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!

Latest Vibram Five Fingers Reviews 10/18/09

Of note in this week's latest reviews we have an update from Micahel at Red Rocks Blue Sky who has been doing periodic reviews of his VFF KSOs as he's racked up the miles in them.

  • 900 Miles on Vibram Five Finger KSO?s at Red Rocks Blue Sky [KSO]:

    Conclusion: I am impressed at how well my KSO?s have held up. However, I run completely different than I used to run. Barefoot running is about the business of running light. But you just cannot run barefoot like in any modern running shoes on the market.

    KSO?s let me do what I could not do barefoot, but allow me to run barefoot. I am looking forward to Vibram?s TREK shoes to run longer trail marathons in the Ultra-Range. I do not see a change in the design of the toes, so I will sew the pinky toe up.

    Be sure to check out his pinky toe mod!
  • Product Review: Vibram FiveFinger KSO Shoes at Amy Mac Health & Fitness [KSO]:

    Barefoot walking and running is becoming more popular due to its potentially healthy benefits. I?m not into the ?barefoot? thing but am trying the next best thing, going nearly barefoot in Vibram FiveFinger shoes! I?ve been wearing them for over a month and so far...

    Video review after the jump ...

Last week's latest reviews of Vibram fivefingers can be found here.

Matching Classic FiveFingers: Galya and Roland's new Kicks

Matching Classic FiveFingers: Galya and Roland's new Kicks
Galya and Roland show off their new matching black Classic fivefingers.

In the mailbag came a "couples" photo; Galya and Roland are in love — with their new black Classic Fivefingers. Galya said, :

First time in our brand new Classics!

We love them, so more VFFs to come!

What other couples out there are matching their FiveFingers? I know Michael and Lindsey have matching grey Sprints and Seret and her husband have matching blue camo KSOs.

It's so cute it almost makes me sick :P

Paul Both's Run for Liberty: Training to Run Across America in FiveFingers

I've recently had the opportunity to learn about Paul Both — a musician and sound engineer "with a running addiction" — mostly via his twitter account (@paulboth). Through that interaction, I've learned that Paul is training for his "Run for Liberty," a run that begins on February 9, 2010, in Huntington Beach, California and ends at the Statue of Liberty:

View Larger Map

As if running across the country wasn't feat enough, Paul will be doing the run in Vibram FiveFingers, which he started wearing a few weeks back.

I asked Paul to share a bit about what he's been up to with regard to his training and running to share on birthdayshoes. Here is what Paul had to say:

Hey Justin

I love your site! It is cool seeing and reading about other peoples' experiences with the Vibrams. After watching my daughter run barefoot for the last year or so and reading "Born to Run" I decided to go the minimalist route and start running in VFFs. I originally went in, thinking that I wanted the KSOs. They didn't have my size, so I ended up getting the Classics. I am so glad I did! I haven't had any issues with them slipping off (the only thing I was worried about) and I think I feel freer in them than I would have in the KSO's. I developed a blister on the back of my heal from the first run in them (because I pulled the drawstring too tight out of fear of them falling off) but that has healed and now I don't even pull the string to snug them up and they stay on just fine.

I did way too many miles in the the first 3 weeks that I had them (120 miles) because I was in the middle of training for the Long Beach Marathon and I had to switch back to shoes the last 2 weeks of training so I could preserve a decent marathon time. But, aside from running, I have been all VFF all the time. Now that the marathon is over, I will return to running solely in the Vibrams and ramp up slowly this time.

I am training for a run across the country from Huntington Beach, CA to New York City that starts Feb 9th 2010. I am going to be doing the run in my Vibrams! Although I may have to find those KSO's in my size (and black) since it might get a bit cold that time of year. But weather permitting, I'll be in my Ninja Classics!

You can see Paul in his "Ninja Classics" (black Classic FiveFingers) in this video, which also features Paul's daughter talking about getting into running:


It's good to hear that Paul's VFF training is going well — even after Paul jumped in the high mileage deep end!

If you want to keep track of Paul's progress training for the Run for Liberty, he's periodically putting forward YouTube episodes (like the one above). You can stay on top of those videos by subscribing to Paul's YouTube channel.

Best of luck in your training, Paul!

James' KSO Trek Five Fingers at Work

James' KSO Trek Five Fingers at Work
James' works in his KSO Trek fivefingers. That's Alaskan Summer Ale he's "standing" on.
James' KSO Trek Five Fingers at Work
And for a taste of something from a bit warmer climate, here are James' Treks on Tecate!

Looks like another VFFer (See also Alan's effort to VFF-ify corporate America) is taking their new KSO Trek V5s to work.

James sent in the above photos of his KSO Treks at work — a liquor store in Juneau, Alaska!

Here's James on his new Treks:

Hi I work in a large retail chain liquor store in Juneau, Alaska :-)
And so far all of the boss's love my VFFs! One boss is ordering his on line this week :-O

The KSO TREKS are crazy cool but the strap is too short** :-(

Glad the bosses are taking note of your astute sense of foot health and fashion!

Is it happy hour yet?

** For the benefit of others wondering, the velcro strap length (opened from end to end) on the KSO Treks is about 7.25" by my measurement. The standard KSO strap length is about 8.5". However, the nylon, non-velcro strap of the KSO Trek is 12" versus the standard KSO 11" (measurements taken using a fabric tape measure). So the difference may effectively even out — if anyone has any insight on this, be sure to comment below!

Shawn Shows off the new black and orange KSO fivefingers (And his black classics)

Shawn Shows off the new black and orange KSO fivefingers (And his black classics)
Shawn shows off the latest KSO fivefingers color combo: black, orange, and gray!
Shawn Shows off the new black and orange KSO fivefingers (And his black classics)
Shawn also has a pair of all black Classics and is getting some Flows to round out his "V5F" collection.

Shawn, a personal trainer from Philadelphia, submitted the above photos showing off his growing Vibram fivefingers collection. You'll notice he's gotten a pair of the latest KSO color combo to hit the streets — black, orange, and gray. They are looking good!

Here's Shawn:

The picture of my V5F KSO (blk/orange/gray awesome color!) was taken when I was just leaving the gym (Philly), then slipping on the Classic (all blk) while making breakfast. And I should be receiving all black V5F Flow tomorrow (It's getting chilly out).

How about you guys start printing "V5F"(that is what we are calling them) instead of VFF(just a thought, it seems hipper)?

I love my V5F!!!!

It's widely accepted that "Vibram FiveFingers" is a mouthful to say, in turn spawning any number of alternative names for FiveFingers. "VFF" is definitely the front runner in the online community but there's a lot to be said about just calling them "Vibrams," though the chief difficulty there is in the correct pronunciation of Vibram — it's "vee-brum."

I'm sure the community will settle on something in time!

How about "V-Fives?"

Hail, yes! Timothy has Black KSO fivefingers.

Hail, yes! Timothy has Black KSO fivefingers.
What the hail? Timothy stands atop some large-sized hail after a freak hail storm in New Jersey.
Hail, yes! Timothy has Black KSO fivefingers.
Timothy wanted to see what would happen when he tried to wear his flip-flops with his KSOs. What happened was he gave his girlfriend a good laugh! On a separate note: who knew Crocs made flip-flops?

Timothy sent in the above two photos of his black KSO fivefingers:

Black KSO's standing on hail after a freak hail storm in Pittstown, New Jersey, and I wanted to wear my KSOs and Sandals.

I asked Timothy about what he was using his KSOs for as well as what he thought of the the flip-flop KSO experience (and did he actually wear them like that?). Here's what he added:

I wear sandals pretty much 24/7 since I hate shoes, and living in south Florida makes that easy to get away with. I was ecstatic to find an alternative to my beloved sandals. Sadly they are not very comfortable if you try and wear both, but it did provide the girlfriend with a good laugh. I wear my VFF mainly for running now, and on the occasional chilly days. They also came in handy while in new jersey where the weather was colder then I liked and sandals were not a very warm option. I love my VFF KSO's.

Thanks for testing out your KSOs with sandals — I'm pretty sure you're not the only one who wondered how or if that would work!