Sep 30, 2009 | 1 comment »
Internet entrepreneur Scott Rafer passed on a photo taken of him by Taylor Davidson giving a presentation at TechCrunch London. You can see Scott is wearing his black Classic fivefingers (Photo lightened a bit for better visibility). Here's Scott on his VFFs:
I've got an upcoming post on the "everyday greatness" of Classic fivefingers that I should put out soon that gets at Scott's point of "living in" VFFs.
Thanks for passing this on, Scott!
Sep 29, 2009 | 5 comments »
In the mailbag this evening comes photos from last night's Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers (Cowboys won) game viewed a la black Vibram fivefingers KSOs!
Here's Adam on his trip to the new stadium in his Vibrams:
We love to go barefoot/vibram down here in Texas! Go Cowboys!!!!
I think that is the biggest jumbotron screen I've ever seen! Also, it sorta looks like Adam's feet are squishing the little players on the field.
Thanks for sharing, Adam!
Sep 29, 2009 | 1 comment »
I was recently contacted by Adam, an individual who had to have his left leg amputated after suffering injuries in a car wreck. Adam's preferred method of getting around now is on crutches, making his remaining leg the central point of support and balance. It's under these constraints that he's turned to using fivefingers KSOs to aid in feeling the ground. Here's Adam:
I recently stumbled across your website and decided to write you a comment. I'm 20 years old and lost my left leg last year due to a car wreck during my freshman year of college.
I don't always wear a prosthesis because they're painful for me still. As a result, I'm stuck using crutches. My primary footwear of choice while crutching is the KSO.
The FF allows me to have an impeccable connection to the ground, which is essential for a mono-pod like myself, making sure that every step is safe and secure. My balance and agility are improved when wearing FFs as well.
I always get strange looks from people, and I can't help but wonder if it's because I wear FFs or because I only have one leg. Perhaps it's both? :)
Anyways, thanks for making such an awesome tribute site, and if you know of any amputees who still have their left foot, I have a brand new left KSO size 43 that I don't think I'll be using anytime soon!
I'm happy to manage a place where people can share how they're improving their lives by doing something so simple as improving their connection to the ground — Adam's case is unusual, but a great application of Vibram fivefingers.
Thanks for sharing your story, Adam, and I'll let you know if anyone else reaches out in need of your left KSO!
Sep 29, 2009 | Leave a comment »
Rana emailed me the other day to let me know she had blogged about her recent experiences with her Vibram Five Finger Sprints. Rana's been busy putting her Sprints to all the usual tests: driving, walking, running, hiking, and, well, just playing in them. Here's a clip from Rana's blog post:
Some observations - grass is nice, as is pine duff (though you do have to watch out for pine cones). Gravel isn't pleasant, though fine-crack packed gravel is a lot better than loosely packed large rocks. Logs are fun. Kicking an Osage orange toe first hurts, but shoving it along with the ball of your foot gives a nice inner-thigh work-out. Jumping is fun, especially since it's amusing seeing your VFF-clad toes pointing in the air. The worst surface? Field stubble. The damn stuff pokes you in the sides of the toes. Ouch! Mud is interesting, though I didn't explore it too much since I didn't want to get the shoes too dirty or to sink in a bog.
The gentle pad-pad-pad sound your feet make when walking in the VFFs is also pleasant - and it's quiet enough that you can sneak up on squirrels, rabbits, turtles and cats without half-trying. (When one does try, one can walk very quietly indeed.)
So, to make a long account short, these shoes are so much fun! And they are helping me remember why I love being outdoors, and why bodies are meant for playing, not just sitting and working. Viva la VFFs!
The stealthiness of Vibrams is one of the reasons they're referred to as "Ninja Shoes."
As for the field stubble, I think in time you might find it's not so bad after all. I was walking through a gravel parking lot the other night and thinking both "Ahh a foot massage" and then "It's nice to have a bit of variation in the ground for once!"
Be sure to check out the rest of Rana's post for a slew of other photos and thoughts! Thanks, Rana!
Sep 28, 2009 | 2 comments »
VFFer and forum member Corin ("nironavro") has spotted that at least one online retailer is carrying a new color combo of fivefinger KSOs, seen in the stock photo above.
We first got a glimpse of this new color combo for men back in late July via a blog post from KayakShed when they were pictured alongside another new color option for women, the all black fivefinger Sprints:
It seems that these new fivefinger color combinations are about to hit the shelves — note that we haven't yet seen anyone carrying the all black women's Sprints ... yet!
Sep 28, 2009 | 1 comment »
I first met Leif Rustvold via twitter. Leif takes a different approach to the 140 character limit on twitter—he tweets in haiku. For example, check Leif's tweet from mid-May:
#barefoot article / getting the #unshod word out / #vibramfivefingers // http://bit.ly/19FjZI #vff
As evidenced by his poetry, Leif enjoys working within the constraints of a minimalist approach; for example, not only does that mean he runs a 100 mile ultramarathon in Vibram five fingers but he also enters the 109 mile El Tour de Tucson bike race on a unicycle.
It's Leif's passion for novel, minimalistic approaches to racing that have led him to start his own blog, specifically focused on this subject. It's called, Distance Minimally.
I asked Leif if he'd share with us what he would like to accomplish with his new blog, and here is what he had to say:
I find myself among small groups exploring two sports with one unique feature in common – going further while equipped with less than most other athletes. I run ultramarathons, any footrace longer than 26.2 miles, without traditional running shoes. This has usually been in Vibram Five Fingers, well known to readers of BirthdayShoes.com, but may also include other types of running sandals or simply bare feet. I also participate in distance cycling events, such as the 109 mile El Tour de Tucson, on a unicycle. By removing an element considered essential to most participants in these sports, but holding to the same standards as those with traditional gear, the challenges of the sport become quite different. The events are altered and added to enough that the sports are radically transformed. It is to these transformed sports that I dedicate my new blog DistanceMinimally.com.
Because participation in sports like these in this minimal fashion is currently rare, there are few resources available to those who are interested in them. We are often writing the book on these sports as we go. And so I've created DistanceMinimally.com as a site where I can gather and share these experiences of my own and those of others to shed light on the unique aspects of going the distance with less. I welcome input and experiences from others, whether minimalist runners, distance unicyclist, or some other minimalist endurance sport that few have yet imagined.
I'm looking forward to reading more of what Leif has learned about covering long distances as minimally as possible! And if this sounds like the kinda thing that interests you, be sure to bookmark his site or add it to your preferred feed aggregator so you can keep track of what Leif is up to!
More about Leif (including his thoughts on the new KSO Treks) that you might be interested in:
Leif completed a sub-24 hour 100 mile ultra trail run this past weekend in his fivefinger Treks, which marks the second 100-mile testing the new fivefinger KSO Treks have received. Look for a full race report on Distance Minimally soon!
Leif gave an interview for Transcend Bodywork in which he talks about how he got into distance running and the role of barefooting and Vibram fivefingers.
I did my ~10 mile run today wearing my new Treks. A wandering 2 hours on the network of trails in the Marquam Nature Park in Portland, Oregon. Full of hills, mud, rocks, lots of single track trail, and one stretch of large-rock strewn “road”. The VFF KSO Treks were pretty amazing. I could feel the trail under foot, but I didn’t have to worry about it every step. My feet could behave as feet, but with seemingly no threat of feeling the jabs of the rocks beneath them. I was actually a little concerned - I was able to tune out a little too much. I noticed my form slipping a bit, and was aware that the beefier sole would do nothing to prevent catching my toe on a log like I did on my last long trail run. I wish I had enough time to train in the Treks to have that reduced awareness catch up with me so I don’t have to learn the hard lesson on my long run next week. I’ll be reminding myself to stay focused, and won’t be listening to an audiobook as I was today.
I climbed up to the highest point in Portland. I never felt a lack of traction in my other VFFs but could tell I had greater traction in the Treks. I jumped on and over a log blocking the path, and my foot slipped a bit. That never happened in my other VFFs. It seems the Treks sacrifice a certain amount of the dynamic grip I’ve come to enjoy for the static grip of their increased tread. About 7 miles into my meandering run I reached the top of Council Crest, took in the view, and then bombed down the 3.2 miles of trail to my car. I haven’t been able to bomb down a trail like that since I wore traditional shoes. It was fun.
I fully expect that this will translate into improved performance on my race. There is a significant amount of energy that is available for running that was previously going into caution on every step. Part of me missed that awareness, and I am unsure if I’ll be trading out my Sprints and KSOs for Treks on all of my runs. But for next weekend’s 100 miler, it seems like a godsend.
Thank you, Leif!