a Cruise Ship and trekking across the islands of Hawaii.

I snapped a few pictures of my experiences (and VFFs, of course!), and thought I would share them with you and birthdayshoes.com. The picture of me in front of the Taj Mahal in my KSOs is fairly self-explanatory :-) The people of India certainly didn't hide their stares at my funny "lizard feet," but very few people said anything, unless they were trying to sell me something ;-)

The other KSO pic is my foot in a mountain stream on the island of Maui. That's another great thing about VFFs — in addition to being great walking shoes, even over large distances, if a stream, lake, ocean or whatever looks inviting, you can just wade right in!
These were great all over Hawaii, and I had no problems walking over rough terrain- even lava rock!

The pic of me in my Flows is from a snorkeling excursion in Kona. The water was kind of chilly, so it was nice to have the extra bit of warmth the Flows provide. They also had great traction aboard the moving boat, which was a big plus!

Finally, the Moc pic was taken aboard the Cruise Ship NCL's Pride of America, and I can say without a moment's hesitation that Mocs make *perfect* cruise ship shoes (assuming no rain) — they're light, extremely comfy, and really let you feel the plushness of the carpet, as well as the warmth of the sun out on the decks :-) Add in the more formal look, and the *tiny* amount of space they take up in a bag, and they ended up being my favorite shoes on that cruise by far!

Anyway, I just wanted to write in and share some of the adventures I've been having in my VFFs this year. I'm finding they really do make fantastic travel shoes.

I hope 2010 treats you well!

Thanks for the awesome website,

Ryan

Glad to see you're putting your varied VFF collection to excellent use while bounding about the planet, Ryan! No doubt all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are all dreaming of warmer climes right now, and this time of year it's almost pleasant in India (Still hot, but not too bad).

Thanks for sharing!

New site feature: Birthday Shoes polls!

I've long wanted to add a polling feature to the main blog* and I'm happy to announce that it's now active: you can vote on the current poll, which I anticipate updating weekly, on right rightmost column of the blog. I hope to use this feature to help aggregate feedback, add a layer of depth to the site, and help others get a sense for the community! Check it out!

For all you feed subscribers, that means you need to check in on the site every once in awhile to vote!

Finally, you might notice that from time to time the topmost blog post will have a different layout than subsequent posts. That's the "featured post" ... er ... feature. Love it? Hate it? Let me know.

* User polls are often being created on the forums!

VFFs for Christmas!

Looks like a lot of people got their Christmas wish granted — a new pair of FiveFingers!
Looks like a lot of people got their Christmas wish granted — a new pair of FiveFingers!

It seems a number of "nice" boys and girls got the Christmas gift of free feet from Santa this year!

Above at the top of the collage is Sandra sporting her new Sprint Five Fingers:

Here's a photo of my Christmas present VFF's! At first I was mortified! Now I am giddy to try them out. I read "Born To Run" and the whole minimal-shoewear running trend is fascinating to me!

Welcome to the club, Sandra! Just take it nice and slow as you not only acclimate your biomechanics to VFF-shod running, but also begin the slow rebuilding and rehabilitation of your feet! Just be patient and enjoy the process!

Next, bottom left of the collage, comes word from Myrtle Beach — Logan in his KSO Treks and his daughter, who received her first pair of "Mary Jane" VFF Sprints for Christmas. Logan captioned the photo:

My beat up Treks and my daughter's new Sprints. Santa came through big time.

Finally, at bottom right of the collage, we have a before and after shot of Seth's feet, bare and KSO-clad. Seth's KSO FiveFingers are his first pair:

Ive been wanting a pair for 6 months and just now got them.

Merry Christmas to you all and enjoy the comforts of your newfound toe shoes!