The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

You're out on a run. Your nose is getting stuffy, so you lean to the side for a quick farmer's blow. It's cold out, but you didn't realize how cold until you go to wipe your nose with the back of your glove to clear off any additional moisture -- only to find that it's already frozen around the edge of your nostril in mere seconds.

Welcome to the inaugural Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore estate. "Well," I thought dramatically at around mile 20, "At least I'll die somewhere majestic."

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FiveFingers and Tom Otterness sculptures on the Subway in NYC

FiveFingers and Tom Otterness sculptures on the Subway in NYC

Kristy sent in the above photo showing her black Classic FiveFingers-clad feet next to part of Tom Otterness' Life Underground (Info: NYC Subway page | Otterness page). Otterness' sculptures seem to be a perfect match for FiveFingers as we saw back in June via Brian.

Here's Kristy on the photo and her treasured VFFs:

I was in NYC yesterday afternoon with my Fiance walking around before heading back home to NJ; we were returning from a weekend trip to Port Jervis, NY. We wanted to see how far we could get without using a car this weekend. This picture was taken at a subway station at 8th Ave and 14th St (West Village). Was waiting for the Uptown A train and low and behold I see a statue of FEET! Thank goodness for camera phones ...

Wore my VFF's all weekend. My feet started to get pretty tired though at the end of the day yesterday as I was carrying an extra 20lbs in my backpack (Since we had no car we used backpacks to carry what we needed for the weekend). After arriving back in NYC at around 5pm, we walked around NYC for about 4-5 hrs, off and on ... very little sitting. That was the most time I have spent on my feet in my VFF's. We [also] ran that morning for about 5.5 miles, and I wore my blue camo KSO's.

A lot of working out for my feet this weekend!! They feel a bit sore/tired this morning - like my legs would after a good workout.

Ah nothing like a good foot workout a la Vibram FiveFingers. Sounds like you had an enjoyable time hoofing it around NYC! Thanks for sharing!

The FiveFingers Sprint Tan as demonstrated by Shivella

The FiveFingers Sprint Tan as demonstrated by Shivella
Shivella shows off her FiveFingers Sprint tan lines — an inevitable result of Shivella considering her VFFs her favorite shoes of all time.

I've managed a minor "Classic FiveFingers tan" on occasion but the photo above sent in by Shivella of her "killer vibram tan" (a la VFF Sprints) is a whole 'nother story!

And it's not too surprising that Shivella considers her Sprints her "favorite shoes ever!"

Keep enjoying your Sprints, Shivella!

Chad's Thoughts and Review of the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks [Review]

Chad's Thoughts and Review of the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks [Review]

Note from Justin: Chad Randolph regularly runs in his FiveFingers. To date, he's completed numerous races in them including a 10K and 5K in Classics and a marathon in KSOs. More recently, Chad picked up a pair of black KSO Treks and has begun running trails in them. As such, Chad volunteered to put together some thoughts to share with the VFF community on his KSO Treks. Here's Chad:

My Vibram Fivefingers KSO Treks so far...

Notice that I'm not calling it a review, as there are plenty of other more capable reviewers out there who have done the deed. However, I've found that most reviews are done during the initial stage, a.k.a. the "opening of the box." I'm more interested in how they perform as intended.

I have a route I run every week or so that I call the 'kitchen sink' that begins on a hard-packed fire road, transitions to four miles of hilly asphalt, then four miles of narrow rooty and rocky single-track., and then back. In the past I've tried this course in my beloved KSOs and they've done well with the exception of the single-track. The outsole couldn't handle the roots and rocks, which resulted in many occasions of me wincing and cursing under (and sometimes much louder) my breath.

I had a couple of 50k trail races scheduled for this fall and knew that my KSOs wouldn't cut it, so I picked up a pair of Inov-8 f-lite 230's. The f-lite 230s performed admirably but I found myself yearning to wear Fivefingers.

And so I was very excited to see the advent of the KSO Trek. First impressions were that they fit similarly to the KSOs except that they felt slightly bigger all around, which I attribute to the kangaroo leather being a little bulkier and less form-fitting than the KSO's nylon.

Over the past two weeks I've taken them on various surfaces and can say that they feel good on asphalt, the tread giving a bit of cushioning, which was noticeable on downhills. On simple dirt trails they performed better than my KSOs in that there was better protection from small rocks and other debris. On rooty and rocky single-track trails things weren't so rosy.

I took my KSO Treks out yesterday to run the 'kitchen sink' route. As mentioned, on the fire road and asphalt road they did just fine, but on the single-track portion they didn't quite cut the mustard. I'm sure I expected too much from them, but even though I did a fair job of dancing around roots and rocks my feet at the end of the single-track portion felt bruised.

Thus, while I would heartily recommend the KSO Treks for hard-packed trails I would hesitate to suggest them for gnarly single-track, unless you are closely related to an ibex.

My plans for the KSO Treks are to run in a 50k trail race this winter, one that's mostly fire road. I'll also throw in some road races for good measure.

Chad Randolph
Mooresville, NC

Update Read Chad's updated thoughts on the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Treks after running a marathon in them here!


Thanks, Chad! We'll keep an eye out for updated thoughts on the KSO Treks!

Classic, KSO, and Sprint FiveFingers Reloaded: New Colors for 2010 (or sooner in some cases)

Most of the FiveFingers buzz tends to center around the new KSO Trek, Moc, and Performa, not to mention the news we received a few days back that Vibram was greenlighting production of the KSO Trek for women plus expanded sizes for men.

But we've also seen a couple new colors pop up in recent weeks. The month of October brought on a new KSO offering for men — the black, orange, and gray KSO, which has been a hit. And now we're also getting reports that an all-black women's Sprint is available (Available here, for example).

As you've likely guessed, there are a whole slew of new colors set to be released in the coming months, likely becoming available just as soon as they are finished being manufactured/shipped from overseas. So without further ado, here's a massive collage of anticipated new colors for KSOs, Classics, and Sprints that I've cobbled together via various internet sources (see below). Click for the mondo-enormous version:

So what do we have here? By row from top to bottom we've got "denim" and yellow Classics for men; teal, grey, and camouflage KSOs for women; black, grey, camouflage KSOs for men; fuscia, pink Classics for women; the all-black Sprints for women; "castlerock" (dark grey), "verde" (green) Classics for men*; the black and orange KSOs for men; fuscia, pink Sprints for women; a softer all-brown KSO for men; grey, light blue Classics for women; blue or purple and grey Sprints for men (I'm sorta guessing on what to call the last three color combos).

My personal favorites out of the "reloaded" color combinations are the castlerock/green Classics and the black and orange KSOs though I admit to being intrigued by the "denim" Classics combo and wouldn't mind having those either. Of course, I am a professed uber-fan of Classic FiveFingers.

So that's me: what do you think about the new color options?

Sources:

Hieu Hiking Mt. Baldy in Classic FiveFingers

Hieu Hiking Mt. Baldy in Classic FiveFingers
A photo-montage of Hieu's hike up Mt. Baldy, California, in his black Classic VFFs.

In the mailbag comes the above photos and note below from Hieu who recently hiked Mt. Baldy in California in his Classic FiveFingers:

Here are five pics of me at Mt Baldy in California. The hike was pretty difficult, but I finished with my Classics. The terrain was rocky mostly, but I made it through, making sure every step I took was a safe and secure one. The Classics held up great! They were very light weight and were not taxing on my legs. We hiked up to an elevation of 10,000 feet. I got a few odd looks on the way up — mostly out of curiosity and/or admiration. Once we got to the top, we headed down to a lift chair which took us back down. Very nice!

Cheers,

Hieu
Huntington Beach, California

Classics have the least cushion of any outdoor VFF (Excluding the indoor-only Moc and Peforma), so rocky hikes in Classics make for quite the foot massage!

I imagine taking the lift back down the mountain made for a nice and relaxing, not to mention scenic, ride.

Thanks for sharnig, Hieu!