Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

Hiking Despite Osteoarthritis in Barefoot Shoes

I recently got the above photo from Ron. Ron is a 60+ guy who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee—after some 32 years of running.

What follows is his story about what the doc's had to say about how he should handle the news, and as you might guess, some FiveFingers came into the picture:

I call this my victory photo.

Last year, at age 60, and after 32 years of running, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the left knee. It hurt to walk, let alone, run. My general practitioner doctor suggested minimalist footwear as part of a program that included stretching and strengthening. [Meanwhile, both the] knee specialist and the physical therapist said to back off and use orthotics.

I took my general practitioner's advice.

Well, here I am a year later, relaxing at over 14,000 feet on the top of Mount Bierstadt in the Rocky Mountains. This was just one of several hikes I took during a 6-day vacation. I totalled nearly 35 miles of hiking and every step in my Vibram KSO Treks.

I proved to myself that I wasn't too old to make such a big change after 32 years of walking and running in the most expensive and most cushioned shoes. Of course, I still have osteoarthritis in the knee, but I am back at it, thanks to the therapeutic value stretching, strengthening, and minimalist footwear.

(I go barefoot alot, too!)

Ron A.

Fantastic to hear, Ron! And kudos for following your intuition and having success despite adverse conditions.

Hope you have many more successful hikes!

"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers

"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
"Barefoot" Michael goes camping in his FiveFinger Sprints.
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
Ah the acorn — Fall is here at last.
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
Can you manage a rocky creekbed in VFFs? If you don't mind a free foot massage, then yes!
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
VFFs by the campfire make keeping your tootsies warm all the easier (Just don't melt the rubber soles)!
"Barefoot" Michael Camps in Sprint Five Fingers
Michael takes off his VFFs for some barefoot time!

"Barefoot" Michael sent in the above photos of a recent camping trip he took to Wallace State Park, Cameron, Missouri. Here's Michael on the trip:

Hey, BarefootMichael here! (@BarefootMichael on Twitter and "Barefoot and Grounded" — blog) Here's some photos from my recent camping trip.

Wallace State Park in Cameron, Missouri, is beautiful this time of year! I couldn't help but join family to go camping. Being a barefooter and VFF fan, however, I had to keep it "minimal" during the trip. I wore my FiveFinger Sprints most of the time we were there and they were AWESOME! The rocks and acorns on the ground were but a foot massage while wearing my Sprints. From dining to fishing to hiking on trails much less traveled — my nephew and I had to improvise a bit when a side trail died once — the FiveFingers held up and kept my feet as close to barefoot as I was comfortable with. They were even comfortably warm enough for low 40 degree F temps so long as I kept my feet active. I loved camping in my Vibram Fivefingers and especially enjoyed the extra "open" feel that the Sprints provided.

"Barefoot" Michael

As Michael noted, you can follow him on twitter @barefootmichael and/or check out his blog here!

Thanks for sharing — love the acorn photo!

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):


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!


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!