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!

Sergey Brin, Billionaire, Innovator, Five Fingers Model

Who'd have thought that Google's up-and-coming operating system would be less exciting than Sergey's five-toed shoes? Well, some people around here might have guessed it. Yesterday Google made a big announcement about their Chrome OS and Sergey decided to sport his blue camouflage VFF KSOs!

This marks the second time Brin has been spotted sporting his blue camouflage KSO Five Fingers, the first time was when Brin was interviewed by John Batelle.

Yesterday's VFF modeling was first chronicled in the live Engadget Chrome OS Announcement post yesterday:

11:15AM Sergey Brin has stopped by. No rollerskates this time, but whatever he's got on it's feet, it's something else.

Of course they were referring to his VFF KSOs. Since then, we've seen VFF-centric posts about Brin's monkey shoes over at Gizmodo and Crunchgear.

Who cares about Chrome OS, anyway? Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google and one of the richest guys on the planet, wears Vibram Five Fingers!

Can you say, "Trendsetter?"

H/T to Michael, Bob, Steven, and Mike!

Maria Climbs to the South Arete Summit in her KSOs

Maria Coryell-Martin sits atop South Arete Summit, 7,807 ft, wearing her black KSO FiveFingers, which she used to climb to the top! Photo credit: Joel Reid
Maria Coryell-Martin sits atop South Arete Summit, 7,807 ft, wearing her black KSO FiveFingers, which she used to climb to the top! Photo credit: Joel Reid

Maria, an artist and VFF-fan who we've seen previously here on birthdayshoes, alerted me to a recent post on her site, Expeditionary Art, about her doing some technical climbing in her KSO Five Fingers with Injinji socks.

Here's what she had to say about the climb from her blog:

Last month I enjoyed a beautiful climb up the South Arete of the Early Winter Spires in the North Cascades. Though I love strolling in the high country, I don?t often do technical climbing. Thanks to my brother-in-law and climber extraordinaire Joel Reid for leading the adventure! Our climb was in mid-October and there was already a dusting of snow on the ground. While considering the 1.5 mile+ approach and climb, I opted to wear my KSO Vibram Five Fingers with a pair of Injinji socks. The shoes gave great traction and I was impressed how great my feet and knees felt at the end of the long day. As for the cold, as long I kept moving, I had no problems.

Quite am amazing view from the top. You can see Maria's black KSO VFFs up close here! Maria added that though the VFFs weren't "super sticky" on the technical climbs, she liked having her toes free!

Thanks for sharing, Maria!

Kim Tours the Southwest U.S. in KSO Five Fingers

Kim Tours the Southwest U.S. in KSO Five Fingers
Kim was able to manage her bus trip through the Southwest despite being on crutches thanks to the ground-feel provided by her KSO Five Fingers!

In the mailbag came the above photos from Kim who recently toured the Southwestern part of the United States. The photos show off Kim's KSO Five Fingers, which despite Kim being on crutches, enabled Kim to maintain stability and traction on her tour. Here's what she had to say:

I had a bus trip thru the American Southwest scheduled with my Mom for October, but ended up on crutches for the trip.

I wore my KSO's anyplace that I felt I needed enhanced traction and stability - Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. Couldn't call it hiking - but they made the difference for being able to participate/get off the bus or not.

Wore wool Injinji's because it was COLD ... my feet stayed pretty warm while I was moving.

All of the Native American guides thought that the shoes were a complete hoot! One of the guys in Canyon de Chelly said that there was a [fellow VFFer] there the week before me that had really large feet—he was in brown KSO's or Treks. They said that when the park rangers came to check the canyon in the evening they saw the footprints and went, "What is THAT from!?!?" ... the Natives told him that there had been a verifiable 'Big Foot' sighting in the canyon that day.

There's something strangely satisfying about leaving recognizable footprints despite being "shod" in Five Fingers. I've seen some of the larger sizes of VFFs (M48 for example) and they are truly monstrous!

Thanks for sharing, Kim!

Five Fingers Running in Japan with Alex

Five Fingers Running in Japan with Alex
Alex is enjoying running around in Tokyo in his Five Fingers — any other VFFers in Japan?
Five Fingers Running in Japan with Alex
Alex does the Vibram Five Fingers kick on a wooded trail outside Tokyo!

Alex sent in the above photos showing off his grey Sprint Five Fingers that were taken in Japan, where Alex lives. Here's what he had to say:

Hi Justin,

Went for a 20km trail run through some picturesque regions of Tokyo's western suburbs in my FiveFinger sprints (and red toe socks)!! Nice and cool autumn weather right now too. The great thing about living in Japan is that after a long tiring run, one can soak themselves in Japan's excellent hot springs - which is what we did at the end of our trek.

I only know one other (my mate) person in Tokyo with FiveFingers - so I would love to hear from anyone else out there who maybe keen to meet up and hit some trails together in VFFs. You can email me at tastrans gmail com.

Cheers, Alex.

word passed on, Alex! Any others out there near Tokyo looking to run trails in their Five Fingers! Comment below or email Alex!

Thanks for sharing!

Tree-climbing in Flow Five Fingers with Jerald

Tree-climbing in Flow Five Fingers with Jerald

Jerald sent in the above photo of him climbing a tree in his Five Fingers Flows. The images are shot in "VFF-view" (VFFV?), a view similar to that which you get in a FPS computer game.

Anyway, here's what Jerald had to say:

I climbed a tree in my Flows and that's not all I do, I also Practice Parkour in them, and my KSO's.

[I asked Jerald how he like Five Fingers for parkour, and he added:]

Parkour is Great, the laser sipped sole is perfect for running up Brick walls. And the tree climbing is a blast, I feel alot more connected with nature.

Tree-climbing and parkour — two types of physical activity that likely have roots going back as far as the dawn of homo sapiens. That you can do both in your "birthday shoes" makes a great deal of sense!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 11/15/09

This week's latest Vibram Five Fingers reviews:

  • Vibram FiveFingers Sprint First Impressions by Craig Sheppard [Sprint]:

    So what does it feel like to frolic in the park, shod with Five Fingers?

    Really, really liberating. You feel like you have all-terrain barefeet. The lack of padding means you feel every stick, stone, and crack on the ground, which does cause you to watch where you're going. But knowing your feet are protected means you feel like you can go anywhere. There is an amazing amount of grip in the soles as well. I find them strangely energizing. I don't have much patience for running, I should admit. It seems laborious, monotonous, and uncomfortable. Yet, doing a mile here or there in the FiveFingers is invigorating. I've had to go slow and short to adjust, it's sort of re-learning to run all over again. There's a fresh novelty factor involved I'm sure, but I have a feeling it may go deeper than that.

For last week's latest Vibram Five Fingers reviews, go here!