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!

Comic Frazz gives "Nod" to FiveFingers, and Luke Radl's Tribute to a Friend

Don't know if any of you are avid readers of the comic Frazz by Jef Mallet, but today's (October 21, 2009) comic gives a hearty nod to Vibram FiveFingers (click to see it in full resolution):

Frazz

Meanwhile, in other FiveFingers-illustration-news, Luke Radl (@lukeradl | website) did a great illustration tribute to a fellow fan of FiveFingers and Batman, the late Bill Joyce:

Luke said about his friend Bill:

He was wicked adventurous and totally unstoppable at anything he wanted to do. He was a huge Batman fan (the memorial was littered with Bat symbols) and a big barefoot enthusiast. The shoes are Vibram Five Fingers and once I showed them to him he hated to wear anything else.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Luke, and what a fantastic way to pay tribute to his memory!

Be sure to check out Luke's website for some impressive illustrative work!

VFF Now! See what people are doing in their FiveFingers on twitter!

Thanks to Mike/Tetsubo as well as PayNowLiveLater, I'm pleased to announce "VFF Now!"

VFF Now! is an application that scours twitter for tweets including links to photo uploaders twitpic and yfrog that also make reference to fivefingers.

For example, let's say that you are out climbing a tree in your VFFs. You take your camera phone and snap a photo showing off your Vibrams and then post that photo to twitter with the accompanying message "I'm up in a tree in my VFFs!" VFF Now! will pick up that tweet and show it off on here at http://birthdayshoes.com/vffnow/ !

This idea was spawned awhile back via the "primal" cooking photos that @PayNowLiveLater was compiling for the paleo diet community (See that implementation here). Since people are always tweeting photos of their VFFs, it seemed like PNLL's application would be great for birthdayshoes.

So if you tweet pics of your VFFs or want to see what others are doing in their FiveFingers "right now," check out VFF Now!

Phillip's first Skydiving Trip in his KSO FiveFingers

Phillip's first Skydiving Trip in his KSO FiveFingers
Phillip just jumped out of a perfectly good plane with someone probably just met strapped to his back! Do you see his KSO fivefingers?
Phillip's first Skydiving Trip in his KSO FiveFingers
The parachute is unfurling, Phillip is just hanging out and floating foot free.

In the mailbag came the above photos from Phillip who just went skydiving for the first time (and did it wearing his KSO Five Fingers, at that!):

Hello there!

I was so excited that I just feel like I needed to share.

The first time I saw VFF's was on top of Mount Fuji. The first thing I did when I got back to the states was to order a pair. Too bad I had to wait 3 weeks for my Classics as they were restocking. Two days after that, I went and grabbed some KSOs.

My first skydiving trip was this past Saturday where some friends and I headed over to Byron, California (about 2 hours East of San Francisco). And I couldn't wait to do it in my KSO's!

Just wanted to share!

Phillip

Awesome photos, Phillip, and glad you enjoyed your first experience "flying!"

I went tandem skydiving about ten years back and the guy I was strapped to was a bit overweight, frizzy long, bleached blonde hair, and just seemed sort of strung out, but he'd jumped 3,000 times so I figured, "You only live once!" And of course I'm still here.

Thanks, Phillip!

Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak: Justin in KSO Treks

Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak: Justin in KSO Treks
Behind us is the Swaminarayan Temple, one of the "top ten largest traditional Hindu Vedic stone temples outside India." Note my rubber-clad toes.
Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak: Justin in KSO Treks
Here I am outside the Temple guarding my firstborn (not pictured, inside the Bob Revolution), trying to look cool, and only managing to look somewhat out of place. Note the festive inflatable play-thingy behind me! Kids were going nuts!
Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak: Justin in KSO Treks
That's Tanmay to my left. Hard to see my Treks here, but just look at that line up to the Mandir!

This past Saturday was Diwali, which is the "Festival of Lights." Diwali is sort of the equivalent of New Year's Eve — it signifies the "new year" by the lunar calendar.

My in-laws are Indian/Hindu so I've had the pleasure of enjoying Diwali for a few years now. It usually involves getting the family together and eating Indian food. Last year, I had the opportunity to experience Diwali in India (here), which we celebrated by shooting off (with little regard for our own safety) an untold number of firecrackers at a family friend's house.

As things would have it, one of those aforementioned family friends happened to be here in the States from India this past weekend. So yesterday, we took Tanmay (far right in the above photo) to one of the "top ten largest traditional Hindu Vedic stone temples outside India," which happens to be located just outside of Atlanta.

The Swaminarayan Temple truly is massive, intricately designed, and somewhat strangely set behind a Walgreen's*. As you can see, there were a huge number of people at the Temple, many of which were waiting in lines to go up and into the Mandir. We elected to just stay outside and enjoy the beautiful, if not a bit brisk, day and check out the Temple grounds.

Anyway, seeing as I was wearing my KSO Treks (with Injinji socks), I figured I'd share the experience with birthdayshoes and wish everyone "Sal Mubarak!" That's "Happy New Year" in Hindi.

* Walgreen's really knows how to get their hands on primo-corner real estate!

Bob Running Marine Corps Marathon in VFFs, Raising money for St. Judes!

Bob, who you might recall from his fivefingers rock climbing video, is running the Marine Corps Marathon next Sunday — in his KSO fivefingers. Bob made a video below describing how he's simultaneously training to run the upcoming marathon, looking to find other VFF runners in D.C., and raising money for kids with cancer through St. Judes.

Here's Bob:

From Bob's St. Judes' donation page:

I am running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 25 in Washington DC. I'm trying to raise $1000 for kids with cancer through St. Judes. And I'm doing the run in Vibrams Five Fingers!! Thanks so much for your donation.

Thanks for helping me reach my goal for the kids of St. Jude!

Thanks Bob for alerting us to your upcoming race and cause! And if you'd like to donate money to help Bob meet his fundraising goal, go here!

Derek Relaxing After Class in KSOs

Derek Relaxing After Class in KSOs
Derek finds a nice spot on campus to relax after class on a first floor grassy terrace.

Derek ("Zeitheld" on the forums) sent in the above photo showing off just how easy it is to enjoy instant shoe-less relaxation via the foot freedom provided by KSO fivefingers — in this case, on a Friday afternoon after class at Temple University:

Here's a pic of me relaxing after class by laying out in a patch of grass in my black KSOs, enjoying one of the last warm days of the year. The grass is actually not on the ground, it is on the first floor. Between the two lecture halls is a raised landing with cement pedestals to sit on, and a large square of grass that is raised off the floor by about 2 feet, encased like a sandbox. A perfect place to just lay down and stare at the sky.

Thanks, Derek!